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UNC Football: Matchmaker

We don’t dance no more; we make money moves.

North Carolina Spring Game Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends outside of the binary; I welcome you, one and all, to today’s episode of “Money Moves,” the show that matches college athletes with their dream sponsorship opportunities! This week, we’ll meet a few athletes from each position group on the Tar Heel football team, and do our best to come up with the ideal fit for these players to go get their money. With the new rules around players’ name, image, and likeness rights, our beloved Tar Heels have an opportunity to capitalize on their status as recognizable athletes, so I’ve brainstormed ways in which they ought to capitalize.

First up, we have Jacolby Criswell; a talented quarterback currently competing for the backup spot behind Sam Howell, the Supreme Slinger himself. Since Howell is already locked up in a deal to promote chicken ‘n biscuits, the back-up quarterback is a reasonable next place to look. The knee-jerk reaction of the layperson may be to suggest Crisco, the ubiquitous shortening, due to the shared vowel sound of the brand and the quarterback’s last name; this is folly. Only some kind of simpleton would go for the low-hanging fruit of picking a sponsorship deal for an athlete simply based on name similarity. With that being said, my pick for Criswell; Sargento, the cheese company. Just imagine walking into Harris Teeter for a package of Criswell Jacolby Jack—that’s good stuff.

Next, we have senior running back British Brooks; the upperclassman and presumed leader of a running back room looking to fill the considerable gap left by two departing stars. For Brooks, a choice between clothing behemoths; Brooks Brothers, the oldest clothing retailer in the United States, or Burberry, the first brand this Yankee thinks of when thinking of British fashion. Now, whether Burberry would be interested in partnering with an American football player is unimportant; I think we can all agree that a partnership with either company would be mutually beneficial.

Last, and certainly not least, we have Jeremiah Gemmel; the returning linebacker, team captain, and certified Bad Man who is expected to anchor the Tar Heel defense next season. Gemmel brings back with him with the second-most tackles from last season, a tidy 78 stops. The senior linebacker, as the counterpart to Sam Howell on the defense, deserves a sponsorship that matches that status. To that end, I suggest a partnership with Cook Out, the late-night choice of college students throughout the South. Howell is well-documented as avoiding meats other than chicken; a big double burger from Cook Out (and, truthfully, most of the rest of the Cook Out menu) is diametrically opposed to that whole vibe. I’m imagining an ad campaign in which Gemmel sips a Huge Tea after making a huge stop on a third down... It just makes sense.

Thanks for tuning in, and I’m sure you’ll agree that we’ve picked the best fits for each of the above athletes. Please comment below with other natural fits for your favorite Tar Heels, and I’ll do my best to broker a deal between those companies and those athletes (this is it, this is my best).

30 more days until kickoff.