Papa John’s and the NFL recently ended their agreement that had named the mediocre pizza chain the NFL’s official pizza. That was probably unsurprising; Papa John’s was weirdly outspoken about ensuring players stand for the anthem, and Jerry Jones is also weirdly connected to the company, meaning his current animosity towards the league made any partnership unlikely going forward.

Pizza Hut (the best chain pizza if you’re ordering chain pizza and friends, I have ordered plenty of chain pizza) has already replaced Papa John’s as the NFL’s official pizza.

Papa John’s also has a big-name NFL spokesman: Peyton Manning. Manning will remain in that role, but from a business perspective, he’s joining the NFL in divesting himself from the chain, by selling off the 31 Denver-area Papa John’s franchises he’s owned for years.

Interestingly, he made the decision days before news broke that Papa John’s and the NFL would no longer work together as national sponsors.

Via the Denver Post:

Peyton Manning sold off his stake in 31 Denver-area Papa John’s locations two days before the NFL dropped the pizza chain as its official pizza sponsor.

Manning, who retired as the Denver Broncos’ quarterback after winning Super Bowl 50 two years ago, could not be reached for comment.

But Peter Collins, Papa John’s spokesman, confirmed in an email that the former Bronco had sold his stake, which was part of a joint venture with Papa John’s International after “six successful and rewarding years,” Collins said.

Manning will remain a brand ambassador:

Manning, who picked up 21 Papa John’s franchises in Denver in 2012, remains Papa John’s celebrity spokesperson and brand ambassador as part of his long-term agreement with the brand, Collins said.

So why would Manning make this move? Who knows? Maybe the offer was too good to pass up, maybe he was losing money, maybe he secretly hates Papa John, maybe he was just tired of the pizza game. Or maybe he’s planning on taking a job in broadcasting, so the residual income isn’t as important. That last one is probably most unlikely.

Not because Manning might not take a TV job, but because if there’s one person who has a desire for multiple income streams despite a main job, it’s Peyton.

[Denver Post]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.