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SPORTS SHOT: Troup County football players got the opportunity to be featured in Kia’s Super Bowl commercial. Photo submitted

Troup County football coach Glisson stars in Super Bowl commercial

By: Kevin Eckleberry

LaGrange Daily News

It didn’t take long before his phone started blowing up.

During the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, a commercial for Kia aired.

The commercials are as much a part of the show as the game during the Super Bowl, so millions of onlookers across the planet were glued to their electronic device of choice when the Kia ad was broadcasted.

The commercial was filmed in West Point where the Kia factory is located, and it featured different images from the town while a young narrator in a cowboy hat delivered the message the company wanted to convey.

During the 40-second commercial, there was one brief clip that showed a football coach, shrouded in fog, barking instruction to a group of players.

That individual, whose face was turned away from the camera, was none other than Troup head coach Tanner Glisson.

How soon after the commercial ended did Glisson begin receiving inquiring text messages?

“Immediately,” Glisson said with a grin.

“Some people saw the back of your head, some people saw the Tiger on the jersey, other people said I hear your voice,” Glisson added. “So it was funny to see how people realized it was us, and what made them realize it was us.”

The commercial was filmed at different locations in West Point, including River Bowl Stadium where Glisson and some of his players spent about four hours.

Glisson hand-picked 10 of his players to participate, and on a cool Saturday morning in December, they headed to West Point to film their part for the commercial.

“We recorded for a couple of hours, and they took five seconds of it,” Glisson said. “But it was a lot of fun.”

Glisson added that “it was a huge deal” filming the commercial.

“That day we were down there, there were probably two or three directors, and there were cameramen all over the place,” Glisson said. “It was a good group of probably 50 people.”

When it was done, Glisson and the players had to keep a lid on what they’d done since Kia didn’t want details of the commercial filtering out.

“It was cool to see all the hoopla, and the setup, and see what was going on but try to keep it a secret as much as I could,” Glisson said.

Some of the filming took place at Troup High, and a scene featuring students singing in the school’s chorus room made it into the commercial.

Some other scenes, including one featuring cheerleaders from Troup that was filmed in West Point, were not included in the commercial.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t show up,” Glisson said. “The day before we went there, the cheerleaders were down there doing some stuff in the bleachers. They were out there a couple of hours.”

For Glisson, the players, and everyone involved with the commercial, it was an opportunity to do something memorable.

“I don’t think it gets any bigger (than a Super Bowl commercial),” Glisson said. “For a lot of people, that’s the most interesting part of the Super Bowl. It goes across the world, to billions of people. It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and it was fun. I hope it was something special for those guys.”