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Taco Bell WS Coverage: Way Out Of Base Paths

Friday, 26 Oct 2007 | 10:15 AM ET
Tacoby Shellsbury T-Shirt
Tacoby Shellsbury T-Shirt

A World Series game broke out in the middle of a Taco Bell commercial last night. In case you didn’t hear, Jacoby Ellsbury stole a base in the bottom of the fourth last night.

Two innings later, Fox flashed to a conversation the night before between Royce Clayton and Ellsbury where they discussed the promotion. Then to the stolen base. Then to an interview with Chris Myers and Taco Bell COO Rob Savage. All this while the Red Sox were clinging on to their 2-1 lead.

Minutes later, I learned from Awful Announcingthat the 24-year-old Red Sox player already had a new nickname – “Tacoby Shellsbury.”

Minutes later, I kid you not folks, I found “Tacoby Shellsbury” shirts for saleonline. And today, I’m sure you’ll likely be able to find the new nickname in the guy’s Wikipedia entry.

By the way, in last night's Game 2, the logo and the phrase "Taco Bell" were on screen for 3 minutes and 15 seconds, according to Eric Wright of Joyce Julius & Associates, a sponsorship research firm. The phrase "Taco Bell" was mentioned 11 times.

The firm says that equaled a value of $4.1 million in equivalent advertising time. Combining that with Game 1 exposure on Fox, Taco Bell has received more than $8 million in equivalent advertising time within the two game broadcasts.

For its part, Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch made it very clear to me that the company did not pay anything for any additional in-game broadcast mentions and that Royce Clayton, who we now know is the dugout Taco Bell talker, also received no compensation from the company. "We're thrilled that Royce loves tacos so much," Poetsch said.

From Michael Walker:
Should have factored in how many people are aware of the promotion, are aware of the stolen base, are available during the time frame, but would never consider eating Taco Bell.

From Stephanie:
I think you are wrong about the percentage of Americans who will hear about the free taco. I think that precisely because the redemption period is so long, and people will be talking about it, because the late night comedians won't be able to resist talking about it, and because it involves free food, probably at least 50 - 60 percent of Americans will be aware of it. That will jack up the redemptions. That doesn't mean I disagree with your bottom line assessment that Taco Bell is getting a huge bargain. But I think it will cost them (or rather, their franchisees) a lot more than four grand! Cheers!

Stephanie: Even if I double my original estimate and say 67,000 people will get tacos, the at cost price is less than $10,000. I did my research and went to Taco Bell and bought one of the tacos they are giving away. There's no way that thing costs more than 10 cents to make.

From Brendan Glackin:
The Philadelphia Wings use to have a deal with hooters that whenever they scored 10 goals (fairly common as they are one of the best teams), everyone would receive 10 free wings. Also Penn Basketball has a deal with Abner's Cheesesteaks (very local place) that when the Quakers score 100 everyone gets free cheesesteaks that night. This causes Penn to trap and full court press up by 30 or so last year twice -- though they did not get there. This actually happened at least once a year with Fran Dunphy as coach as his teams traditionally scored alot of points.

From Quentin Love:
Taco Bell/Yum also have hit a home run in my opinion. Had they chosen what I believe are more natural fits in Pizza (Pizza Hut) and/or Chicken (KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken-whatever your preference) we may have seen greater exposure, additional eagerness to participate and thus a higher redemption. I'd suggest A &W, but I'm not sure if they have enough units nationwide 'to cover their bets'. This offering is something I'd argue most fans of baseball (the core consumer) aren't interested in versus the prior restaurants and isn't going to dent their bottom line that much. I'd also inquire the profit margin on this product. Probably isn't a hard sell to owners since it's a traffic driving promotion, but it does get their name out there, which I guess is all that really matters.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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