Arby's Free Food Foray For March Madness

March 16, 2009: Following in the "free food" footsteps of Denny's and Taco Bell, Arby's said it would give away All-American Roastburgers on Monday, March 23, if any 16th seeded team defeats any of the four No. 1 seeded teams in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament this week. The problem: A No. 16 has never defeated a No. 1 in the 70-year history of the event. “Each year at this time, people crave that Cinderella story – the team that takes everyone by surprise,” Jason Abelkop, svp-marketing and national media at Arby’s Restaurant Group, said in a statement. However, hungry hoops fans dreaming of a free Roastburger might want to make other plans. As Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science and the director of the simulation and optimization laboratory at the University of Illinois, put it, "In the first round, the No. 1 seed has beaten the No. 16 seed 100% of the time." In this year's tournament, No. 1 Pittsburgh plays No. 16 East Tennessee State (East Region) and No. 1 Connecticut plays No. 16 Chattanooga (West Region) on March 19; and No. 1 North Carolina plays No. 16 Radford (South Region) while No. 1 Louisville plays the winner of tonight's play-in game between Alabama State and Morehead State (Midwest Region), both on March 20. Should the Cinderella story actually happen, Arby's said that customers must bring in proof of the win to participating locations, such as the game’s box score, to receive one free All-American Roastburger per person (while supplies last). Denny's offered a free "Grand Slam" breakfast on Feb. 3, the day after it ran a TV spot during Super Bowl XLIII unveiling the promotion. More than 2 million consumers took Denny's up on the offer. "The response [was] been even better than we thought," John Dillon,vp-marketing at Denny's, said in a statement. "We thought we were going to have a great day, and we had an awesome day." Taco Bell has offered a "Steal a base, steal a Taco" promotion during each of the last two World Series based on a player stealing a base during a game. Last month, Quiznos had a "Million Sub Giveaway" promotion offering a limited-time "free" sub sandwich to consumers who showed up with a printable coupon found at the chain's Web site. Back to Home Page



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