May 25, 2024

Gardner Minshew beer commercial, explained: Former Washington State QB featured in NIL ad for Ol’ Crimson lager

Gardner Minshew and Ol’ Crimson — a match made in Washington State heaven. 

The former Cougars quarterback made a recent appearance in an ad for his alma mater, promoting a new beer dubbed Ol ‘Crimson Legendary Lager. The sale of the beverage is a part of the Cougar Collective’s initiative to raise funds for future NIL deals. 

Partnerships between universities and alcoholic beverages are sweeping the nation. A number of other colleges have found that beer sales can be a win for NIL collectives. Examples include SWARM Golden Ale at Iowa, Ames Lager at Iowa State, Cincy Light at Cincinnati, Hell’s Half Acre Lager at TCU, and The Horseshoe Golden Ale at Boise State. 

Here is what to know about the ad, the beer, and the history behind Minshew and Washington State. 

MORE: What Raiders’ QB depth chart looks like with Gardner Minshew, Aiden O’Connell

Gardner Minshew beer commercial, explained

Minshew is featured in a new commercial promoting Ol’ Crimson Legendary Lager, a beer produced by the Pike Brewing Company. 

The newest member of the Raiders is seen carrying Ol’ Crimson, the flag for Washington State football, through a grassy field. In the background is a voiceover that details the history behind Washington State and its resilience over the last year with conference realignment. 

“It only made sense to have the man, the myth, the legend appear in the commercial for us,” Tim Brandle of the Cougar Collective said to On3. “Gardner was in town for the CougsFirst! QB Classic golf tournament and the spring football game. When approached about the opportunity to represent the Cougar Collective and help with the commercial, he was on board, no questions asked.”

Washington State is no longer a part of a power conference due to the dissolving of the Pac-12. The newest beer for Cougars fans will help raise funds through sales, and that money can go back toward student-athletes. 

“If there’s one thing that Cougs will always be Power 5 at, it’s drinking,” Brandle said. 

Gardner Minshew college stats

Minshew only spent one season with the Cougars football program, but it was a memorable one. 

After playing JUCO for a year at Northwest Mississippi Community College, Minshew spent two years at East Carolina. He then transferred to Washington State for the 2018 season, where he became a national name in the college football world. 

Minshew helped the team to an 11-2 record by setting Pac-12 and school records for passing yards and completions. He ended the campaign in emphatic fashion with a win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl, where he was named MVP. He also finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting that season and won Pac-12 Player of the Year. 

Passing stats

Games Completions Attempts Comp % Yards Avg TDs INts
13 468 662 70.7 4,776 7.2 38 9

Rushing Stats

Games Attempts Yards Avg TDs
13 58 119 2.1 4

What is the Cougar Collective?

The Cougar Collective is a “third-party non-profit corporation formed to work with WSU student-athletes” for the purposes of NIL, according to their website

The organization “offers WSU student-athletes near limitless opportunities to engage in NIL activations, including: autograph signings, social media promotions, camps and clinics, charity events, special appearances, commercials, merchandise, and many more.”

What is Ol’ Crimson?

Ol’ Crimson is the flag for the Cougars that is a sign for school spirit and pride for Washington State. 

The flag gained national attention in 2003 when it was used as a rallying cry for Cougars fans to bring ESPN College GameDay back to Pullman. Now, it is a frequent feature of every College GameDay broadcast, no matter the location.