The 5 NIL opportunities that could've come from the Florida-LSU instant classic in 2020
In the new age of college sports, viral plays are going to carry a different type of monetary value.
No longer will it just be t-shirts vaguely using a player’s likeness that reward the player with … not a dime. We’ll see some companies and brands try to capitalize on those moments that make national headlines.
Needless to say, a whole lot of opportunities would’ve been available for Marco Wilson’s infamous shoe throw in Florida’s game against LSU last year.
In case you somehow need a recap of that play, here ya go:
What type of NIL deals would’ve been made as a result of this game, which was eventually won by LSU thanks to Cade York’s 57-yard kick?
I’m glad you asked:
1. Derek Stingley heaves an Adidas shoe and smiles with a Nike shoe
Ten seconds. No words. Just a white background, an All-American turning left and chucking a shoe with a quick cut to him holding the Nike shoe instead. Stingley doesn’t smile until he’s holding the Nike shoe.
Nike doesn’t need to address the fact that both Florida and LSU are Nike schools, and any sort of ad trolling the Gators would likely get some blowback in Gainesville. The upside would be too great. And besides, nothing Florida-specific has to even be shown in the ad.
Poor Adidas, who didn’t even have a dog in the fight, would get dragged. That’s a tough jab to bounce back from. You’d have a national star going incredibly viral for a moment that you had nothing to do with. Again, it was a Nike shoe that was thrown.
If I’m Adidas, I respond with some variation “Adidas, the shoe you won’t want to throw away.”
And just like that, shoe wars get taken to the next level.
2. Cade York kicks a long field goal in Death Valley, turns to the camera and says …
“I don’t throw Nikes. I kick with them.”
Cheesy? Yeah. Limited to just the kicker market a bit too much? Probably.
Louisiana sports betting is officially live in much of the state. Whether it is betting on SEC football or LSU football games or the Heisman race each year, if you live in Louisiana, you can now do it from your mobile phone.
So let’s revise. This is the extended version.
York kicks the long field goal in Death Valley, turns to the camera and says …
“I don’t throw Nikes. I kick with them … and run out of the tunnel with them (staged shot of York running out of the Death Valley tunnel) and tackle with them (staged shot of York making the rare kicker tackle) … and score with them (staged shot of York doing Deion Sanders’ waltz into the end zone) … just don’t throw them.”
I’m sort of thinking similar vibes to the famous Bo Jackson Nike campaign with York. After all, he would’ve been the man of the hour. And regardless of how you feel about Florida, who wouldn’t want to see a kicker make a tackle or high-step into the end zone? Nike would win that week.
3. So you’ve got Ed Orgeron sitting on one of those way-too-small chairs in an elementary classroom full of kids and he says …
“Now kids, what do we need to always remember?”
A little boy decked out in LSU gear raises his hand, eager as ever. He says “don’t punt in plus territory!” Orgeron chuckles to himself. “You’re not wrong, but what else do we need to remember?”
A little girl says, “oh, I know! Only hit what you can see!” Orgeron is blown away. He says, “you’re exactly right, but what’s even more important than that, kids?”
Then the camera pans to LSU tight end Kole Taylor (the owner of the famous shoe), sitting amongst the kids, hand raised in his No. 87 jersey. He blurts out “don’t throw a shoe when you’ve got a Playoff berth on the line!” The camera is fully zoomed in on Orgeron’s face, who deadpans for a second. Then he winks at the camera.
Orgeron says, “those are all great answers, but whether you’re playing football or not, we always need to remember to exercise, eat right and live a healthy lifestyle.”
Camera blurs. The logo for the Louisiana Department of Health comes up. It’s a PSA.
No, I don’t think Louisiana residents would mind if their tax dollars went to a commercial like that. Yes, I think the Louisiana government would sign off on the opportunity to create a marketing opportunity like that.
Remember, it’s all about the kids and totally not about trolling Florida.
4. Snickers gives Marco Wilson a 6-figure deal to make some magic
(Let me preface this by saying this would obviously be contingent on Wilson being able to have a little fun. This ad doesn’t get made right after the moment. Waaaaaaay too soon. Give it a month or two. And while I realize that Wilson probably doesn’t want to relive that play, it’s still an opportunity for a national ad deal worth 6 figures. Those don’t come around every day.)
It’s a generic football practice scene. One team is in blue and orange, the other is in white jerseys. Wilson, in a blue and orange jersey, makes a big hit in the open field and he’s fired up. So fired up, that he takes off his helmet and starts talking trash. He then rips off the shoe of the player he just tackled. Wilson has his arm raised, shoe in hand.
A trainer comes running up to Wilson, out of breath:
“Marco! Wait! Eat a Snickers.”
“You get a little angry when you’re hungry.”
Wilson takes a bite of the Snickers, smiles, and then he turns into a hippie wearing a tie-dye shirt and sunglasses. He puts the shoe back onto the player laying on the ground. “I believe this belongs to you,” the hippie version of Wilson says in the most subdued voice possible before walking off the field.
Wilson pokes fun at the situation, everyone has a laugh (even Florida fans), Snickers gets a topical ad and everyone gets on with life.
5. And the most obvious Cameo video ever for any LSU player …
“Who throws a shoe? Honestly?”
Shoutout Austin Powers.
We all made the joke. Getting any LSU player to send a personalized message with those words? Epic.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t have a dog in the LSU-Florida fight.
But I would’ve paid an uncomfortable amount of money for that type of content in my life. I know I’m not alone.