Papa John’s, the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, today announced the latest signing to its all-star lineup as legendary NFL running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis was introduced as the brand’s newest franchisee. Bettis, in partnership with Bajco Group, now owns three restaurants in Pittsburgh.
“Papa John’s is the recognized leader in quality, which extends from our superior pizza to our leading-quality franchisees,” said John Schnatter, Papa John’s founder, chairman and CEO. “Having Jerome as a franchisee is huge for the Papa John’s brand and for our customers in Pittsburgh. After getting to know him over the years I have no doubt that he will be able to replicate his success on the field at the restaurants.”
Bettis purchased his Papa John’s restaurants through a partnership with Bajco Group, which currently owns 12 restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. The partnership plans to open additional restaurants in the Pittsburgh area over the next couple of years.
“We are thrilled to partner with Jerome to purchase these restaurants,” said Nadeem Bajwa, CEO of Bajco Group. “Jerome is a fierce competitor with high integrity, and I’m proud to be his business partner. He is an iconic figure in Pittsburgh and I have no doubt these restaurants will do very well.”
Bettis’ involvement with Papa John’s dates to 2011, when he was featured in Papa John’s Super Bowl XLVI Coin Toss commercial with Schnatter and Denver Broncos quarterback and fellow Papa John’s franchisee, Peyton Manning.
“I’ve been a fan of Papa John’s for a long time and am excited to be a part of the team,” said Bettis. “I’ve always been a part of winning organizations and Papa John’s is no exception. I’m particularly impressed with the brand’s focus on quality and drive to be the best. I’m also impressed with John’s passion to continue growing the brand around the world.”