On Friday, during the Lakers-Hornets playoff game in New Orleans, a fan won a contest. He hit a layup, a foul shot, a three pointer and a half court shot to win what might be the worst prize in NBA promotion history: A year supply of 7-Up.
I understand the premise. 7-Up is a Hornets sponsor and it wants to promote its product. The problem is that its product isn't worth what the fan should have won, which not only reflects badly on 7-Up, but it doesn't look good for the Hornets either. It might be even worse when you consider that the NBA now owns the Hornets.
This year alone, those who have hit a half court shot at NBA games have won $10,000 (Mavericks) and $20,000 (Thunder), while two Kings fans won Kia cars and a TrailBlazers fan won a Toyota truck. In fact, last year, when the Lakers played the Oklahoma City Thunder in round 1 of the playoffs, a fan hit a halfcourt shot to win $235,000.
So how much in 7-Up did the fan win?
Well, the Hornets and 7-Up determined that a year supply isn't even a can a day. The team told me they gave the winner coupons that allow him to redeem two 12-packs of 7-Up for 12 months. That's 288 cans. You can find it for cheaper, but retail price for a 12-pack is about $3.99. That means that the poor guy's prize was worth $95.76. But at least, thanks to the coupons, he doesn't have to pay tax on that.
The team thinks this is perhaps a good promotion because they don't have to pay a dime out of their pocket and maybe 7-Up brand officials thinks it's a good promotion because they don't have to give up much and they get some free advertising. All they have to do is look at how much press other half court shot winners have gotten compared to theirs and they'll realize that teaming the year supply of 7-Up with a cash prize would have gotten them tons more publicity.
And the cash prize would have hardly cost them anything. For $1,000, 7-Up could have insured against a $20,000 half court shot prize.
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