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Longhorn great Kevin Durant inks endorsement deal with Sonic Drive-In

Matthew Odam
modam@statesman.com

The two comedians made famous in the Sonic Drive-In commercials may need a bigger car. They are about to get some company in the form of long-legged NBA superstar and Longhorn great Kevin Durant.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward has inked an endorsement deal with the Oklahoma City-based fast-food chain, according to multiple sources. Durant will be the chains first-ever athlete ambassador, according to ESPN.com.

“What really happened was the MVP speech that he made last year really pushed him into a national presence more, but also, his likability is off the charts,” Sonic Drive-In CMO Todd Smith said. “For us, we wanted someone who has a hometown feel with a national presence because that’s the type of brand we are.”

Durant, who has already shown some acting chops and comedic timing in a Nike commercial directed by Austinite David Gordon Green, will appear in commercials with comedians T. J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz, as well as digital, merchandising, packaging and social media, according to AdWeek.

That social media engagement has already begun. For those wondering why an athlete would an endorse a fast-food chain (like LeBron and McDonald’s), Durant Tweeted that he was looking forward to introducing some healthier items to the Sonic menu.

Durant, who Smith says is already a Sonic fan, will also work with the company’s non-profit educational arm, Limeades for Learning, according to AdWeek.

Maybe the new endorsement will give Thunder fan hope that Durant won’t flee when he becomes a free agent after the 2015-2016 season.

While I’ve got you, if you haven’t watched Durant’s MVP acceptance speech from last season, do so. All class and heart (and more of his trademark wit).