Bryce Drew and the Stars of that Valparaiso Commercial Got Shafted, Just Like All College Athletes Do

If you’ve been watching the NCAA tournament as much as I have, you’ve no doubt seen the annoying Axe deodorant commercial featuring Bryce Drew and Valparaiso 237 times. I never watch commercials – the mute button is a good friend – but a few times, I’ve been deceived at the outset (it is one of the greatest shots in NCAA tournament history) and end up watching it. You can view it at the bottom of this post.

Sean Gregory of Time Magazine wrote an interesting piece on a breakdown of who got paid what for the commercial. Any guesses as to what the stars of the commercial – the college kids who are now in their 30s – got paid?

$500. Not each time the commercial runs – just $500. Total.

Unilever, based in London and Rotterdam, generated €51 billion in 2012 revenues. In today’s U.S. dollars, that’s $66 billion. Through a marketing firm, the players were asked for permission to use their likeness, and the players signed off on the deal. The NCAA, through a spokesperson, would not disclose the licensing fee it received from Unilever for the rights to its NCAA Tournament content. In response to questions about the specifics of the compensation, and whether or not it was too low, Unilever said, through a spokesperson: “We really enjoyed creating a spot for the new AXE Apollo campaign that focused on this iconic moment during the NCAA men’s tournament. In regards to compensation, unfortunately we do not disclose financial information on the AXE brand. Thanks for your inquiry.”

Oh. Wonder what the licensing fee figure was? Five figures? Six figures? Seven?

CBS announcer Kevin Harlan? He got paid, too. Wouldn’t say how much, of course.

Ahhhh, college athletics.

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