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Pringles enters NIL with March mustache collection

Nakos updated headshotby:Pete Nakos03/15/23


Pringles has become the latest brand to enter NIL ahead of March Madness.

The stackable potato chips company has signed three college basketball players known for their mustaches. Dubbed the “Pringles March Mustache Collection,” Gonzaga‘s Drew Timme, Virginia‘s Ben Vander Plas and Duke‘s Dariq Whitehead have signed NIL agreements.

As part of their deals, Pringles has created a limited-edition can collection featuring the three athletes, along with the company’s mascot Mr. P. The cans feature a variety of mustaches, from the horseshoe to the pencil and the caterpillar. Each athlete has been assigned a flavor and will promote the brand throughout the NCAA tournament.

Owned by the Kellogg company, this is Pringles’ first campaign using the publicity rights of athletes. Each deal was executed on Opendorse. The unique branding cans are not for sale.

“At Pringles, we’re always looking to innovate and deliver new experiences for our dedicated snacking fans,” Pringles U.S. marketing lead Mauricio Jenkins told On3. “We know how much our fans love tournament season, which extends beyond basketball with mustaches having a moment on college courts.

“To celebrate this wild facial hair cultural phenomenon and connect with our basketball-loving Pringles fans, we’re inking our first-ever national NIL deal and partnering with three college basketball athletes with iconic ‘staches just like Mr. P’s to create the Pringles March Mustache Collection.”

The athletes will also be promoting the company’s competition surrounding the Pringles March Mustache Collection. Starting March 15 and running though April 4, fans can enter for a chance to win the chip collection by showing off their mustaches – real or not – on Instagram using the hashtag #PringlesMarchMustacheEntry.

Pringles aligning with notable brands

While the chip company may have found three of the top mustaches in the college game, it also made sure to partner with athletes at three notable institutions. Duke, Gonzaga and Virginia have large fanbases and are capable of going on deep runs in the Big Dance.

Timme is averaging 20.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 62.4 percent from the field entering the NCAA tournament. He decided last June to return to college basketball for another year and it has paid off. The Bulldogs are one of the four No. 3 seeds in the tourney.

“My mustache has always been part of my identity and it’s amazing to see the facial fuzz trend catch the attention of one of the most beloved ‘stache’d sporting brands, Pringles,” Timme said in a statement. “I’m pumped to be featured on these new cans with some of my favorite ‘stache’d opponents – game on fellas.”

Virginia enters March Madness as a No. 4 seed in the South Region but without Vander Plas. He broke his right hand before the ACC tournament game against North Carolina and has been ruled out for the season. Vander Plas, a graduate transfer from Ohio, averaged 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds this season, starting 14 games. His mustache grew a following on campus, with the NIL collective Cavalier Futures releasing a special edition T-shirt.

Whitehead, a true freshman, averages 8.1 points and 2.4 rebounds. He returned in the ACC tournament after missing four games, playing 15 minutes in the conference title game.

“As part of the Pringles partnership, each Pringles’ starting lineup player is featured on a can within the Pringles March Mustache Collection and created social content about the collection, sharing the news with their followers,” Jenkins said. “While the collection is not available for purchase, keep an eye on Drew, Ben and Dariq’s Instagram channels this week for ‘stache-tastic content showcasing the limited-edition cans.”