ST. LOUIS – Luther Burden III, one of Missouri’s rising college football stars, has scored a major endorsement deal as the new athlete spokesperson of Imo’s Pizza.

As an official Imo’s-sponsored spokesperson, Burden will appear in Imo’s print, electronic and billboard advertising. The East St. Louis native will also engage in social-media outreach for the hometown pizza chain.

Imo’s Pizza recently formalized an NIL sponsorship with Burden, making him the first college athlete to win an endorsement deal with the company since such deals were first allowed in 2021.

“I’ve loved Imo’s pizza for as long as I can remember, so this sponsorship was an easy ‘yes’ for me,” said Burden. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for a brand I admire and a pizza I absolutely love.”

“As a longtime fan of Missouri Football and a huge fan of Luther’s, I’m excited Imo’s could secure this sponsorship with someone who is genuinely a fan of our brand as well,” said Imo’s CEO Mark Miner. “NIL sponsorships are relatively new, but they make so much sense, as they allow us to align our brand with hometown favorites like Luther Burden III while they are still close to home. We look forward to a great sponsorship.”

The sponsorship officially kicks off with a pizza party provided by Imo’s for participants of Burden’s youth football camp. That will be held on June 17 at the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club in St. Louis.

Throughout the 2023 University of Missouri football season, Burden will also appear on Imo’s billboard advertising in Columbia, Missouri. As a freshman last year, Burden also earned a sponsorship with St. Louis-based chip company Old Vienna. A few months ago, he paid respects to his St. Louis roots by buying groceries for several customers ahead of Easter.

Burden, a wide receiver, ended his first season at Mizzou with 375 receiving yards, six receiving touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns last year over 12 games.