Tampa, Fla., Jan. 1, 2018 –The South Carolina Gamecocks (Team Bloomin’ Onion) were hungry for a victory at today’s Outback Bowl! Thanks to their 26 – 19 win over the Michigan Wolverines (Team Coconut Shrimp), Outback Steakhouse® will be offering free Bloomin’ Onion appetizers to all nationwide tomorrow, January 2. Simply say “Outback Bowl” to your server to receive the offer, valid with any purchase.
The free appetizer giveaway is the tasty culmination of the 2018 Outback Bowl festivities that kicked off in October when Outback created a weekly video series with ESPN on ESPN.com/Outback featuring three iconic college football coaches, Lee Corso, Mack Brown and Steve Spurrier, who shared what gets them “Fired Up!” during the football season from the corner booth of their local Outback Steakhouse.
“We hope fans enjoyed getting ‘Fired Up!’ for the Outback Bowl this year,” said Outback Steakhouse President, Gregg Scarlett. “At the Outback Bowl, everyone is a winner, and all fans can celebrate with a free Bloomin’ Onion thanks to the Gamecocks.”
The 2018 Outback Bowl kicked off with an honorary coin toss by John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families. In November, Outback Steakhouse announced its year-long “At Outback, We Serve Those Who Serve” campaign supporting military and veteran families across the country in partnership with Operation Homefront. As part of its ongoing commitment to the cause, The Outback Bowl presented Operation Homefront with a $10,000 check during the first quarter of the game.
“We are thrilled to be working with an exceptional Outback team who shares our commitment to meeting the needs of our military and veteran families,” said Brig Gen (ret) John I. Pray, Jr., president & CEO of Operation Homefront. “Through their ‘We Serve Those Who Serve’ campaign, Outback and their amazing patrons are helping us provide the critical financial assistance this special group of our fellow citizens needs to help them thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”
In addition to the competition on the field, the team spirit on the sidelines also caught the attention of many. Since early 2017, college football writer Ryan Nanni dreamt of becoming the iconic Outback Steakhouse mascot, Bloomin’ Onion Man. Leveraging the power of social media, Outback granted his wish, and Nanni made an appearance during the game, donning the mascot costume and turning his dream into a delicious reality.
The Outback Bowl has hosted the nation’s Boldest Rivalry in Tampa, Florida for 23 years, and this year marks the sixth-annual nationwide appetizer giveaway based on the outcome of the game. After SEC's Florida Gators took home the trophy last year, Outback Steakhouse restaurants gave away 56,238 Bloomin’ Onions to guests around the country. This year, fans visiting their local Outback Steakhouse on January 2 for the free appetizer will also have the opportunity to give back by adding $1 to their check to be donated directly to Operation Homefront or by making a minimum donation of $5, which will be used to purchase Outback gift cards that will be shared with military families by Operation Homefront.
About Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse® starts fresh every day to create the flavors that our customers crave. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, Outback also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations and grilled classics are made from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world. For more information, please visit www.outback.com or http://www.facebook.com/outback.
About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America's military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.org.