At a time when most players are celebrating their alma maters, Alex Boone of the Minnesota Vikings showed his entrepreneurial spirit on Thursday by taking advantage of a free chance to promote a business venture to millions.
The brief moment of genius came during the standard TV introductions for this week’s “Thursday Night Football” game. When it was Boone’s turn, rather than mention that he was from (The) Ohio State University, he instead said, “Offensive Line Performance.”
That is not a university.
It turns out that Offensive Line Performance is a training facility for offensive linemen founded by former Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley. It also appears that Boone is involved with the business. It is not clear whether he is an investor, but he does have at least one video from the company that can be purchased in which he teaches pass-blocking techniques. Boone is in his first season with the Vikings after spending six seasons with the 49ers.
- LB O-Line Performance
There is some social-media evidence that Boone did the same thing during the Vikings’ “Sunday Night Football” game on NBC back in Week 2.
In the past we have heard players eschew their colleges and name their high schools instead. But this is the first time we can recall a player appearing to promote a business venture.
While this seems to be an ingenious move on the part of Boone, it might open a can of worms for the NFL. NBC charges $560,000 for a 30-second commercial on Thursday nights, and Boone just got a big free promo. It will be interesting to see whether the NFL will try to stop players from taking advantage of the free publicity, which could mean intervening in what happens during the network broadcast.
How long until we hear somebody say, “Joe Football, Under Armour”?
[UPDATE] A reader points us to this video that shows Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots plugging “The Imagination Agency,” one of his business interests during a recent “Sunday Night Football” game.
The NFL did not immediately respond to Business Insider for a request to comment.