MODESTO — Colin Kaepernick has arrived. No, not at the Super Bowl. In a milk mustache ad.
Today's issue of USA Today features a photo of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
They are the latest of many celebrities to wear the white stuff atop their lips as part of the Got Milk? campaign.
What's notable this time is that Kaepernick is from Turlock, a major milk producer, and has family members who work at Hilmar Cheese Company.
The ad shows the players in full uniform, holding just-finished bowls of cereal (which they somehow managed to consume through their facemasks).
"We're leaving it all on the field," the ad reads. "So we're not leaving anything in the bowl. All the blitzes, passes and first downs. That's why we fuel up to play 60. Breakfast with milk has quality protein and essential nutrients that'll help us give it all we've got. We'll need every drop."
If the Niners win Sunday, the Monday issue of USA Today will feature Kaepernick alone with a milk mustache. Rice will do the same if the Ravens win.
The players join a pantheon of milk mustache models that ranges from athletes and singers to Ivana Trump and Opie from "The Andy Griffith Show." (Opie had it digitally applied years later.)
Advertising experts consider the Got Milk? campaign, created by the California Milk Processor Board, one of the best ever.
So now there are at least two drinks with a Kaepernick connection. Wellington Station in Turlock is serving the Pink Drank, made at the quarterback's direction with raspberry vodka, raspberry lemonade, blackberries and mint.
And don't forget the hot dog, cupcakes and cookies named for Kaepernick and whatever else fans dream up for their Super Bowl feasts.
The visitor center café at Hilmar Cheese has a Kap-n-Crab Special this week to honor the quarterback and wide receiver Michael Crabtree, spokeswoman Denise Skidmore said. It's s creamy crab bisque in a freshly baked bread bowl.
The business also has had a No. 7 Special in Kaepernick's honor since he joined the 49ers. It's a smoked chicken sausage in a pretzel bun with melted Swiss cheese, honey mustard and sautéed onions.
Hilmar, the world's largest cheese plant, helps meet the heavy demand for dairy products on Super Bowl Sunday. Think nachos, pizza, sandwiches and other TV-viewing fare.
"Food plays a very important role on game day," said Jennifer Giambroni, spokeswoman for the California Milk Advisory Board, in a news release. "In fact, if your team isn't in the running, checking out the food spread can be more exciting than checking the score."
The Got Milk? people also are running a TV ad during the second quarter, featuring professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.
Visit facebook.com/milkmustache for more about the ad campaign.
Visit fueluptoplay60.com to learn about a related effort to get students to eat well and exercise.
Visit realcaliforniamilk.com for dairy-inspired recipes for the Super Bowl.