How much can the NFL influence its sponsors’ financials?

Papa John's has posted disappointing results in the latest quarter, and its shares fell by more than 10%.

Papa John's is the NFL's official pizza sponsor, and sales of the company have already been linked to the NFL a few years ago, in 2014, when the sales increase was attributed by Papa John's to its close relationship with the NFL.

A few days ago Schnatter, the pizza chain's chairman, said

"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction," Schnatter, who serves as the pizza chain's chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call. "NFL leadership has hurt Papa John's shareholders."

And according to a Bloomberg analyst he may be right:

It's not a stretch to say the current ratings decline is hurting pizza sales. With fewer Americans watching games, fewer people are presumably ordering pizza -- and seeing Papa John's ads.

What do you think, monkeys?
Can the NFL have such an impact on the business of a firm? Or there may be other problems behind the poor sales?

From: Bloomberg article

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Nov 2, 2017