Jake Sievers has been striving to become the next Bloomin’ Onion since his discovery of the Outback Steakhouse mascot. Sievers said the inspiration behind his new project came from watching the Outback Bowl, an annual college football bowl game played in Tampa, Florida on New Years Day.
“On the SEC sideline is a person that wears a Bloomin’ Onion mascot uniform,” Sievers said. He attested that the Bloomin’ Onion itself was “delicious.”
Jake Sievers, a senior from Jenison, Michigan, is a marketing management major with a journalism minor. He runs three radio shows on Radio Free Hillsdale titled “Locker Room Talk,” “Charger Rundown,” and “Out of Context.”
“I’ve always been interested in sports media. I realized at a young age I wouldn’t be going professional in anything so I decided the next best thing was to talk about the people who did go professional in those things,” Sievers said. “My first semester here I started working for the radio station.”
However, Sievers’ most recent social media project has attracted the attention of the famous Austrailian restaurant chain, Outback Steakhouse. Since January 2019, Sievers said he has been tirelessly working to grab the restaurant’s attention and become their Bloomin’ Onion mascot.
Sievers walked through the timeline of his campaign.
“I was watching the Outback Bowl with my mom and they showed the mascot. I looked over at my mom and I said I want to be that person.”
Sievers used the power of social media to realize his new goal.
“I took out my phone and tweeted out ‘My only goal of 2019 is to be the Bloomin’ Onion mascot. Outback, how can we make this happen?’ It started out as a bit, but then I got three weeks into it and I thought let’s see this through,” Sievers said. “And now here we are.”
Sievers saw quick results after his initial tweet.
“I first realized I might have a chance when the Outback Bowl Twitter account followed me 20 days in,” Sievers said. “A couple of weeks later, the Outback Steakhouse account followed me. Then I started direct-messaging them everyday. Finally, one day they responded ‘We’re loving your daily tweets mate.’ I didn’t have any real contact with them until day 200 when they direct-messaged me that they wanted to talk.”
From there, things got more serious. They sent him a non-disclosure agreement and asked to set up a call with him.
“They said they were going to send me a gift and I had to participate in a competition,” Sievers said. “The whole message was ‘keep doing what you’re doing and your hard work will pay off,’” Sievers said. “Then I asked if there was any way this doesn’t work out and they said, ‘no.’ I got really excited.”
According to Sievers, Outback Steakhouse will give him the position as long as he follows through with his end of the deal.
So what is the agreement that will land Sievers his dream job? Since the initial call, he has been in closer contact with the Outback Steakhouse team.
Last week in the mail, Sievers received forty dollars a month for twelve months to the Jackson Outback Steakhouse along with a social media challenge.
Outback Steakhouse offered Sievers the role if he could make a video that reached 10,000 retweets. Sievers has been very active on Twitter, trying to reach his goal.
When Sievers began his social media journey back in January, he lost hundreds of followers. However, people have slowly returned as Sievers’ campaign has grown in popularity. Since tweeting his video, he has gotten some great exposure.
According to Sievers, Kat Timpf, Michael Knowles, and Kyle Kashuv have all retweeted his video. “I don’t know how they picked it up but I’ve gotten in with right-wing politics,” he said.
At the time of the interview, Sievers’ video had 800,000 views with 5,054 retweets. The retweet count is now up to 6,713. There is no deadline for the 10,000 retweet goal but Sievers is still working to gain exposure.
Sievers is dedicated and said he will do whatever it takes to achieve Bloomin’ Onion status.
“If it starts to lose traction, I’ll just start making 40 burner accounts a day.”
Sievers has been able to share the experience with family and friends. He sees the humor in the situation.
“It’s such a weird thing. My family will just ask ‘How’s the Bloomin’ Onion going?’ I text my grandparents about it. They probably don’t understand but they think it’s funny. People have been supportive almost to a fault. They’ve been enabling me.”
Senior Laura White said Sievers’ efforts have been a refreshing change of pace for a Hillsdale student.
“I’ve never seen Jake so motivated in his life,” she said. “It’s nice to see a student pursuing something outside of school.”
Sievers has a sense of humor about the situation, but that hasn’t stopped him from being invested in succeeding.
“This would be the best day of my life,” Sievers said. “It would be unbelievable. I love college football and I would love to be right there. The thing that has pushed me to see this through is the picture I would have for Instagram. An ESPN screenshot of me on the sideline next to a bunch of Division 1 football players wearing a giant fried onion.”
Sievers has plans for after graduation and believes his project will only benefit him. He is considering a future in social media managing or managing a brand for a company.
“This shows how dedicated and motivated I am.”
When asked if he had anything to say to Outback Steakhouse, Sievers had a short but passionate response.
“It’s been a lovely journey and it’s not over yet,” he said. “I’ll see you in Tampa, and if you need my measurements let me know.”
To retweet Sievers’ video and help him accomplish his goal go to @JakeTheRake on Twitter.