Due to budget cutbacks and logistical issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Kentucky did not buy television ad time during the local broadcast of the Super Bowl, as it has for much of the last decade.
There was a still a commercial, though, as well as social media posts by players leading up to and during the game. In addition to promoting the sell of season tickets, the messaging focused on a new mantra — “For the Team” — for the 2021 season.
It also included multiple nods to linebacker Chris Oats, who remains in rehabiliation following a stroke suffered last summer, and John Schlarman, UK’s late offensive line coach.
The UK football team’s had an eventful off-season. Head coach Mark Stoops, entering his ninth season, hired three new offensive coaches: offensive coordinator Liam Coen, running backs/special teams coach Jemal Singleton and offensive line coach Eric Wolford. Since the early signing period in December it’s picked up four additional recruits for the 2021 class. One was a prep star — Trevin Wallace, a four-star linebacker from Georgia and a top-40 player in the country — while the others are transfers from other Power Five programs: former Western Hills High School star Wan’Dale Robinson, who left Nebraska; Luke Fulton, a linebacker who transferred from Michigan State; and Will Levis, a quarterback from Penn State who will enroll this summer after finishing the current semester at Penn State.
Those additions, as well as the decisions by multiple starters who opted to return instead of declaring for the NFL Draft — including junior Darian Kinnard and senior Josh Ali — were alluded to by voice-overs in the new ad.