Papa John’s has teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal, its most famous board member and franchisee, on a special extra-large pizza that raises some dough for the chain’s charitable foundation.
O’Neal himself came up with the Shaq-a-Roni, the chain says. It’s a 16-inch pizza topped with extra mozzarella cheese and extra pepperoni, and cut into the chain’s largest slices ever.
To promote the pizza, Shaq surprised some families in the Atlanta area, where he has been a Papa John’s franchisee since 2019, with live Zoom video chats that were shown on flat screens affixed to the inside of the pizza box lids. The families also received $1,000 per year for the next four years to use toward education costs, including books and transportation—plus a year of free pizza.
O’Neal’s videos were shot at his home with a camera rig that was controlled remotely by a production team in Atlanta, Papa John’s said. For the diners’ shoots, very small crews worked outside the families’ homes, following safety standards including on-set medical checks, social distancing and personal protective equipment. While some of the shots look as though they were done inside the families’ homes, that’s the result of framing the shots and shooting through windows and doors, Papa John’s said.