Destiny 2‘s grand NFL marketing experiment has finally come to fruition. Bungie revealed an endorsement deal with wide receiver Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers more than a week ago. The deal was for Antonio Brown to perform a touchdown dance that had been arranged with Bungie, mirroring one of the science fiction shooter’s dance emotes. Unfortunately, Brown went without a touchdown in last weekend’s NFL game.
Brown’s luck changed in game three when he received a pass from Ben Roethlisberger and ran in a touchdown in the second quarter, setting up the Steelers to tie the game at 7. Brown, upon getting confirmation of the touchdown from the referee, stepped further into the end zone and performed a short, rushed touchdown dance. If there was any intention to connect the dance to Destiny 2 on-field, it was unrecognizable.
Bungie made up for the disconnect on social media quickly, though, releasing an extended version of Antonio Brown‘s dance in pre-recorded video form. The video mixes footage of Brown dancing in a locker room with in-game Destiny 2 footage of a Titan doing the same dance. It’s safe to say Antonio Brown is a much better dancer than the Destiny 2 Guardians.
— Destiny The Game (@DestinyTheGame) September 24, 2017
Overall, the marketing move turned out to be a bit of a fiasco. The concept is exciting on paper, as hiring an NFL player to do touchdown dance based on a Destiny 2 dance emote that’s sold as a microtransaction in-game seems like a solid idea. It’s a great way to get Destiny 2 players to buy Bright Engrams for a chance at earning the dance.
First, Antonio Brown wasn’t able to score in week 2 while Bungie was heavily marketing the deal. Second, when Brown did score in week 3 it was during a close match where an excessive celebration penalty could have been costly. Third, the Steelers ended up losing the game, dousing any potential fanfare surrounding the event.
Despite the uniqueness of the deal, the experiment may not have had the impact Bungie was hoping for. Nevertheless, it’s a fun thing for NFL and Destiny 2 fans to have watched happen, and Antonio Brown is a good sport to take part.
Destiny 2 is available now on PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC release to follow on October 24.