Papa John's scores Shaq to help revive its image

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A Papa John's restaurant is seen on July 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida.

"Papa John's is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the company from the inside out", O'Neal said in a statement. He becomes the board's first black board member in history, the company said.

Papa John's shares rose more than 4 percent in midday trading Friday.

Papa John's sales have struggled for the past 15 months, leading to closed franchised locations and a rescue investment from activist investor Starboard Value.

Shaquille O'Neal will join the board of Papa John's, making him the first African-American director at a company still suffering from its founder's various scandals.

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The proposed promotional agreement calls for the company to be allowed to use O'Neal's "name, nickname, autograph, voice, video or film portrayals, facsimile signature, photograph, likeness and image or facsimile image to market and promote ... the Company in any and all media". He already has some stake in Atlanta with a Krispy Kreme franchise, and he owns a Big Chicken place in Las Vegas.

National Basketball Association legend Shaquille O'Neal attends the grand opening of Shaquille's At L.A. Live at LA Live on March 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. "In addition to his business acumen, Shaquille understands how to build lasting connections with consumers and energize employees", he said.

The NBA Hall of Famer will be a "triple threat", he said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" after the announcement Friday morning. He is likable, and Papa John's has been in need of an image rehab since its founder, John Schnatter, used the n-word in a conference call; he resigned as chairman past year.

Ever since the Schnatter incident, Papa John's has been picking up the pieces.

Following the decline of sales 5 quarters in a row after their founder and CEO admitted to using the N-word in a conference call, Papa John's is now hoping that Shaquille O'Neill will help save the company and restore its reputation.

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