By CCN Markets: Houston Texans star defensive end JJ Watt had an interesting proposition for fans of the fast-food chain Whataburger: chip in and buy it back.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year took to Twitter following the majority stake sale of Whataburger to a Chicago investment firm, calling upon fans to do their part in purchasing the company back.
Fans Upset After Whataburger Purchased by Chicago Firm
Whataburger is based out of San Antonio but operates more than 800 restaurants across the Southeastern and Southwestern U.S. The restaurant has developed a cult following and fanatic fanbase for its burgers and sandwiches.
News of the company’s majority stake being purchased by the Chicago firm BDP Capital Partners was met with an outpouring of displeasure from fans. Watt, who has developed a strong social media presence with over 5.4 million followers, led the charge in trying to persuade Whataburger's new management to avoid changing the company.
JJ Watt the Philanthropist
Watt has been a star both on an off the football field and was instrumental in helping the city of Houston, Texas in its recovery following Hurricane Harvey. The Pro Bowler helped raise more than $37 million in donations and charitable funds to help in the storm’s aftermath, which led the Baylor College of Medicine to grant Watt an honorary Doctorate of Medicine.
Following news of the sale, Whataburger tweeted a message to fans claiming that the company would not forget its Texas-roots despite control of the restaurant shifting to a Chicago-based group. In an open letter, the company stated,
"Texas, we don't want you to be upset. We will always be Texan and represent you in a way that makes you proud #believethat."
Whataburger's social media team also responded directly to Watt's proposal for fans to purchase the majority stake back. Following his plan to make "honey butter chicken biscuits available all day," the fast-food group offered him a job on their product development team. Other Twitter contributors asked for the inclusion of a 'JJ Wattburger' on the menu in light of his efforts to keep the brand loyal to Texas.
Terms of the purchase by BDT Capital Partners have yet to be disclosed. The firm will provide long-term capital for Whataburger, which has been losing market share to convenience stores offering more fast-food options.
The restaurant chain operates more than 700 locations in Texas alone, making it a source of pride for fans of the Lone Star State. Watt, meanwhile, reportedly eats 9,000 calories daily. That's a lot of Whataburger.