Philadelphia 76ers fans were already in a good mood on Sunday. The Boston Celtics were leading by 13 points when 76ers forward Georges Niang fouled Robert Williams, sending him to the line with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
After Williams missed the first shot, the Wells Fargo Center crowd went wild. On the scoreboard were the prompts, „Get Loud,” „Get Loud” and „Next Miss is for 5 Nuggets,” reminiscent of the famous Chick-fil-A commercial. When Williams made her second free throw, a disappointed „ah” erupted throughout the arena.
A similar reaction occurred twice more in the game, as Celtics star Jayson Tatum missed his first free throws with 8:57 left and 3:21 left in the game. Both times, Tatum made the second shot, denying fans their free chicken nuggets.
At the end of the night, they celebrated again. The 76ers evened the Eastern Conference semifinals in two games, winning 116-115. And with that comes another opportunity for free food.
Ever since Chick-fil-A launched the „Break for Chicken” campaign at the start of the season, it’s been a win-win for all parties involved: local restaurant owners for marketing exposure and increased traffic to their stores, 76ers sponsorship revenue and fans for the guest experience and complimentary nuggets.
details? At any home 76ers’ game, if the opposing player misses two consecutive free throws in the second half, fans will receive five chicken nuggets. If that happens again, fans will get eight nuggets. If this happens three times in a game, fans get 12 nuggets.
This season, the promotion ran at 10 games, resulting in area restaurants handing out more than 600,000 free nuggets. „It’s a phenomenal number,” said Owen Morin, the 76ers’ senior vice president of corporate partnerships, adding that „the win is much better than we initially expected.” The goal now is to distribute more than a million nuggets in a season.
It’s not just for the people attending the game. If an opposing player misses two free throws, anyone in the Philadelphia region can open their Chick-fil-A app and claim the offer by 10:30 a.m. the next business day. They have three days to claim the offer at any restaurant.
„It’s an incredible ad,” said Sam Glass, who owns two Chick-fil-A stores in suburban Philadelphia.
Glass, who leads Chick-fil-A’s sports partnerships team in the region, has known the 76ers’ brass for years as a longtime advertiser at Chick-fil-A games. However, Glass looked with envy at Wendy’s promotion that began in the 2017-18 season, in which fans would receive a free small Frosty drink if an opposing player missed two free throws in the second half of a 76ers’ home game.
When Wendy’s contract expired before this season, Glass reiterated to the 76ers that Chick-fil-A would happily pitch. During the 2022 NFL season, Wendy’s Sponsored A promotion at Philadelphia Eagles games where fans won a free small Frosty if the Eagles prevented an opponent from scoring a touchdown in the first quarter.
„We’ve always told the Sixers that if there’s ever an opportunity, we’d jump at it,” Glass said. „We felt that our brand with sixes could really amplify the effect of this ad.”
After both sides agreed to the deal, the 76ers’ marketing staff came up with the name „Bricks for Chicken.”
„We spent a lot of time internally going through names,” Morin said. „It’s our fans that ultimately bring this to life, but I think some of the magic is the name.”
The campaign got off to an enviable start. During Philadelphia’s first home game on October 20, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed two free throws, giving Philadelphia fans free nuggets with 2:07 remaining.
„It’s kind of a dream scenario for us,” Morin said. „It’s always nice when it happens immediately.”
Class said: “That really drove the promotion from day one. That’s right, 'Oh, what happened?’
Next month, Antetokounmpo He missed Two free throws three times in a row in the second half of the game in Philadelphia. and Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons, a former 76ers’ player who is notorious in the area. He missed Two consecutive second-half free throws in his first game at the Wells Fargo Center led to the franchise trading him last February. The moments went viral online and garnered attention in advertising.
„It took off from there,” Class said. „Even Chick-fil-A corporate came to us and said, 'What are you doing? This is amazing.’ They were shocked by the amount of impressions we were getting and earned media coverage of it, which was off the charts.
Other NBA franchises such as the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards have received Chick-fil-A promotions, as have several colleges, including Fordham and Maryland.
For the 76ers’ promotion, the owners and operators of 76 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey are working together to cover the cost of serving the free nuggets. Each of them must put money into what the department calls a „marketing pool,” a centralized account that can be used to pay for marketing activities across the region. That way, costs are spread across all restaurants rather than the busiest restaurants.
„It’s not a direct win for the restaurant,” Class said. “So we’ve made it a lot easier for owner-operators to say, ‘I want to be a part of this.’
In 2019, area restaurants ran similar promotions where they offered free chicken sandwiches whenever a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher recorded a save in a home game or scored three or more goals in a Philadelphia Union home Major League Soccer game.
Back then, fans rushed to redeem the offer as it was only available on the next business day.
„It’s been incredibly challenging for restaurants, especially restaurants close to downtown, to deal with that,” said Class. „You were giving away thousands of sandwiches a day….We saw this massive influx of people. It was overwhelming to be honest with you.
After signing a contract with the 76ers last year, the class decided to extend the time that people could redeem the offer by three days. That way, the restaurants won’t be crowded, and it works.
„That learning from pre-Covid 2019 helped us figure out how we could do this in a way that was sustainable for restaurants to manage,” Glass said. „It doesn’t have this pressure on restaurants.”
According to the class, owners have seen financial benefits, primarily as people who purchase additional items in addition to free nuggets use the app and visit restaurants more often than before receiving the offer. Before the pandemic, about 5% of customers at Philadelphia-area restaurants used the app. Today, the class drives 35% to 38% usage, which helps build loyal customers and generate additional revenue.
„It’s a win-win for us. Yes, we’re giving away a lot of free nuggets,” Glass said. “It’s a good thing for the visitors and the Sixers fans. But the truth is, it’s also a good thing for us as a business because it gets people on this digital platform, our app. Once they’re in there, every restaurant can use it for marketing purposes, which is great.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”