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NFL’s Highest-Paid Player Jalen Hurts Inks Multiyear Deal With Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.-Backed Energy Drink

By Kim Bhasin

NFL quarterback Jalen Hurts has signed a multiyear deal with Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.-backed energy drink label A Shoc beverages as the industry’s race for star power heats up.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 16: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

As part of the arrangement, the 24-year-old Philadelphia Eagles star will gain an equity stake in the business and promote the Accelerator brand in advertisements and events. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have equity in a few places, to be part of the brand,” Hurts said in an interview. “Prioritizing the health of athletes and consumers, that’s really important to me.”

The energy drink category is filling up with celebrities as upstart brands look to lure shoppers away from industry incumbents like Red Bull and Monster Beverage Corp. Logan Paul and KSI’s Prime drinks have burst onto the scene, while Dwayne Johnson’s Zoa is pumping money into marketing. PepsiCo Inc. acquired a $550 million stake in Celsius, which is heavily promoted by influencers and Hollywood stars, last year.

A Shoc was founded in 2019 with an investment from Keurig Dr Pepper, which handles sales and distribution for the label. It raised $29 million in a funding round last year and is now sold in around 125,000 retail locations, including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp.

The brand has brought on investors from across sports to position itself as a performance alternative to the existing brands. Backers include Nascar driver Chase Elliott, golfer Bryson DeChambeau and baseball star Aaron Judge.

Hurts signed a record five-year, $255 million contract with the Eagles in April, making him the highest-paid player on an annual basis in league history. He got his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma over the off-season. 

Now entering his fourth season as a pro, Hurts is a hot endorsement name, having promoted products like Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette razors, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal and Lemon Perfect lemonade. High-profile quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen have also put their money into industries ranging from agriculture to men’s grooming.

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