Eight Ohio State players star in new Chipotle ad thanks to NIL

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos09/20/23


Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy on players to watch in Ohio State @ Notre Dame

Ohio State continues to show the value of pairing athletes with sponsors in NIL campaigns.

On Wednesday afternoon, Chipotle and the Buckeyes released their latest advertisement together. An official partner of Ohio State Athletics through Learfield, Chipotle decided to work with eight Ohio State football players to promote the brand.

As more and more schools create NIL campaigns involving sponsors and athletes, Ohio State is leading that path for much of the country. The eight Ohio State football players are starring in a new commercial for Chipotle, all thanks to name, image and likeness.

Linebacker Cody Simon, defensive end Caden Curry, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., running back TreVeyon Henderson, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, running back Miyan Williams, cornerback Jordan Hancock and tight end Joe Royer all signed NIL agreements for the campaign.

The Chipotle promotion comes after Henderson and a handful of offensive linemen starred in an NIL campaign for the fast-casual Mexican chain. The brand obviously saw enough return on investment to launch another promotion with the Buckeyes.

Because Chipotle is an official sponsor of Ohio State athletics, the company was able to shoot the commercial on campus and feature athletes inside facilities and wearing the institution’s marks. Multiple brands continue to tell On3 that being able to use a school’s intellectual property in NIL activations can make all the difference because athletes are more recognizable in their uniform and college environment.

Voiced over by Ohio State great Archie Griffin, the video features the eight players eating Chipotle together inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and wearing their uniforms in the locker room. The ad closes with the message: Real food for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Chipotle has spent marketing dollars in NIL since 2021, signing a range of notable names including UConn basketball star Azzi Fudd.  Earlier this week, Chipotle signed Clemson running back Will Shipley to an NIL deal. As part of the agreement, “Shipotle” will be placed on signage at the Clemson, South Carolina, location starting Sunday night and leading up to the Tigers’ matchup with Florida State this Saturday.

Chipotle works with list of Ohio State NIL stars

The Buckeyes face their toughest challenge of yet of the season this weekend with a trip to Notre Dame. The top-10 matchup headlines the most ranked games in a single weekend since there were six on Nov. 11, 2017.

Chipotle also tabbed some of the biggest NIL stars on the Ohio State roster for the commercial. Henderson invited his entire offensive line room out for a night at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Columbus last summer. The running back paid for the entire meal thanks to his NIL earnings. Each of his teammates received a custom robe with their initials, too. The Ohio State running back holds an On3 NIL Valuation of $433,000, which ranks in the top 100 of college football. He’s previously inked deals with American Eagle, Homage and Ricart Automotive.

The son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison has publicly announced eight endorsement contracts with brands and collectives since March, while also launching a memorabilia collection. Harrison has already been tossed around as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft. His top NIL deals include a partnership with Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet of Columbusjoining the Zoa Energy Drink marketing campaign, a one-off agreement with Dr Teal’s and being featured on a bag of Grippo’s Chips. The receiver has a $1.4 million On3 NIL Valuation. In the last two weeks, the receiver scored three touchdowns and had 12 catches for 286 yards.

Eichenberg is arguably the nation’s top linebacker this season. Through three games he’s totaled 15 solo tackles with a sack and forced fumble. The former four-star recruit has a $360K On3 NIL Valuation, which ranks in the top 150 of college football.

Williams is a fan favorite and has found plenty of success in NIL. The running back has partnerships with MoneyLion and Kane Footwear. He was featured in a commercial for Cincinnati’s Kingdom Family Dentistry last November next to former Michigan tight end Erick All. And after his decision to return to Ohio State, he announced an agreement with the Buckeyes-focused NIL collective The Foundation. He has an On3 NIL Valuation of $130,000.

About the On3 NIL Valuation

The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.

About On3 NIL Valuation, Brand Value, Roster Value

While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career.

The On3 NIL Valuation accounts for an athlete’s roster value and brand value. Roster value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives. Brand value factors in an athlete’s personal brand and the value it could bring to regional and national brands outside of the scope of NIL collectives.