Similar to the hysteria that is often associated with boy bands–think The Beatles, One Direction or BTS–the frenzy surrounding Louisiana native, certified sweetheart and LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron has reached a fever pitch as the entire state–and Ohio, too–head into the final days before the national championship game in New Orleans. Frantic attempts to get a piece of the action through commemorative items from T-shirts to books to earrings bearing Coach O’s unforgettable smile have culminated in crime, as Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers locations across the city report the disappearances of life-size likenesses of the coach himself, which have greeted customers throughout the season as part of the chicken finger franchise’s partnership with Orgeron.
“The Coach O standees have been very popular with his fans,” explains founder and CEO Todd Graves. “We’ve had several stolen this year.”
We don’t have the stats to compare with coaches past but, to us, the obsession with Coach O feels different. There is just something about him. Whether his smile, his voice or his “Hold That Tiger” tweets, fans from near and far have connected with him, his image and his attitude. Luckily, Raising Cane’s fall campaign has granted fans a look at the coach and his personality beyond the football field.
“We began our partnership with Coach O at the beginning of the 2017 season,” says Graves. “Coach O is a passionate leader who motivates his team and everyone around him. He’s genuine and authentic and you can’t help but love him. He’s great for our community and a true Caniac, so partnering with him made sense for us.”
From souvenir plastic cups to endearing commercials to a dedicated gold Suburban dubbed the “Coach O Mobile,” Cane’s has not been sparing in sharing the Coach O love with the community. Graves even reveals to inRegister an insight into Orgeron’s favorite aspect of the Cane’s combo.
“He absolutely loves Cane’s coleslaw,” notes Graves. “When we filmed our first commercial with him, he told me that he often can’t wait until he’s home to eat his coleslaw, so he will ‘drink’ it from the cup.”
For those veggie haters who typically substitute the slaw for an extra sauce or bread, this has us looking at the side in a whole new way. Today, January 9, in honor of Orgeron and to prepare for next Monday’s game, Cane’s is offering free coleslaw at locations across the city and state.
“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Coach O and the incredible success of his team,” remarks Graves, who will also be closing all Louisiana locations at 7:30 p.m. on Monday so the Cane’s team can watch the primetime showdown of LSU versus Clemson. “We are so proud of Coach O and so grateful for everything he has brought to our home state.”
We suggest stopping by and grabbing a slaw to eat Coach O style–i.e. no forks involved. However, we encourage you to fight the urge to snatch the cutout. There is no way that Coach O would condone theft.
What do you love most about Coach O? Let us know in the comments below or by commenting on our Coach O post on Instagram.