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NFL

Peyton Manning sold Papa John's stores 2 days before NFL cut chain

| Thursday, March 8, 2018, 7:09 a.m.
In this Oct. 8, 2017, file photo, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass during a halftime ceremony at an NFL football game between the Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis. The Colts retired Manning's jersey during the ceremony. Manning sold 31 Denver-area Papa John's stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor. The Denver Post reported Wednesday, March 7, that Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John's franchisee. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings. File)
In this Oct. 8, 2017, file photo, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass during a halftime ceremony at an NFL football game between the Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis. The Colts retired Manning's jersey during the ceremony. Manning sold 31 Denver-area Papa John's stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor. The Denver Post reported Wednesday, March 7, that Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John's franchisee. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings. File)
A Sept. 29, 2011, photo shows a Papa John's location in Denver. Peyton Manning sold his share in 31 Denver-area Papa John's stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor. The Denver Post reported Wednesday, March 7, 2018, that Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John's franchisee.  (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP)
A Sept. 29, 2011, photo shows a Papa John's location in Denver. Peyton Manning sold his share in 31 Denver-area Papa John's stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor. The Denver Post reported Wednesday, March 7, 2018, that Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John's franchisee. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via AP)

DENVER — Peyton Manning sold 31 Denver-area Papa John's stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday that Papa John's spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John's franchisee.

Manning will remain Papa John's celebrity spokesman and brand ambassador. He wasn't immediately available for comment.

The NFL and Papa John's ended their deal Feb. 27, and the league announced a multiyear marketing deal with Pizza Hut the following day. The NFL's relationship with Papa John's was strained last year when company founder John Schnatter criticized the league's leadership about national anthem protests by players.

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