What is the impact of a visible company leader who crosses a line in society?

Everyone is likely to be familiar with the pizza brand Papa John’s. And, many people likely also recognize the image of the head of the company, founder John Schnatter. After all, it’s his face and name on the company and the product. Schnatter’s entrepreneurial story has been a big part of the company’s brand image and his visage has prominently been featured in its marketing and promotion activities.

However, Schnatter’s name and face have been in hot water after he made a racial slur on a conference call with its ad agency. (Note: The agency dropped Papa John’s as a client after the call.) This comes on top of Schnatter’s controversial NFL statements, criticizing football players who knelt (instead of standing) for the national anthem, and blaming them for lower pizza sales.

Eventually, the NFL ended the Papa John’s relationship and signed with Pizza Hut as the official pizza partner of the NFL. Also breaking ties with Papa John’s is Major League Baseball, eliminating its co-branded marketing efforts.

View the response from Papa John’s to its customers: https://www.papajohns.com/open-letter/ (Links to an external site.)

The big question: Should Papa John’s rebrand

1.    When should a company rebrand?

2.    What is the impact of a visible company leader who crosses a line in society?

3.    Should this company rebrand?

Submit a thorough response to all of the questions above and at least one substantive response to a classmate.

Grading Rubric for Discussion

Criteria

Ratings

Points

Initial Post

(10 pts) Response goes beyond simply answering the prompt; attempts to stimulate further thought & discussion.

(5 pts)  Response provides obvious information without  further analysis of the concept; lacks depth of  knowledge or reasoning.

(3 pts) Response does not accurately address the prompt or all parts of the prompt.

(0 pts) No response provided to the prompt within the associated time frame.

10 pts

Reply to Peer

(10 pts) Response is substantive and attempts to stimulate further thought & discussion.

(5 pts) Response provides obvious information without further analysis of the concept.

(3 pt) Response is very brief and does not add new content or depth.

(0 pts)  No response provided  within the associated time frame.

10 pts

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