Kansas City Chiefs recruited Hallmark movie stars for playoff film spoofing rom-coms

Tyler Hynes and Janel Parrish are football-crossed would-be lovers in Barkley’s ‘Falling for Football’

Published On
Jan 11, 2024
Actress Janel Parrish in Arrowhead Stadium, wearing Kansas City Chiefs gear

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The Kansas City Chiefs begin the defense of their Super Bowl title with a wild-card game against the Miami Dolphins this weekend. And the team is really feeling the love, judging by its romance-themed playoff campaign from Barkley.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a three-minute mock trailer for a romantic comedy, styled like a Hallmark holiday movie, called “Falling for Football.” Created by Kansas City agency Barkley, the amusing trailer stars Tyler Hynes (as Ben) and Janel Parrish (as Amber)—both veterans of a number of Hallmark productions—as would-be lovers testing the waters of romance.

But Amber is carrying baggage from a bad postseason experience in the past. Will she open her heart to Chiefs superfan Ben?


The trailer was directed by Funny or Die alum Parker Seaman. Jake Swartz was the editor, and Ryan Spears was the consulting editor. The tone is spot-on, and the film is full of Chiefs easter eggs and cameos—including an appearance by star tight end Travis Kelce’s mom Donna, playing a diner waitress. 

A second promo in the campaign features Chiefs announcer Mitch Holthus reading “A Postseason Story,” like it’s a holiday tale. In a reference to Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift’s season-long, real-life romance, Holthus says at one point: “Valentine’s Day is jealous of the love story that we have. Who could ever separate the end zone from Trav?”

The “Falling for Football” trailer includes links to shoppable “Kingdom Keepsakes” memorabilia, including the “Sweet Nectar of the Endzone” candle from the film. As part of the campaign, the Chiefs have also published a “Kingdom Cookbook” of postseason recipes.
“The playoffs are an unrivaled time of the season. Because nothing is promised or guaranteed, it creates a special feeling of anticipation for players, coaches, staff and fans alike,” said Lara Krug, the team’s chief marketing officer. “This year, we leaned into the postseason as its own holiday and are inviting Chiefs Kingdom to celebrate with us. While you won’t find this holiday printed on calendars, the family traditions, stories, recipes, decorations and made-for-TV movie trailer all emphasize the excitement that Chiefs Kingdom can celebrate together across the globe.”


Jan 11, 2024
Client :
Kansas City Chiefs
Agency :
ACD Copywriter :
Deidre Lichty
ACD Art Director :
Kyle Anthony
Chief Creative Officer :
Katy Hornaday
EVP Executive Creative Director :
Doug Hentges
VP Creative Director :
Tim McCracken
VP Creative Director :
Bryce Richardson
Executive Producer :
Shawn Wallace
SVP Brand Leadership :
Colin Krug
VP Strategy Director :
Molly Smith
EVP Chief Marketing Officer :
Lara Krug
Sr. Director Brand Strategy & Fan Development :
Jennifer Jones
Sr. Manager Brand Strategy & Fan Development :
Jackson DeLay
Influencer & Culture Coordinator :
Atipa Mabonga
Creative Director :
Jordan Giesler
Copywriter :
Caleb Bishop
Director Partnership Marketing :
Jeff Birnbaum
Director Social Media :
Alex Merry
Vice President Content & Production :
Rob Alberino
Director Digital Media :
Nathan Brunzie
Director of Production :
Joe Helder
Senior Social Producer :
Greg Tonge
Editor :
Lucas Boyd
Digital Media Coordinator :
Luke Hammontree
Music :

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