It should prove to be a good way for Huey Magoo’s, the quick service restaurant chain that specializes in chicken tenders, to get its name out there – not only for UCF students, alumni and fans, but also beyond.
“UCF football and Huey Magoo’s: It’s an unbeatable team,” Huey Magoo’s President and CEO Andy Howard said in a press release. “We’ve had a long-standing relationship and home within the University of Central Florida with our Student Union location, the third Huey Magoo’s to ever open, and with our headquarters in Orlando, it was a perfect opportunity to partner with our hometown school and go on record as ‘The Official Tenders of the UCF Knights.’ As we are gearing up for our milestone 50th store opening right around the corner, we look forward to a great football season with many more fans enjoying the one-and-only ‘filet mignon of chicken’, not only in Central Florida, but also throughout our fast-growing footprint nationwide.”
And with the new partnership, Huey Magoo’s will not only have its location inside the student union of Florida’s largest university in terms of enrollment, but also inside the FBC Mortgage Stadium for football games, and at a concession stand at UCF men’s and women’s basketball games.
Timing with UCF joining new conference
So not only will Huey Magoo’s increase its visibility within the UCF community, but also with those with allegiances to other schools in the Big 12 Conference, which UCF joined earlier this year.
Opposing team fans who travel to the UCF campus for a game will see Huey Magoo’s presence, and I would suspect also those who watch the games on television will also learn of the chicken tender brand.
And as Huey Magoo’s talks about expansion, this could be a good opportunity to plant the seeds before hitting new geographical areas.
Gone are the days when collegiate athletic conferences at the NCAA Division 1 level are based on geography, culture and tradition. The new makeup of the Big 12 reflects that.
Presently the conference, which took the former Big Eight Conference and added four universities in Texas, includes original members Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University, University of Texas, Texas Tech University and Baylor University. Those who have since joined the conference, in addition to UCF, are Brigham Young University, University of Cincinnati, University of Houston, Texas Christian University and the University of West Virginia.
None of those schools are in states that are within a reasonable driving distance of UCF, and interestingly enough, only one of them are also in states where a Huey Magoo’s is located.
According to the company’s website, Huey Magoo’s has locations in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri.
And the only Huey Magoo’s locations in Ohio aren’t all that close to Cincinnati, but rather in the Dayton and Columbus metropolitan areas.
So based on this geographical information, it is possible that most students from these universities have even heard of the chain. Being an alumnus and fan of an original Big 12 school, I’m sure if it weren’t for the fact that I report on the poultry industry, I wouldn’t have heard of Huey Magoo’s either. I would have just guessed Huey was a relative of that nearsighted cartoon character from days gone by.
But that doesn’t mean that people affiliated with other Big 12 schools won’t want to try Huey Magoo’s, and maybe they might be hooked. Case in point: I’ve seen many Big 12 games where Whataburger advertises and uses a slogan that says something like, “there’s one near you,” but in reality, I have to drive several hours to either Edmond or Stillwater, Oklahoma, before I can get to one. Still, I often take advantage of the opportunity to eat Whataburger food whenever it does arise.
That alone presents an opportunity for Huey Magoo’s, but if the chain has grown to have 50 locations since its founding in 2004, it would appear there could be some good target areas for growth in some of these college towns.