‘Bigger Is Better’ | Hooters Signs NIL Deals With Offensive Line Units From Auburn, LSU and the U

Hooters restaurant chain has decided to jump into the NIL business. But rather than sign individual college athletes, the brand has opted to align with an entire position group. Hooters and college football offensive lines will be giving a new meaning to the phrase “bigger is better.”

NIL deals have been signed with the offensive linemen from Auburn, LSU, Miami, Texas A&M,  Missouri, Oklahoma, Miami and Georgia Tech. Other names include Vanderbilt, South Florida and Florida Atlantic as additional participating offensive lines, for a total of 51 offensive linemen.

“For decades, the physical play, blue-collar mentality and on-field leadership of the offensive lineman has shined, but national praise and attention for these crucial players has all-too-often been sidelined,” said Hooters Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Skala. “We want to change the narrative and celebrate these elite student-athletes who play a pivotal role in making college football so thrilling and give them their fair share of the spotlight.”

The offensive linemen will appear at Hooters locations and promote the restaurant chain through social media posts. The monetary compensation wasn’t made available but in addition to that the lineman should be able to get free wings as part of the deal, right?

Although, these are 300-plus pound men. They can probably eat a lot. Maybe the deal has a limit? No more than 1,000 wings per player per year or something?

Affiliating with college football players as a group like offensive linemen will make marketing campaigns easy for the restaurant chain. They will sell Hooters as the place to be on game day.

Then, of course, there will be the visuals with the Hooters girls…football, wings, beer and sex. That is a potent marketing combination and it has proven successful over the decades.

Georgia tech offensive lineman Pierce Quick is a part of the deal with his teammate Paul Tchio.

“It is an honor to have Hooters promote the big guys up front and advocate for the work, dedication and spirit of offensive linemen throughout college football,” Quick said. “Like an offensive line, Hooters is all about comradery and having a good time, and I think I speak for all linemen by saying we are extremely excited to partner with a restaurant we already love and throw down some wings.”

NIL deals are just the first step in college athletes being paid for their labor. College football is an extremely lucrative business and is critical to funding not only athletic departments, but the business of higher education itself.

Multiple entities and systems thrive economically off the labor of college football players, of whom we know the majority will never play professionally; it stands to reason that they should receive compensation like any other paid labor.

As broadcast deals continue to skyrocket, that’s the next piece of the pie from which college athletes should receive a cut. No players, no games. No games and there is nothing the conferences can sell to broadcast networks.

The Big Ten announced a new seven-year media rights deal with CBS, FOX and NBC at approximately $1.2 billion per year. That’s is a lot of money, and some of that can be distributed to the players that are generating it.