FanDuel pivots Kick of Destiny plans following death of Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers
Image: Shutterstock / Brandon Nagy

When FanDuel unveiled plans to bring back Rob Gronkowski and the Kick of Destiny, Carl Weathers was a major part of the plan.

Weathers was best known as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise but with a role as golf coach Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore and his prior days as an NFL player, Weathers was a perfect person to throw in the mix as Gronkowski’s kicking coach, embodying the idea of an athletic coach and mentor.

With the unexpected passing of the legendary performer last Friday, FanDuel is now adjusting its plans for next week’s live commercial spot on Super Bowl Sunday. In a teaser spot, Weathers was prominently featured rescuing a despondent Gronkowski from the desert to ready for this year’s extra point attempt.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Weathers. Throughout his life, Carl was an iconic talent who had a profound impact on the people he worked with on and off the screen. 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,” said a FanDuel spokesperson.

The Kick of Destiny campaign will continue with Gronkowski and wrestler and performer John Cena, who is playing the heel of sorts as the person actively rooting for Gronkowski to miss like he did last year.

Weathers’s passing drew an outpouring of tributes on social media last Friday, including his Rocky co-star Sylvester Stallone.

“When he walked into that room and I saw him for the first time, I saw greatness, but I didn’t realize how great,” he recalled.

“Keep punching, Apollo.”