A Ruth's Chris Ann Arbor promotion caught fire after Michigan beat Rutgers 78-0.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) Knee jerk reaction for everyone was, "that manager is getting fired." Not so fast my friend. While it wasn't disclosed on this post, the discount was capped at 50% off, a "some conditions apply" term that was made official before the Rutgers game. Had the due diligence not been made to clearly plan and state conditions for a promotion like this ahead of time, mass ill-will could drive patrons away from any future visits. It should've been stated off-the-bat to avoid appearing like backtracking.
2) This campaign is more evidence of properly-executed Game-Activated Promotions like this "when we win, you win" promotion being the "Holy Grail" of sports promotions and sponsorship centerpieces. It went viral in a huge way, was all over ESPN, had Darren Rovell covering on-site and Jim Harbaugh attending while drinking a much-publicized glass of milk with his steak. Millions of impressions have resulted and the place is booked solid when it's normally slow and servers are ecstatic as they're to be tipped at regular rates. This is a result of a great relationship between Ruth's Chris Ann Arbor and Michigan Football (of which equated to invaluable "free" advertising at the national level for the brand). These specials can be tied to game-goers with tickets or all fans, but expectations and objectives have to be tempered, mapped-out, communicated and executed effectively with all potential outcomes and stakeholders in mind. It always helps to promote that players and staff have bought in themselves and participated.
3) Traffic drivers are tremendous for building future goodwill and business (again, if planned and executed properly and without over-saturation). Rest assured that Ruth's Chris Ann Arbor will be the place to be Sunday through Thursday through the fall. Quality of the experience and food will bring those patrons back again independently. Another promotion, ie. "bring back this receipt for X% off your next visit" will help maximize repeat business for patrons driven by a "discounter's mentality."