25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

Arby’s partners with NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson to open steakhouse for a day

Ad Age 07 Nov 2019 08:51

More than a few famous football players have opened steakhouses. John Elway has Elway’s, Brett Favre had Brett Favre's Steakhouse and Vince Young has the Vince Young Steakhouse. On Thursday, Arby’s partnered with NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian to open his own steakhouse, if only for a day. 

Arby’s transformed its Times Square location into the LaDainian Tomlinson Steakhouse. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 pm, fans met the former San Diego Charger and New York Jet—considered one of the NFL's best running backs—who signed their collectibles, as well as Arby's sandwich boxes. 

The one-day steakhouse was a promotion for the fast feeder’s two new sandwiches—the Garlic Butter Petite Filet Steak Sandwich and the Steak and Bacon Melt, both on menus nationwide for a limited time for $7.49. 

A temporary redesign turned the restaurant into a steakhouse—sort of. Linen tablecloths covered wobbly tables, wine glasses were filled with red Mountain Dew and candles on every table were made of plastic. There was plenty of Tomlinson memorabilia and artwork on the walls, the sandwiches were served on platters—and what steakhouse would be complete without branded matchboxes?  

To promote the collaboration, Arby’s aired two commercials on November 2 during the Michigan-Maryland and Georgia-Florida NCAA football games. In them, Tomlinson introduces his steakhouse, saying “A steakhouse sandwich is only as legit as the player whose name is on the steakhouse door.”

Arby’s also shared the news across social, which Tomlinson also shared to his more than 80,000 Twitter followers and 367,000 Facebook followers. 

Ad Age caught up with Tomlinson—suited up for the occasion—who says it’s always been his dream to own a steakhouse.  

“Arby’s is a brand that loves to have fun, and when they approached me about the opportunity to do a new petite filet steak sandwich, and own my own steakhouse, I was all for it,” he says. “It’s something as a kid you always dream of, owning your own steakhouse, and I’m happy I have an opportunity with Arby’s.” 

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