Carl Weathers’ FanDuel SuperBowl ad is being adjusted following the actor’s passing.
The online sports gambling platform released a sneak peek in January of their ad starring former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski, which featured a cameo from the Rocky star.
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“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Weathers,” FanDuel told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “Throughout his life, Carl was an iconic talent who had a profound impact on the people he worked with on and off the screen.”
The statement continued, “FanDuel was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him during our Super Bowl campaign. We are adjusting our campaign accordingly out of respect for the family during their time of grief.”
The ad featured Gronkowski walking through the desert toward Las Vegas, on his way to make things right after missing the “FanDuel kick of destiny” last year. Toward the end of the sneak peek, Weathers pulls up in a motorcycle with a sidecar and tells him, “This time, you won’t miss.” Together, they drive off into the desert.
Andrew Sneyd, FanDuel’s executive vice president of marketing, shared on Monday that the actor will still appear in the ad, but the original plan would not be appropriate following his death. He noted the company has been in contact with Weathers’ family to ensure they are comfortable with the final ad.
“We had built a master. One is an edit if he makes the kick and we have an edit if he misses. That content we had in those masters wouldn’t be appropriate for us to do anymore,” Sneyd said. “Since the news of Carl’s passing came, we have been working with editors to help us get back to something that does make sense.”
Weathers died on Thursday in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles, his manager, Matt Luber, announced.
“Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life,” Luber said in a statement. “Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend.”
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