Bringing Shaq to the table “was genius because it brings back some street cred and validation, especially in the African-American community,” Eric Schiffer, chairman at Reputation Management Consultants, recently told the Courier-Journal. The pizza chain plans to launch a marketing campaign with Shaq next month.

Shares in Papa John’s also got a significant boost this week after the company named a new CEO, Rob Lynch, formerly president of Arby’s.

It’s tough to say whether Papa John’s can escape its founder’s poor judgment, but O’Neal didn’t hold Schnatter’s personal failings against the company when he decided to get involved. “This is the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s a great brand, and a product can’t be discriminatory. Only leadership can.”

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