On the heels of Epic Games officially revealing the Neymar Jr event for Fortnite, the developer has announced their next collaboration with the sports world. With the NFL Draft right around the corner, Epic is looking to cash in on a collaboration with Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
The collaboration with Jefferson isn’t quite as big as the upcoming one with Neymar Jr but it’s still worth celebrating as Jefferson is the first NFL player to be featured in Fortnite. While the battle royale game has partnered with the NFL in the past and even sold NFL-inspired cosmetics in the game, an individual player has never been specifically recognized or highlighted.
Jefferson will be the first and a big reason for that is his famous Griddy dance. Now I’m not hip enough to stay on top of the latest TikTok trends or viral sensations, but I do watch football so I’m somewhat familiar.
The Griddy dance was actually first created and choreographed by Allen “Griddy” Davis. But it was Jefferson who helped make it go viral by celebrating his touchdowns with the dance. And soon you will be able to celebrate your accomplishments in Fortnite with the Griddy. On April 28, the “Get Griddy” emote will be available in the Fortnite Item Shop.
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Another bit of good news, Epic will actually be paying Allen Davis as well. The developer has faced scrutiny in the past for not actually paying the creators of viral dances that they’ve sold in their game, so it’s nice to see Davis getting paid.
Jefferson will also be getting his own Locker Bundle, a collection of cosmetics that the NFL receiver worked with Epic to create. Among the items available are the Hit Man Outfit, Hit Me! Back Bling, Get Griddy & Signature Shuffle Emotes, Weathered Gold Pickaxe and Arcade Kid Wrap. None of these cosmetics seem to have anything to do with football, but I love the design and arcade-like feel to them.
Epic’s partnership with Justin Jefferson is just another step in Epic’s plan for using sports as a strategical vertical for Fortnite’s metaverse. With so many athletes now having been raised with video games, a lot of them spend their off time playing them. Getting them involved with the marketing side of the business just seems like a natural evolution. I think it’s only a matter of time until we see the first NBA star featured in the game as well.