USC is diving head first into the great, uncharted pool that is college football's coming name, image and likeness era. Only, their pool overlooks the Hollywood Hills and comes with a couple celebrities and a camera crew in tow.
The Trojans on Thursday announced the official unveiling of their NIL program -- The BLVD -- with a 3-minute hype video produced in concert with the Dallas-based agency J1S Creative.
And while there's nothing novel about USC aligning itself with the coming rule change -- they're not the first program to do it, they're not even the first to partner with J1S Creative -- no one has done it like this.
And by like this I mean, for lack of a better term, Hollywood as hell.
In these three minutes, where quarterback Kedon Slovis and wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown feature prominently, USC takes the viewer: on a trip down the red carpet, into a Grauman's Chinese Theater with Matt Leinart and his Heisman, through a tour of LA in a helicopter and a McLaren, and to a house party where we meet the USC Song Girls and "influencers" Sydnee Goodman, Presley Tennant, and Chloe Tess Miller -- all to the soundtrack of an original song by Chase Paves.
If all that subtext misses the mark, the video literally closes with a lingering shot of the Hollywood sign.
This approach won't work with every kid, but USC is betting that it'll work on enough elite recruits to turn USC into USC again.
Every school in the country will hit recruits with this exact pitch moving forward -- "Here at School X, we'll arm you with the tools to build your brand like no one else." Each and everyone of them will tell recruits that or something like it, but no one can spit it quite like USC.
Friday Update> SC...still having fun.