Virginia Tech’s offensive line is now getting paid in BBQ
Welcome to the NIL era, college football fans. Since early July, when the Supreme Court ruled that collegiate athletes could now make money off their names, images, and likenesses, the deals and steals have come rolling in like the (crimson) tide. Kombucha sponsorships and sweet tea endorsements. Pizza joint partnerships, Kool-Aid collabs, and cringe-wrothy commercials for Irish pub/Mexican cantina hybrids. We thought we’d seen it all, and then we saw this:
A BBQ joint sponsoring the Hokies entire offensive line? That’s a match made in heaven. But it wasn’t until we read the details of the deal in a recent piece by The Roanoke Times that we realized just how genius it really is. Instead of paying the Hokies hog mollies in cash, Mission BBQ is paying them in, well, hog.
In exchange for social media promotion, Mission BBQ has been providing the entire Hokies O-line with weekly dinners.
“They eat about two and a half times what a normal person would eat,” Mission BBQ area director of operations David Clark told The Roanoke Times. “We’ve done a lot of catering for Tech in the past and we kind of figured that out based on experience.”
Thus, every Tuesday when the Hokies earth movers enjoy their weekly feeding, the cooks at Mission BBQ’s Christianburg, VA location prep 45 extra pounds of meat and eight to 10 extra quarts of the restaurant's side dishes. That just about fills the troughs for the roughly 21 lineman that the restaurant accommodates each week.
That’s just the tip of the brisket-berg, however. Mission BBQ, which has 108 locations spread across 17 states, has also signed the Wisconsin and Notre Dame lines to similar deals. So yeah, welcome to the NIL era, college football fans. Your money is no good here, but the pulled pork sure is.