The NBA All-Stars have descended upon Charlotte this week, but for those other than Hornets star Kemba Walker, this is just a temporary stay. For Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, this is home.
And the brand, headquartered in Charlotte since its inception in 1977, wants to make sure it highlights its own All-Stars — its master biscuit makers — during the week.
Bojangles’ has centered its NBA All-Star marketing campaign around this image of not an actor or a model, but of Master Biscuit Maker Nate Cox. Cox is tossing flour in the air while rocking his “It’s Bo Time” apron. For NBA fans, this photograph should appear similar to the manner NBA players throw up chalk before games.
Throughout the weekend, the billboard will even periodically shoot simulated flour into the air. pic.twitter.com/F6YYkGsN9d
— Front Office Sports (@frntofficesport) February 14, 2019
Specifically, it should remind fans of LeBron James’ chalk technique.
“The heroes of our brand are our master biscuit makers,” says Colby Anderson, digital media manager for Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc. “They make biscuits fresh all day, every 20 minutes.
“[Nate] posed for us. Throwing flour in the air is not one of the 48 steps of making biscuits, but he was happy to play along with us and we were happy to feature him.”
The most notable part of the campaign can be found on a billboard in Uptown Charlotte at 22 West 11th Street in Uptown Charlotte. There, Cox’s pose is actually enhanced by simulated flour, which shoots from the top of the billboard, extended from his toss. That’s when Cox really looks like LeBron James, while greeting fans for NBA All-Star Weekend.
What?! Can we please talk about how @Bojangles1977 is having one of the best marketing campaigns for this All Star Game.
I mean they made it look like the flour is rising off the billboard. Genius. pic.twitter.com/AuMkt9Ivtd
— Bring Back The Kemba (@BringBackTheBuz) February 15, 2019
Cox first became a Bojangles’ certified master biscuit maker three years ago while working as an area director in the Charlotte location. He changed roles to field marketing coordinator, Charlotte, in May 2018, but he is still a master biscuit maker.
And now, he’s basically the face of Charlotte Tourism for the week.
“It would be a shame if we had fans from all over the country and outside of our footprint visiting our hometown and leaving without tasting a Bojangles’ biscuit,” Anderson says. “I think for some players who will be playing in the game, it’s the same thing.”
Of Bojangles’ 757 locations, 313 are in North Carolina. Bojangles’ is currently in 11 states and Washington D.C., but the brand has no locations west of Alabama and none north of Pennsylvania.
Bojangles’ is a partner of the NBA All-Star Host Committee in Charlotte and has been a sponsor of the Charlotte Hornets “for decades,” according to Anderson. Bojangles’ is currently the official tea of the Hornets. The brand is also the title sponsor of Bojangles’ Coliseum, which hosted the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game on Friday night.
For NBA All-Star Week, Bojangles’ has opened up the #BiscuitBaller campaign on social media. Between February 13 and 17, fans can upload a photo to www.BiscuitBaller.com and use a series of flour-tossing frames. By hashtagging #BiscuitBaller and #Sweepstakes on Twitter or Instagram, fans have the chance to win prizes, including a Bojangles’ gift card, an Xbox One S, the game NBA 2K19, and a live demonstration with a Bojangles’ Master Biscuit Maker.
Nate Cox and his fellow master biscuit makers will not be on the court at Spectrum Center this week, but they will feel some of the fame in Charlotte.
“I know there are some people happy to see them on Saturday morning, but I don’t think they get the same recognition,” Anderson laughs, comparing master biscuit makers to NBA All-Stars.
If you’re in Charlotte, you might want to show that appreciation by going to Bojangles’. But if you’re under the sign, you might want to turn your windshield wipers on. Watch out for (simulated) flour.