The Kansas Jayhawks stunned the college football world with an upset win over the Texas Longhorns (who have had a really rough last few weeks) on Saturday, creating panic in Austin and rare, football-related jubilation in Lawrence. There were many heroes in the shocking victory, but walk-on fullback Jared Casey was chief among them, catching the game-winning two-point conversion. Given that Casey had never played a single offensive snap at the college level until the matchup against Texas, he was a wildly unlikely source for the biggest play of the day, but Casey has wisely turned the newfound attention into monetary value.
Shortly after the win, it was widely reported that Casey agreed to a couple of NIL deals, including Applebee’s and a local automotive dealership. With haste, Applebee’s put together a commercial with Casey at the center of the frame.
— Jesse Newell (@jessenewell) November 18, 2021
The commercial features a raw video of Casey’s parents reacting to his big catch and he is also featured saying he’d be going to Applebee’s following the win. That particular answer was reminiscent of the famous post-Super Bowl commercials for Walt Disney World (the Lopez Brothers’ favorite place on earth), and Casey also managed to slip in the “go for two” with perfect synergy between his two-point conversion and a menu item at Applebee’s.
Overall, this is strong viral marketing and the video undoubtedly created even more attention for Applebee’s. Casey may not replicate his on-field moment, but this is one of the beauties of the newfound system that allows college athletes to benefit in a way they simply couldn’t in previous years.