Did you see OSU's Boone Pickens Stadium in that Super Bowl commercial? We have details
Kyle Waters has seen Boone Pickens Stadium from nearly every vantage point.
It’s part of the gig as senior associate athletic director for facilities at Oklahoma State.
Still, Waters was surprised about the way the football facility looked when he saw it Sunday night in one of the Super Bowl commercials.
(You didn’t notice BPS? We’ll get to that in a minute.)
“They got a low camera angle, and I hadn’t seen that before,” Waters said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
Even as sports fans are starting to come down from their Super Bowl Sunday euphoria, Waters is still riding high over OSU’s appearance on football’s biggest stage.
The stadium was used in the new Kia advertising campaign involving Josh Jacobs.
A Tulsa native, Jacobs just finished an outstanding rookie season with the Raiders. He rushed for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries. He had another 166 yards receiving on 20 catches. And he did all that despite missing three games with a shoulder injury.
He was named offensive rookie of the year by the Professional Football Writers of America.
It’s no surprise a big corporation would want Jacobs as a spokesman.
Thing is, his story is so much bigger than football.
Jacobs was one of five kids, and when his parents divorced, his dad, Marty, got custody of the children. After an accident left Marty unable to work, the family didn’t always have food to eat or a place to stay.
Marty and the kids even had to sleep in his truck a few times.
Now one of the kids who slept in the truck is a national spokesperson for a car company. It’s a tear-jerking deal. It’s an awesome thing.
Kia even did a mini-documentary with Jacobs and his dad talking more in-depth about what they went through.
To roll out this campaign, Kia needed footage of Jacobs and others in Tulsa, but it also needed shots for the ad.
That’s where Boone Pickens Stadium comes in.
Waters got a call in November from a location scout interested in using the stadium to shoot the football scenes for the ad. Stillwater isn’t far from Tulsa, so the location was good. And BPS is big enough to have the look of an NFL stadium.
“I was immediately like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s try to use the stadium to earn some revenue while it’s just sitting idle,’” Waters said.
Before coming to OSU in 2016 – Waters is an alum of Stillwater High and OSU – he worked for AEG, a sports and entertainment company in Los Angeles. Among its properties were a 30,000-seat soccer stadium and an 8,000-seat tennis stadium. Renting out those facilities for commercial shots was a significant part of AEG’s revenue when Waters worked there.
The production company wanted a date in early January for the Kia-Jacobs shoot at Boone Pickens Stadium, which was perfect.
About the only hiccup was that Gallagher-Iba had basketball games scheduled.
“I expected them to use Gallagher as their back-of-house,” Waters said, referring to the behind-the-scenes area for equipment and all the various people who’d be coming in. “But they wanted to do the shoot Monday night, and we had West Virginia, Big Monday.
“So, we just did everything in football.”
The crew used the west end zone, which normally would be teeming with activity. It’s where the football offices are in addition to the weight room, training facilities and locker room. That is also the location of the training table, which feeds about 400 athletes every day.
But those things weren’t an issue on Jan. 6 – OSU was on winter break.
The production crew started arriving that morning around 7 a.m. After hours of set up, extras arrived to stand in the scenes with Jacobs as players and referees and even fans.
The shoot didn’t wrap until 2:30 the next morning.
Even though it was a long day, it wasn’t overly complicated for Waters.
“We just provided a lot of the props for the field, the video board,” he said. “We had some staffing that jumped in and helped us out.
“It actually went really, really smooth.”
All told, Waters suspects 12 to 14 hours of film were shot that day.
In the commercial, about 6 seconds of it was used.
Basically, the final seconds of the spot were shot at Boone Pickens Stadium. There’s a shot of Jacobs walking out a tunnel; it’s the same tunnel the Cowboys run out on game day. A bank of lights come on; it’s the stadium lights on the south side. Then, you see Jacobs walking onto the field.
Search for “Josh Jacobs commercial” on YouTube, and you can see for yourself at the 51-second mark. Pause the video, and you can clearly see the high walls surrounding the field that are a hallmark of Boone Pickens Stadium.
That’s the shot that got Kyle Waters attention.
To be part of a high-dollar, high-pressure Super Bowl commercial was special, too.
“It was fun,” Waters said. “I wish we could do one (commercial shoot) a week.”