Everyone does the “Free Food When We Win” promos. In countless varieties, twists and turns and food types. Best practice maybe, but also seems a little stock to get me excited.
But last month I was reminded that promotions pop for different people in different ways. What might bore me may still light up another fan.
Case and point:
I went to a Buffalo Sabres game last month with my 10-year-old son. During the pre-game the team was cycling through messages about promotions and sponsorships on their videoboard. At one point my attentive son tells me “But I don’t even like coffee.” Unaware of what he was referencing I ask why he said that. “If the Sabres score 2 goals I win a free coffee. But I don’t even like coffee.”
I explained he didn’t have to drink the coffee, it’s just a fun promotion.
An hour later in the game the Sabres scored first. Oscar (my son) casually high-fived me and he clapped a bit for the goal.
Minutes later the Sabres scored again. This time Oscar was on his feet, fists pumping, screaming for the goal. The difference was a bit startling and I asked him why he was so excited.
“BECAUSE I JUST WON A FREE COFFEE!!!!”
This from the kid who noted he doesn’t even like coffee. But he was a winner. So were the Sabres and so was Tim Horton’s. (and so was Dad).
This is a reminder that the $2 cup of coffee or the free taco is a fun, feel-good memento for everyone who shared in the moment. Sports is there to bond us, sometimes in odd incalculable ways.
The Water Cooler is the idea that something that happened at the game will be something fans share the next day at the Water Cooler (or coffee shop or taco stand). Valuable word of mouth advertising about the experience. It is almost impossible top think of someone cashing in their ticket for a taco and not telling someone about the game experience.
So savor that taco or cup of coffee and know somewhere fans are eating or drinking to the team and reliving the moment and the experience they shared.
Which is actually what it’s all about.
The league's top two teams go head to head tonight, but there's much more at stake.
— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) March 19, 2019