Never has a special edition of charcoal packaging generated so much intrigue, but Kingsford Charcoal has managed to do just that. The company released a design that features the image of former UCLA basketball player, and a major figure in the fight for student-athlete likeness-related compensation, Ed O’Bannon.
The use of O’Bannon’s image is noteworthy but thats not what is grabbing all the attention. The #PayED hashtag along with the line “Lights 25 % faster, doesn’t burn athletes” is creating serious buzz. Kingsford released a statement along with the design, briefly explaining their reasoning and intent behind the simple, yet heavy, message:
Kingsford Charcoal has become one of the many companies to use the likeness of a famous amateur basketball player for marketing purposes during that mad, mad month of March. Kingsford is just adding a surprising twist: the charcoal brand is actually going to pay that player— Ed O’Bannon— for placing him on the front of a limited bag of charcoal.”
You can add this to the ever-growing list of public statements, appeals, lawsuits and other comments bashing the NCAA for their attention and commitment to the treatment of student-athletes. Regardless of one’s opinion on student-athlete compensation, bravo to Kingsford for the creative design.