HUNT VALLEY, Md., November 4, 2022 – In its inaugural NIL deal, French’s today welcomes Tennessee Volunteers starting QB Hendon Hooker as a brand ambassador, making him the first-ever college athlete to be sponsored by a mustard brand. This partnership celebrates French’s, while nodding to the playful relationship between America’s favorite mustard brand and Tennessee Volunteers fans.
In his final collegiate season, Hooker is a rising football star whose head-turning plays have made him a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. To celebrate his performance, French’s commissioned a pair of mustard-inspired sneakers. The one-of-a-kind shoes feature the vibrant yellow, blue and red of French’s Classic Yellow® Mustard bottles, as well as a mustard drip design that’ll keep Hooker in style on and off the field.
“Hendon has captivated college football with his athleticism and enthusiasm, and he’s the perfect fit for French’s first sports partnership and the first mustard NIL sponsorship ever. As a UT alum, I couldn’t be prouder,” said Andrew Foust, President, Americas, for McCormick. “We’re thrilled to work with an athlete who taps into our brand’s special relationship with the fans who make us a part of gameday traditions. We’ll be cheering Hendon on and can’t wait to see him wear our custom French’s sneakers.”
The idea for a collaboration ‘kicked off’ after a wild game in 2021 when a bottle of French’s Classic Yellow Mustard took the field for the first time after an unpopular call. The moment solidified the condiment in the hearts and minds of Tennessee fans. French’s continues to be a part of the gameday lore in Knoxville, with fans asking players and coaches to leave autographs on mustard bottles, creating French’s-shaped signs to show support, and even dressing in French’s costumes to attend games.
“I’ve been a huge fan of French’s my whole life, so it’s a dream to work with such an iconic brand," said Hooker. “I love that French’s has become part of our games, and this will be a fun opportunity to keep building that relationship with the community – not to mention raising my sneaker game.”
Through the partnership, Hendon will share his love for French’s with fans through content on his social media accounts. To celebrate the collaboration, French’s fans can look for fun giveaways on Twitter in the coming days. Join in the fun by following both French’s and Hendon on Twitter.
Media Note: Download high-resolution images here. Photos may be credited to French’s.
French's was first introduced to the hot dog – and the public – at the World's Fair in 1904. It was love at first bite. Through the years, French's has become an all-American staple from the ballpark to the backyard to the holiday table. French's family of products includes Classic Yellow Mustard, Tomato Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, Crispy Fried Onions and more. Visit Frenchs.com for more information and recipes.
French's is one of McCormick & Company's (MKC) brands. With over $6 billion in annual sales across 170 countries and territories, McCormick is a global leader in flavor. Founded in 1889 and headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland USA, McCormick is guided by our principles and committed to our Purpose – To Stand Together for the Future of Flavor. McCormick envisions A World United by Flavor where healthy, sustainable, and delicious go hand in hand. To learn more, visit www.mccormickcorporation.com or follow McCormick & Company on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.