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Casey’s NIL deals ahead of March Madness makes sense for brand, players

By Jeremy Crabtree,

2023-03-14
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Casey’s has joined the list of brands hoping to score big through NIL deals ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

Casey’s, a chain of convenience stores with locations in 16 states throughout the Midwest and the Southeast, announced two weeks ago that it’s partnered with Tennessee’s Tyreke Key, Iowa’s Kris Murray and Indiana’s Sydney Parrish. The company shared more details about the NIL deals with On3 on Tuesday.

Even though it’s primarily a convenience store, Casey’s has developed a cult following for its pizza. Casey says it is actually the fifth-largest pizza chain in the country. And the company is using its partnership with Key, Murray and Parrish to promote the launch of its new “PEPPERONI PEPPERONI PEPPERONI pizza”. All three players are promoting Casey’s on their social media accounts ahead of and during March Madness.

“It’s been great to interact with Casey’s and get some behind-the-scenes action of everything the brand has to offer,” Parrish told On3 in a statement. “I love the variety of different things in the store, anything from an iced coffee to a slice of pizza. The food is delicious, and the people are so fun to be around.”

Casey’s Chief Merchandising Officer Tom Brennan said the deals and launch of the new pizza couldn’t tip off at a better time.

Key agreed.

“Before transferring to the Vols, I went to school at Indiana State, and there were so many Casey’s stores nearby,” Key said. “I used to stop by frequently, and now have found my favorite store here in Knoxville. The partnership made so much sense – plus, who doesn’t love pepperoni pizza? It’s a win-win.”

Murray described the partnership as a winning combination.

“Growing up in Iowa, I have always been a Casey’s fan so being able to team up with them for March is a match made in heaven,” Murray added.

Growing list of brands launching deals ahead of March Madness

Casey’s is the latest big brand to announce significant NIL deals ahead of tip-off for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

Recently, Gonzaga star Drew Timme inked a deal with Beats by Dre, Auburn guard Wendell Green announced an agreement with The Next Round, the Illinois NIL Store launched a Matthew Mayer “Mullet Monster” T-shirt campaign and MarketPryce agreed to a deal with the entire UCLA’s women’s basketball roster.

Additionally, Nabisco released deals with top stars like Baylor’s Keyonte George and TCU’s Mike Miles. Plus, Great Clips signed Mayer and UConn’s Caroline Ducharme to a deal to promote its “Hats Off Sweepstakes” during March Madness.

And then on Monday, Newegg, MSI and Seagate Technology announced the launch of a basketball-themed and NIL-fueled campaign featuring UCLA basketball star Jaylen Clark.

And not to be outdone, Under Armour continued its investment in NIL through new NIL deals with student-athletes from the Maryland, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Utah women’s basketball teams.

Casey’s partners have solid On3 NIL Valuations

Tyreke Key, Kris Murray and Sydney Parrish are all key players hoping to lead their teams on deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.

Murry has the highest On3 NIL Valuation in the group at $379,000. His value is buoyed by more than 18,500 followers on social media and a strong season that saw him earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. He averaged 20.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, two assists and shot 48.4% for the Hawkeyes. No. 8 seed Iowa faces No. 9 seed Auburn on Thursday.

Parrish has developed into one of the top forces on and off the court in women’s basketball. She averaged 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds. She also shot 45% from the field this season to help Indiana earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

She also has a massive presence on social media with more than 332,000 followers. She’s been able to capitalize on her following and success through other NIL deals with Owen County State Bank, Complete Training Foundation, The Indiana NIL Store, CommunityCars.com. She also has a partnership with Hoosiers For Good. Her On3 NIL Valuation is $120,000, which ranks 13th in women’s basketball.

Key, who battled through an ankle injury late in the season, is coming off a 16-point, five-rebound and two-steal performance against Missouri in the SEC Tournament. Before transferring to Tennessee, he was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick at Indiana State. He has an On3 NIL Valuation of $19,500 and has also agreed to deals with The Athletic Collection and Spyre Sports Group. No. 4 seed Tennessee faces No. 13 seed Louisiana on Thursday.

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