On Thursday, October 22, a strange rumble began with baseball and Taco Bell fans. Taco Bell announced that they would be running a promotion called “Steal a Base, Steal a Breakfast” that has a pretty straightforward premise. Everyone in America is entered, no purchase necessary. The first player that steals a base during the World Series, by any team, wins free breakfast for the entire country.
Probably not a lot of people noticed. Taco Bell isn’t just going to give away breakfast to everyone in America unless something really special happens, right? Well, it turns outs that stolen bases are pretty common in baseball. The New York Mets, for example, had 51 stolen bases through the 2015 regular season, according to Yahoo! Sports. Even though they were some of the lowest stolen base producers in baseball in 2015, chances are pretty high that a base was going to get stolen for either the Mets or the Kansas City Royals, who had 104 stolen bases in 2015, at some point during the World Series. If not four or five. Lorenzo Cain with the Kansas City Royals was the man who sealed the deal, according to AL.
A base has been stolen in the World Series! Grab your free A.M. Crunchwrap on November 5th between 7-11 a.m. Rules: https://t.co/yyutdNEGEA
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) October 28, 2015
Taco Bell obviously knew all this. Working through the thought process of the Taco Bell executives who thought through the idea is a provocative nonplus. Who can argue with free breakfast? Who can argue with something that catches America’s attention long enough to force them to contemplate, “Taco Bell is basically just giving away free breakfast. They must be great people. And pretty witty too.”
In 2009, Oprah Winfrey was reported to take part in a promotion with KFC for free chicken. All Oprah’s viewers had to do was print out a coupon on her website. Cracked reports that 16 million people did just that. KFC, of all places, ran out of chicken before noon the day of the promotion.
“We think there is no better way for us to share in the excitement of the World Series, than to celebrate and reward all of our fellow fans with a free Taco Bell breakfast,” Taco Bell’s Chief Brand Engagement Officer Marisa Thalberg stated.
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) missed Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimates with its third quarter EPS number of $1.00. The street had been looking for $1.07. YUM shares are up 0.4 percent in 2015. They had been up as much a 30 percent in the early summer; the earnings miss has caused the stock to sell off, back near the level it started the year at.
The Taco Bell giveaway includes an A.M. Crunchwrap, which the Taco Bell website lists for $2.49. Yum! has a profit margin of about 7.1 percent. A rough cost estimate, for Yum!, on a Taco Bell Crunchwrap is about $2.31. Sixteen million people showed up for the KFC giveaway. Could that many people show up for the Taco Bell giveaway? Could twice as many people show up?
The important thing for Yum! is that Taco Bell executes the promotion well, and has plenty of supplies. The last thing Taco Bell or Yum! needs is riots or sit ins over hungry customers being denied A.M. Crunchwraps because supplies were too low.
[Feature Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]