The Broncos quarterback (pictured right with Papa John's CEO John Schnatter) began his stint with Papa John's more than a year ago, as a spokesman helping pitch the Super Bowl XLVI Coin Toss Experience for Papa John's. The program offered a free large pizza and 2-liter soft drink to members of the chain's loyalty club after a national poll correctly predicted the pregame coin toss for the Super Bowl.
Now, Manning is a Papa John's franchisee, having signed a contract to acquire 21 restaurants in the Denver area.
"I don't know of a person or business partner who has a higher standard on quality or competes more fiercely than Peyton Manning — on and off the field," said John Schnatter, the brand's founder and chief executive. "Having Peyton as a franchisee is a huge win for our brand, especially for our customers in Denver, where our business has never been better."
Manning said he was "thrilled" to formally join the Papa John's organization after becoming a close partner with Schnatter and the corporate team during his time as spokesman.
"It's a smart investment now and will be long after I'm done playing football," he said. "I'm particularly impressed by John's drive to make everything about Papa John's better, along with his ambition and plan to continue growing the brand around the world."
Papa John's is the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League and several NFL teams, including the Broncos.