With a strong focus on social media content through TikTok and Instagram, Outback Steakhouse is returning with its TeamMATES NIL (Name, Beauty and Alignment) campaign for two years to target Gen Z and college football fans. millennium.
The messenger program, TeamMATES, was created last fall after restrictions barred college athletes from being paid for their names, photos, likenesses and other related information. This year, Outback signed up 13 college football players to the program, two of whom have a following on TikTok. Sports brands such as Overtime, WWE and Adidas have launched similar campaigns.
The campaign aims to engage the brand’s existing fan base and connect with the next generation with short video content. Of the 13 signings, Jon Seaton, a defensive lineman with 1.8M followers on TikTok and AJ Henning, the University of Michigan wide receiver and punt returner with more than 340,000 TikTok followers, will most visible in the brand’s TikTok and Instagram videos.
“We want to share stories that are relatable and entertaining, which is a great fit for this platform,” said Danielle Vona, CMO for Bloomin’ Brands, which owns Outback Steakhouse. “We use video content created through partnerships with Outback fans to drive interactions and views.”
The former TeamMATES program signed eight players from spring baseball and softball. According to Vona and data obtained from Hootsuite, it has more than 231,000 social profiles and 34,300 social connections. The result also earned the media a value of $94 million, according to Vona.
It’s unclear how much of Outback’s advertising budget has been allocated to the project as Vona declined to share budget details. According to Pathmatics, the brand will spend more than $8.4 million on advertising in 2022, up from $6 million in 2021. Vona said that 100% of advertising spend went to digital and social media platforms Instagram and TikTok .
By leveraging the influencers’ social channel reach, NIL has created an opportunity to reach out to the younger and older audiences with knowledge and relationships. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a different way to take advantage of college athletes both young and old.
“NIL has the opportunity to reach the target audience and understand the brand level with the local market partnership to drive customers to the restaurant,” said David Novak, partner principal and head of marketing and sales at Prophet, a growth strategy. consulting company. “It seems like a perfect fit as college football continues to grow and these players have already built a personality and audience that matches the core brand promise of Outback.”