For years, there has been ongoing debate about whether college athletes should receive payment in exchange for their athletic ability—and for all of the revenue their sports generate for their universities—in addition to scholarships for post-secondary education. Amid this polarizing conversation, the NCAA waived long-standing rules barring athletes from receiving certain forms of compensation in July 2021. With NCAA athletes now free to trade profitably on their name, image, and likeness (NIL), tie-ins for products and services have cropped up quickly.
Across the nation, a number of players have signed spokesperson deals, such as Hanna and Haley Cavinder of Fresno State with Boost Mobile and Decoldest Crawford of the University of Nebraska with SOS Heating & Cooling. The University of Texas Heisman hopeful Bijan Robinson has taken this trend to the kitchen, cooking up a new NIL partnership with the Austin-based creative lab CALLEN to announce the condiment of the football season, and not just for UT fans: Bijan Mustard(son).
Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, the Longhorns star running back is a top prospect for the 2023 NFL draft due to his electric talent on the offensive side of the ball. After he dislocated his elbow in November 2021, Robinson’s season may have ended early, but he still managed to rush for 1,127 yards and score 11 touchdowns. Expectations for his success this year are high, as he was recently named a first-team selection for the Associated Press preseason All-America team before the 2022 season kickoff—and he’s now looking to score touchdowns with your taste buds.
After being approached by CALLEN, Robinson began the work with the team to create a condiment completely from scratch. The running back was paired with a local Austin consulting chef, Joe Gentempo, to create a rich, smooth, and spicy Dijon mustard made with high-quality ingredients. “Honestly, making mustard is hard,” Robinson tells Houstonia. “It’s been a journey, but here we are.”
Robinson is also looking to cut the mustard in the boardroom: he owns an equal stake in the LLC for Bijan Mustardson, in addition to being the face of the brand. “It’s been awesome using NIL in a fun and creative way; it’s exciting to have a true partnership and be able to have creative input,” Robinson says. “CALLEN didn’t just help me make a mustard—it’s a good product that fans will enjoy.”
The gourmet condiment is available for purchase online, along with merchandise such as shirts, hats, foam fingers, and an oversize Bijan mascot head (mustard stains not included). The delicious Dijon is also available at all Central Market locations in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and, of course, its place of origin, Austin.
With this collaboration, Robinson notes that although it is great to help promote established brands, he’s optimistic his culinary concoction will encourage more players to pursue similar deals in the future.
“I hope this helps brands think about how they’re approaching my peers,” he says, “and opens up more opportunities for the best partnerships possible.”
Carefully crafted to have your taste buds doing their own end-zone celebration, Bijan’s brand is a must(ard) to stock up on for all your tailgate, watch party, and man cave needs. Mix it with some ketchup to produce a perfect burnt orange, invite your Longhorn friends over for burgers and dogs, and you’ll have ’em hooked!
To get a taste of Bijan Mustardson, visit their website.