The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback sold his holdings in the Denver-area restaruants on February 26, just before Papa John's and the National Football League pulled the plug on what had been a long-lasting corporate sponsorship. It's an interesting move for a guy who literally kissed Schnatter when he won the Super Bowl with the Broncos back in 2016.
"After six successful and rewarding years, Peyton Manning and Papa John's global have sold their stake in 31 Papa John's locations, which were part of a joint-venture in the Denver, Colo., market", the company said in a statement. At the time, Manning and Papa John's co-owned 21 restaurants in the Denver area. Manning will remain in that role, but from a business perspective, he's joining the National Football League in divesting himself from the chain, by selling off the 31 Denver-area Papa John's franchises he's owned for years. The New York Post previously reported that Manning could slide next to current play-by-play broadcaster Sean McDonough, although he could be replaced by Joe Tessitore, Steve Levy or Dave Pasch should the network do a total reboot of the Monday Night Football booth.
Collins said Manning would remain a spokesperson and ambassador for Papa John's as part of a previously reached long-term agreement.
But don't expect Manning, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos star, to disappear from the chain's TV commercials.
Schnatter later apologized for his remarks. The original Papa John's deal was set to expire after the 2020 season. Schnatter announced that the kneeling players were hurting the pizza company's business.
Manning, who is an ambassador for the brand, gave up the franchises just two days before the National Football League and Papa John's ended their commercial relationship in February.