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Chalupa Promotion: A "Tasty" 100 Point Give Away

Taco Bell
Taco Bell

I went to the Portland Trail Blazers game last night. These guys, who won their 12th straight home game and 17 of their last 18, are inexplicably good.

By scoring more than 100 points and winning, the team ensured, for the ninth time this season, that fans would get Taco Bell Chalupa coupons.

For those of you who haven't seen it, it's pretty awesome. When the team comes close to scoring 100 and is clearly going to win, the crowd--along with encouragement from the scoreboard signs--starts chanting CHA-LU-PA! CHA-LU-PA!

It's hard to say when the great marketing idea started, but I believe the Sonics were the first ones to do it. In 1999, the year the Chalupa came out, the Sonics needed to score 110 points to give the crowd their free Taco Bell. The Cavs and Blazers still do it.

While this game was a blowout, it's amazing how invigorated the crowd gets when they see the team is coming close to that 100 number. The biggest groan in the arena all night was when James Jones missed a jumper with 7:37 to go that would have been the Chalupa shot.

But when Sergio Rodriguez knocked down a jumper, the crowd went crazy and the scoreboard showed this "cheesy" video of players eating a Chalupa.

The "Chalupa Shot" has surely contributed to controversy. In 2001, Mark Cuban was fined $10,000 when he ran out onto the court to protect his team against Cavaliers players, who were not happy that the team was running up the score--presumably for a Chalupa. The attention was worth at least $1 million in publicity to Taco Bell.

For the record, a Chalupa is 420 calories and 27 grams of fat.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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