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NFL superstar Micah Parsons scores big for a PC(USA) congregation in California

Famed football player stars in Dave & Buster’s fall ad campaign filmed at First Presbyterian Church of Oxnard

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

Micah Parsons

LOUISVILLE — Just ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ opening season shutout against the New York Giants on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” on Sept. 10, Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons, scored another decisive win.

Only this time it wasn’t on the field.

The powerhouse player — who was the 12th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and runner-up last season as NFL Defensive Player of the Year — made his debut the week before in another arena, namely as the star of the fall advertising campaign for Dave & Buster’s.

The commercials for the national dining and arcade chain were shot at First Presbyterian Church of Oxnard and at Ruling Elder Lynn Green’s house across the street from the church on Ivywood Drive in Oxnard.

“Those of us who were on campus on the first weekend in August had a fun day seeing how a commercial is filmed,” said the Rev. Ted Brandt, the church’s pastor. “It was impressive to see all the production trucks parked on Ivywood Drive, the star’s trailer and food truck in our parking lot, wardrobe and makeup happening in our classrooms, a green screen by the playground, and a special tent by our tower for the ad agency and client to review the footage.”

According to a release from MediaPost, the fall campaign for Dave & Buster’s showcases its Watch Experience and its new $5 Bites menu. The work from the creative company Mother in New York builds on Dave & Buster’s new brand platform, “You Know You Want To.”

Two 30-second spots — GamGam and Conference — have Parsons standing in for Dave & Buster’s fans. In one commercial, he visits the grandmother of a Dave & Buster’s guest. In another, he attends a parent-teacher conference. Parsons acts as a slightly befuddled substitute while customers enjoy the brand’s offerings.

In a Sept. 8 eblast, Brandt invited curious members of the congregation to enjoy a video showing behind-the-scenes footage from the commercial shoot as well as the two ads, noting that the commercials were exempt from the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes.

In one lighthearted, behind-the-scenes moment, a crew member asked the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Parsons what he thought of the extensive decorative plate collection covering a wall of Green’s home, as another member of the crew chuckled, wondering aloud whether Parsons might be a “bull in a china shop.”

Fortunately, the professional football player was not; and the show went on.

Parsons and the rest of the Cowboys will host the New York Jets on Sunday.

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