In the final days before Christmas, with minds a swirl with all the blessings that come with the season, we must admit there are moments when our thoughts do stray from sugarplums to pigskin.
Football, both pro and college, sneaks in and there we are. Tailgating.
Part and parcel with football is the onion connection, and it’s a solid marketing niche this time of year, whether cross-merchandising with other food items or, in the case of the famed Outback Bowl, being an integral part of the whole promotion.
New Year’s Day marks the 30th annual college competition, and 2016’s game pits the 8-4 Tennessee Volunteers against the 10-2 Northwestern Wildcats in Tampa. The contest itself is sure to be fiercely fought, but to add to the excitement there’s also the Outback Bowl giveaway to consider.
On Jan. 2, the day after the game, Outback Steakhouse will be giving away either free Bloomin’ Onions or Coconut Shrimp, depending on the winner in Tampa. Tennessee represents the Bloomin’ Onion, and Northwester the Coconut Shrimp.
Every year the contest has been waged, the SEC team has been given the Bloomin’ Onion, and the Big Ten team is the Coconut Shrimp. If you’ve been keeping track, you know the Big Ten Shrimpers have only one once in the contest’s four-year history.
An official release from Outback Steakhouse says, “There is more at steak than just the trophy – make sure to tune into ESPN2 on New Years Day at 12 pm/EST to see which team will win and which appetizer Outback Steakhouse will give away nationwide on Jan. 2. If SEC’s Volunteers take home the trophy, Outback will give away free Bloomin’ Onions nationwide. If Big Ten’s Wildcats are victorious, it will be free Coconut Shrimp for all. Just say ‘Outback Bowl’ to your server on Jan. 2 to receive the free app.*
This year marks Outback’s fourth-annual nationwide appetizer giveaway based on the outcome of the Outback Bowl.
Another key component to the success of tailgating, whether in the parking lot, backyard or living room, is a well-crafted dip made with onions. The Onionista at the National Onion Association provides just such a dip, one of seven, at http://www.onions-usa.org/onionista/onion-dips/.
Big thumbs-up to the Sweet Onion Crack Dip, with cream cheese, mayo, parmesan, sweet onion, cracked black pepper and bread or cracker of choice.
More to come on football and onions, of course, as we count down to the Big One and Super Bowl 2016 on Feb. 7. Stay tuned…