Derrick Henry had the TV highlight of the NFL season so far in Week 5, stiff-arming would-be tackler Josh Norman, then hurling him to the ground. Blue-chip corporate sponsors are starting to notice the bruising running back’s growing stardom.
That will include starring as Procter & Gamble’s new “Old Spice Guy.”
The Pro Bowl running back will star in a new TV commercial for Old Spice’s Sweat Defense antiperspirant and deodorant.
The animated TV spot will show Henry in a video game, playing the Los Angeles Rams at the new SoFi Stadium. Similar to his real-life rag-dolling of Norman, the virtual Henry barrels through the Rams defense, dragging defenders along with him. He simply keeps going, running through the end zone, out of the stadium — then through the streets, playgrounds, and airports of Los Angeles.
In keeping with the video game feel of the spot, a red bar showing Henry’s “sweat blocking power” is seen at the top of the screen. The tagline: “Smell Ready for Anything.”
The 30-second spot created by Wieden+Kennedy is slated to debut on Old Spice’s YouTube page Oct. 27. Its expected to premiere on TV during Fox Sports’ “Thursday Night Football” telecast of Titans-Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 12.
Despite playing only five games, the 26-year old Henry leads the NFL in rushing this season with 588 yards.
The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner out of the University of Alabama previously led the NFL in rushing during the 2019 season with 1,540 yards. He tied with Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers with 16 rushing touchdowns.
After his breakout 2019 season, Henry signed a four-year, $50 million contract extension with the Titans that included $25.5 million in guaranteed money. During his five-year NFL career, he’s earned $20.4 million in salary, according to Spotrac.
After signing with Nike out of college, Henry has endorsed Pepsi, Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts and Champs Sports. As an official NFL sponsor, Old Spice likes to cast NFL players in its ad campaigns. Previous stars featured in commercials include Von Miller, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, and Wes Welker.
P&G signed a new five-year deal to renew its NFL sponsorship in 2018. Old Spice sales grew 24.6% in 2019, the largest increase in the category, according to Statista. Meanwhile, sales for the rival Degree Men and Secret Outlast brands both fell 7.6%.