If there’s one thing better than college football in the South, it’s Bojangles and college football together. So, it's only right that the home of Southern chicken and biscuits is welcoming two of the nation’s most exciting players – quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei of Clemson and Sam Howell of UNC-Chapel Hill – to Team Bojangles. Official today, the two budding superstars have agreed to Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals with the brand, becoming the first college athletes to say, “It’s Bo Time!”
“College football is a huge passion point for Bojangles and our fans, so we are excited to be able to work with the athletes that make this sport so great,” said Jackie Woodward, chief brand and marketing officer for Bojangles. “These local stars have enjoyed our delicious food to fuel their athletic careers, and we’re thrilled to officially be part of their journey.”
The brand is one of the first major quick-service restaurants to sign endorsement deals with college athletes, and Bojangles doesn’t plan to quit any time soon. Woodward says the company is looking to add more men and women college athletes to “Team Bojangles” across its growing footprint in a variety of sports.
Bojangles and sports partnerships go together like Cajun Filets and made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits. The chain already has well-established deals with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference and several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). In addition, Bojangles has relationships with Dale Earnhardt Jr., PGA golfer Chesson Hadley, Bassmaster fisherman Guy Eaker and outdoorsman Brad Staley. Each football season Bojangles also offers enormously popular Big Bo Boxes – family-sized meals perfect for tailgating – in partnership with more than a dozen universities across its territory.
“Sam is a known chicken connoisseur and a powerhouse athlete whose love for the game and serving the community line up well with who we are as a brand, and we’re thrilled to have him on Team Bojangles,” adds Woodward. “And DJ is a rising star at one of college football’s most competitive and highly visible programs, so we’re excited to have him on our roster at the same time.”
Both athletes will get to work right away, making appearances on behalf of Bojangles and sharing content on their personal social media accounts. Howell’s recently announced partnership with TABLE, a non-profit that provides hunger relief to children, will be among the first opportunities for Bojangles to support his passion for the community. But fans of the QBs needn’t worry – their brand ambassador duties won’t distract from their efforts to excel on the gridiron or in the classroom.
“Being able to combine my love for chicken with my personal commitment to support great causes in my community like TABLE is a perfect partnership,” says the Tar Heels’ Howell, who will be a third-year starter after breaking UNC’s single-season record with 35 touchdown passes in his freshman campaign. “On gameday, I wear Carolina Blue, but off the field, I’m looking forward to repping a little Bojangles red and yellow.”
“Coming from California, I’ve learned that this area is serious about three things – faith, college football and their Bojangles,” says Uiagalelei, a sophomore expected to claim the starting quarterback role with the highly ranked Tigers. “I’m excited to be working with a brand that has become my go-to since coming down here.”
The NCAA moved to allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, effective July 1, 2021. The NIL landscape is new and will likely continue to evolve, but with Sam and DJ at the helm, Team Bojangles is destined for greatness. Stay tuned for who suits up for Bojangles next.