(Source: Black Enterprise & Pizza Marketplace)
Former NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal has partnered with Miles College, a liberal arts institution in Alabama, to launch an initiative that aims to bring a Papa John’s to every HBCU campus in the nation.
The four-time NBA champion joined the Papa John’s board of directors earlier this year after the company founder, John Schnatter, resigned last year following reports that he used a racial slur during a company conference call and criticized NFL players kneeling in protest during an earnings call. O’Neal secured $8.5 million in cash and stock options in the deal. The NBA legend also invested in nine Papa John’s franchise restaurants in Atlanta.
“HBCUs have been pivotal in the development of young minds; influential in highlighting the history and culture of African Americans and effectively provided a means for academic success,” said the NBA Hall of Famer, business leader, educator, and philanthropist in a statement. “It is in these great halls of these wonderful institutions that students saw their potential magnified and exemplified.“
“Miles College is honored to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to our historic and beautiful campus. Shaquille is a skilled investor, savvy entrepreneur, and marketing and branding genius,” Miles College President Bobbie Knight said in the report. “This partnership tells the world that this is Miles College’s day, and this is Miles College’s time; to show America that (HBCUs) Historically Black Colleges & Universities can join icons like Shaquille and launch business ventures on our campuses like a Papa John’s.”
The Fairfield, Alabama school is one of 39 HBCUs to have the designation of a United Negro College Fund institution, the report said.