CHARLOTTE, NC — Bojangles is slightly tweaking two of its sports marketing mainstays: college football and NASCAR.
Over the past few months, the Charlotte-based fast food company has signed on 70 college athletes — many of them male soccer and basketball players — to promote its easy-to-use chicken and cookie menu.
Endorsers include Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and UNC Chapel Hill quarterback Sam Howell. They are among the most prominent college players in major markets in Bojangles, Carolina, home to 469 of the restaurant chain’s 772 stores. Known as name, image and likeness deals, they are college sports’ version of what has long since become commonplace in professional sports: familiar players pitching products. The difference is that college players were prohibited from profiting from their names and likenesses until state laws changed and the NCAA relented, beginning July 1.
On the NASCAR side, Bojangles last year hired retired driver and current NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the voice of its ad campaigns as part of Bojangles’ update to its logo, restaurants and its general presentation.
Dale Jr. and Bojangles had worked together before, including an appearance in a television commercial while he was still an active driver. The Bojangles ad was tied to his Pepsi endorsement. In September, the company added Dale Jr.’s weekly podcast to the mix.
Jackie Woodward, head of brand and marketing at Bojangles, said the sport has been and will continue to be central to the company’s marketing efforts. The most recent additions represent adjustments rather than a change in direction.
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(Watch below: Bojangles is closing restaurants for 2 days to give employees a ‘well-deserved break’)
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