Food News

Lucky's Hot Chicken Sponsors SMU Wide Receiver Reggie Roberson Jr.; First Local NIL Deal

Reggie Roberson gets all the hot chicken this season.
Reggie Roberson gets all the hot chicken this season. Lucky's Hot Chicken
Lucky's Hot Chicken has signed what may be the first local sponsorship of a college athlete. SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. is welcome to eat all the hot chicken he can handle for the rest of the football season.

This goes back to the Supreme Court decision issued this summer that allows NCAA athletes limited rights to cash in on their names, images or likenesses (NIL). Big-name college athletes are raking in some sweet deals; Bleacher Report wrote that Alabama head coach Nick Saban says his quarterback Bryce Young is making nearly $1 million in deals — and he hadn't even played a game yet.
click to enlarge The Big Lou is part of the Reggie Robberson Combo. - LUCKY'S HOT CHICKEN
The Big Lou is part of the Reggie Robberson Combo.
Lucky's Hot Chicken

Other deals are more culinary in scope. Pinkerton's Barbecue signed a deal with Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Wright's Barbecue in Arkansas is sponsoring the entire Razorback offensive line.

As far as we can find, this is the first local college athlete sponsorship.

According to a statement, Lucky’s will underwrite all the hot chicken Roberson can eat for the rest of the football season. "The restaurant will also deck Reggie in swagged-out gear, host him and his friends for celebratory meals, and debut a limited-edition combo comprised of Reggie’s favorite menu items."


Through January, pony fans can get a Reggie Roberson Jr. Combo, which includes a Big Lou chicken sandwich with Feelin' Lucky spice level (two out of five on their heat chart), topped with slaw served on their housemade butter buns. The combo also includes an order of Howlin' Fries, which come smothered in cheese sauce, comeback sauce and jalapeño ranch. You can cool all that off with soft-serve ice cream.

Lucky's was opened by Vandelay Hospitality in late September 2020 in an iconic mid-century building where Norman Brinker started his empire (Chili's and Steak & Ale) with his first concept, Brink's Restaurant.

We recently anointed their fried bird sandwiches one of the 10 Best Hot Chicken Sandwiches in Dallas
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.