QBs Howell, Uiagalelei associate with Bojangles

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Earlier than final season’s Orange Bowl, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell made a shocking admission: He is by no means eaten a steak. No cheeseburgers or seafood, both. His teammates teased him endlessly, he mentioned, however he was a chicken-only man.On Wednesday, Howell turned that culinary scorching take into a brand new advertising deal, partnering with North Carolina-based Bojangles on a brand new social media marketing campaign in what is likely one of the most high-profile endorsements for the reason that NCAA opened the door for all athletes to earn income from their title, picture and likeness (NIL) on July 1.”I truthfully figured sooner or later down the highway one thing like this could be in play, however I by no means thought it might occur this early,” Howell, who grew up in Union County, North Carolina, simply minutes from Bojangles’ headquarters in Charlotte, instructed ESPN. “But it surely’s a singular alternative, and it has been a cool expertise.”Howell and Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei are the primary faculty athletes to associate with Bojangles, which already works with a number of colleges within the SEC and ACC. Each gamers will make the most of their social media feeds to advertise the model, together with doing varied in-person appearances within the coming months.1 RelatedWhen the brand new NIL guidelines opened the door to endorsements, Bojangles chief advertising officer Jackie Woodward mentioned the corporate had plenty of faculty athletes attain out instantly through social media hoping to associate with the model. Howell and Uiagalelei supplied two high-profile choices that completely match Bojangles’ goal market, she mentioned.”Greater than something, we felt like Bojangles followers are faculty sports activities followers,” Woodward instructed ESPN. “That is an extension of what issues to our clients and followers.”Bojangles is likely one of the extra recognizable manufacturers to associate with faculty athletes for the reason that new NIL guidelines took impact. Different big-name offers embody Increase Cellular, which is working with Fresno State basketball gamers Hanna and Haley Cavinder, and PetSmart, which partnered with Arkansas receiver Trey Knox. In the meantime, Alabama coach Nick Saban mentioned Tuesday that quarterback Bryce Younger was already approaching $1 million in NIL income after lower than a month within the market.Howell mentioned he was initially reluctant to leap into the NIL market, eager to prioritize alternatives that may give again to the neighborhood and likewise profit his teammates. After hiring advertising agency ESM to deal with his NIL offers, Howell mentioned Bojangles served as an ideal match.”The primary factor for me was I by no means need there to be a battle the place I’ve to neglect my soccer duties,” he mentioned.Howell can be working with a Chapel Hill-area nonprofit group referred to as Desk, which helps present meals to youngsters in want. His first undertaking with Bojangles is aimed toward supporting Desk’s work. Woodward mentioned Bojangles has plans to increase its partnerships with faculty athletes within the coming months, viewing the NIL market as a really perfect pivot level between the restaurant’s Southeastern model and the faculty sports activities viewers.Within the interim, Howell’s penchant for rooster — his go-to Bojangles meal is a Rooster Supreme combo with fries and a candy tea, he mentioned — hit the perfect tone for the chain’s first foray into NIL.”That’s positively part of Sam’s story and part of the story we will begin writing collectively,” Woodward mentioned. “He isn’t solely a well known rooster lover, however he grew up in Bojangles’ yard.”

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