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U.S. Cellular teams up with TV personality Andrew Zimmern for new travel-themed digital series

July 24, 2015

July 22, 2014

For more information, contact:
Natalie Bailey, Public Relations Counsel
Moxley Carmichael
[email protected]
(865) 544-0088

Iman Jefferson, Media Relations
U.S. Cellular
(773) 355-3737
[email protected]


‘Big Country’ offers once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences for deserving
U.S. Cellular customers

Millions of Americans have never traveled or even left the state they grew up in. Many have dreamed of taking a special trip but lacked the time or opportunity to do so. For example, nearly one in 10 Tennesseans (9 percent) say they have never left their hometown and two in five have never traveled across the country (37 percent).

This summer, U.S. Cellular, a wireless carrier offering national network coverage, is teaming up with award-winning television personality, chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern to premiere “Big Country,” a five-episode digital series where the mobile carrier and Zimmern find deserving customers from across the U.S. and take them to places they’ve always wanted to visit, including New York City, Portland, Maine; Bend, Ore.; and San Francisco.

“Big Country” is brought to you by U.S. Cellular and began airing July 20 online at, as well as on, and Edited vignettes will air on the Food Network and Travel Channel. To join the social media conversation use #USCCBigCountry.

U.S. Cellular developed the digital series with Scripps Networks Interactive and Zimmern to allow customers to experience amazing sights and tastes around the country, all while staying connected to family and friends back home through U.S. Cellular’s nationwide coverage. Staying connected proved to be a major priority among smartphone users. In its survey, U.S. Cellular found that nearly half of Tennesseans (48 percent) are concerned that when traveling they won’t have working phone or Internet.

The digital series features U.S. Cellular customers who have lacked the time and opportunity to travel far from home. Throughout the series, Zimmern, who is an expert traveler and knows how to make the most out of any travel experience with his unique tips and tricks, will guide these novice travelers and make their travels truly unique.

Participants were selected via nominations from friends and family encouraging them to enjoy the travel experience. Their stories include overcoming the fear of flying and seeing the New York City skyline via a helicopter tour. The company is searching for one more hopeful explorer to star in the fifth and final episode of “Big Country.” U.S. Cellular customers can apply online at by Aug.10.

“It was great working with Andrew to help these deserving customers have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Grant Leech, vice president of Brand Management at U.S. Cellular. “Through ‘Big Country’ we want people to know that they can get the data and voice coverage they need across the country.”

“As someone who has traveled around the world, it’s such a thrill to work with U.S. Cellular to help people check items off their bucket list and share the adventure with loved ones back home,” Zimmern said. “Making ‘Big Country’ was an incredible opportunity, and I’m hoping it will inspire viewers to take their own adventures across the nation and beyond.”

Sharing experiences and staying in touch with family and friends are key themes in “Big Country,” and results from U.S. Cellular’s travel survey reveal some interesting facts supporting those themes. Tennesseans agree it is important that they can reach others (75 percent) and others can reach them (75 percent) when traveling.

¹Results are from an online survey of 3,562 nationally representative smartphone owners conducted by Ipsos Marketing on behalf of U.S. Cellular. The survey was conducted June 18-25, 2015.

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 98 percent will have access by the end of 2015. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and