IU, Purdue sign strange chicken sponsorship deals

May 23, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

IU and Purdue sports fans next season will get bombarded with marketing messages from Zaxby’s, a chain of fast-food chicken restaurants founded in Georgia in 1990.

In April, Zaxby’s signed (separate) major sponsorship deals with Indiana and Purdue athletic departments. The deals are a bit strange given that there are no Zaxby’s restaurants anywhere near West Lafayette or Bloomington—home of Purdue and IU. There are none in Indianapolis either, where the schools have large alumni and fan bases. There are only two Zaxyby’s in all of Indiana; one in Jeffersonville and another in New Albany, according to the company's web site.

Since there are so few Zaxby’s here, sports marketers said the deals with IU and Purdue are likely a push not only to attract more diners, but also to recruit more franchisees to speed expansion across Indiana.
 
When contacted this week, IU and Purdue officials were at a loss as to why Zaxby’s would want to partner with their schools. And Zaxby’s officials did not return calls for comment. Zaxby’s officials said in a statement, however, that they are committed to having deals with two schools in each state where they have a presence.

Retail and restaurant insiders said Zaxby's is bent on taking on Chick-fil-A, which already has a footing in college athletics, and in the Midwest.

Whatever its reason, Zaxby’s is coming to IU and Purdue this fall—and they’re coming in a big way. Zaxby’s will be one of the most prominent sponsors during the Hoosiers and Boilermakers football and basketball games.

 “If you asked our fans if they are familiar with Zaxby’s, the answer would probably be ‘no.’ But after this campaign begins they will be,” said Dean Fredette, Purdue Sports Properties general manager. “They’ll have a major presence across our basketball and football platforms. Between Purdue and IU, I think people of Indiana will become very familiar with Zaxby’s.”

The Zaxby’s campaigns at IU and Purdue will be very similar, school officials said, and will include such in-venue videoboard features as Zaxby’s Sack Cam for football games and Zaxby’s Dunk Cam for basketball. The deals also include exposure on IU and Purdue’s statewide radio networks, and advertising on the schools’ athletic department web sites. Other in-stadium and arena advertising may also be part of the deal.

The IU and Purdue deals with Zaxby’s were brokered by North Carolina-based IMG College as a way to get Zaxby’s on numerous college campuses and in front of myriad college sports fans.

This spring Zaxby’s has signed sponsorship deals with 25 NCAA Div. I schools.

Most of the schools Zaxby’s has signed with are in the southeast. IU and Purdue are the only two Big Ten schools that are part of the Zaxby’s campaign.

Other Zaxby’s partners include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in the SEC; Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech in the ACC; Baylor in the Big 12; and a handful of schools in the Sunbelt Conference and Conference USA.

Zaxby’s has developed a special collective logo featuring the 25 partnering colleges designed to identify itself as “The Official Chicken of College Sports.”

Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder Zach McLeroy, in a press announcement, called the deals a “monumental partnership” and said they “keep us true to our roots” as a company started in a college town.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Chicken
    Dare I say the chicken before the egg?
  • Zaxbys - yes please
    Zaxbys is rather good for fast food chicken. Definitely a step up over your typical KFC. I'd welcome them here. We usually hit them up at least once when doing a road trip to the southeast US.
    • Racing
      Zaxby's is also big in NASCAR and was in the now defunct ASA. They are trying to push into more areas. Why not?
    • Strange bird indeed
      It is strange that Zaxby's wouldn't offer some kind of explanation of why they are marketing through IU and Purdue. The whole thing seems strange. I have eaten there in Tennessee, and it's solid as fast food goes. I wish I knew there plans in Indiana. Hello, Zaxby's PR folks, come out of hiding.
      • No Thanks
        Big (figuratively) ChickFilA fan and I get that both schools are just following the money, but Zaxby's is pretty low on the fast food chain, especially nutrition (although hopefully most people don't eat the "Texas Toast"). Thumbs up for high empty calories, saturated fat and a ton of sodium! Let's keep Indiana in the Top 10 "Fat List" for America!
      • Concessions
        It would have been nice if they could have arranged for at least some of Zaxby's menu to be sold at the concession stands as part of the marketing campaign.
      • Good Deal
        I can't wait. I love Zaxby's!

      Post a comment to this blog

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT
      1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

      2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

      3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

      4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

      5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

      ADVERTISEMENT