US news
2003 indoor

5th Nike Indoor Championships

March 15-16, 2003 at Prince George's Sportsplex, Landover MD


Press Release
Outback returns as NIC sponsor

by Pete Cava

LANDOVER, Md., February 7, 2003 --- For the second consecutive year at
the Nike Indoor Championships, Outback Steakhouse will sponsor a banquet for
athletes, parents and officials.

The annual track and field meet, held under the auspices of the National
Scholastic Sports Foundation, takes place March 15-16 at the Prince George's
Athletic Complex in Landover. Many of the nation's top high school athletes
will compete.

Outback Steakhouse of nearby Largo, Md., is providing main courses and side
dishes at a social gathering at the Athletic Complex after competition on
Saturday, March 15.

"Outback's contribution gives the Nike Indoor Championships a special touch,"
says NSSF director A.J. Holzherr. According to Holzherr, around 1,800
athletes will be on hand for the meet, along with an estimated 750 coaches,
officials and parents.

Adina Lavoie, managing partner of the Largo restaurant, will lead a team of
some 15-20 Outback staff members, including several from steakhouses in
nearby Hyattsville and Oxon Hill. "It's a collaborative effort," says
Lavoie. "We use the efforts of a couple of different stores located in the
Prince George's Country area --- one in Hyattsville one in Oxon Hill. Since
I'm so close, all the food comes from my restaurant."

Serving a group as large as the Nike Indoor Championships crowd takes about
eight kitchen staff and around eight servers, Lavoie explains. "Then there's
myself and another director. We pretty much get everyone to the right place
at the right time."

This year's social gathering will feature high protein foods --- "basically
grilled chicken," Lavoie says, adding that chicken was the preference of
diet-conscious athletes at the 2002 meet. "That's what they gobbled up last
year," she says. "We'll provide rice, vegetables and salad, too. Also fresh
fruit and cheese trays."

Outback's involvement in the Nike Indoor Championships, says Lavoie, is "a
win-win situation. The kids were really pumped up. They were eager to get
in line for the food."

Lavoie sees Outback's involvement having a national effect, since qualifiers
for the meet come from all over the United States. "We talk about
grass-roots marketing," she says, "but this event is such a different scale.
Most of the kids come from other areas. When they're back home and they see
an Outback in Los Angeles, Chicago or Denver, we hope they tell their folks, ‘
Hey, we ate at Outback last week. Let's go there!'"

For the kitchen help, servers and directors, Outback's involvement has a bit
of a down side. "We didn't get to see any of last year's meet," says Lavoie.
A softball and volleyball player in high school and college, Lavoie says she
covered plenty of track competitions as a photographer on the school
newspaper and yearbook staffs and enjoys the sport.

"A.J. Holzherr's offered us passes to the meet, but it takes us two days to
prepare for the social gathering," says Lavoie. Then we have a pretty long
day preparing for kids to come through the lines, and at the same time we
have to staff our restaurants."

But Lavoie says it's worth it. The athletes, she points out, are "very
self-disciplined. Pretty low-maintenance, and that's nice to see. Whatever
it is they like, we're more than willing to provide it for them. It's just
nice to see them having a good time."

 

Nike Indoor Championships

 


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