Georgia-based chicken chain taps NCAA collegiate athlete as brand spokesperson
Athens, GA (RestaurantNews.com) Zaxby’s, the premium QSR known for its new Signature Sandwich, chicken fingers, wings and flavorful sauces, has inked a deal with University of Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels for the upcoming college football season. Daniels is the first NCAA collegiate athlete to partner with Zaxby’s and will serve as a brand ambassador for the 2021-2022 season.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Heisman hopeful quarterback J.T. Daniels from the University of Georgia for the upcoming season,” said Zaxby’s CMO Joel Bulger. “His leadership qualities on and off the field are remarkable and something that aligns well with our brand. We welcome J.T. to Team Zaxby’s, a brand that has strong ties with UGA and deep roots here in Athens.”
Daniels has agreed to a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal with Zaxby’s, something that the NCAA moved to allow for college athletes effective July 1. Zaxby’s is one of the first premium quick-service restaurants to sign a college student-athlete under the new NCAA sponsorship parameters. The partnership includes appearances of Daniels on behalf of Zaxby’s at corporate and philanthropic events as well as in advertisements. Daniels will also share Zaxby’s-branded content from his personal social media accounts.
Zaxby’s already has well-established partnerships with Misfits Gaming Group’s Florida Mayhem and with the Florida Mutineers in the e-sport and gaming industry. With this new partnership, the brand is expanding its endorsement deals into college football and will be more deeply embedded in the college sports community.
Daniels has had an impressive career thus far, most recently leading UGA to a 2020 Peach Bowl victory. Now in his junior year, Daniels hopes to bring a national championship back to Athens. In tandem with his partnership with Extra Special People, an organization supporting children with disabilities in Georgia, Daniels said he hopes to not only spread the word on the best chicken and chicken sandwich around, but also spread the goodwill across the community.
“Zaxby’s has been my choice of food since coming down here to Georgia. I mean, there really is no comparison. I get asked all the time what my favorite food is. It is Zaxby’s. Hands down,” says Daniels, a native of Irvine, Calif. “To me, Zaxby’s provides something I already enjoy, plus I can share it with my teammates and bring meals to ESP, an organization we both have already supported. This is the type of brand partner I am excited to have.”
Founded in 1990, Zaxby’s is still led by founder Zach McLeroy. The brand is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby’s iconic Signature Sandwich won Thrillist’s 2021 Fasties Award for Best Fried Chicken Sandwich. Zaxby’s has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit zaxbys.com or zaxbysfranchising.com.
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