I wrote last week about Goose Island’s ingenious plan to offer free beer for a year to any of the “armchair kickers” who could make a 43-yard field goal – the distance that the Bears’ kicker missed in the playoff game.

They put this stunt together on the fly – and it had a major kink in it: giving away free beer in Illinois is illegal. So, they punted that plan and offered a free ticket to any NFL game instead. Not as glamorous, but still a nice prize.

No one won it.

None of the 100 participants could make the kick, although some did provide some entertaining flubs in the process. As expected, the promotion drew a crowd well beyond the participants, garnered extensive news coverage, and probably made a few people think twice about how difficult the kick really was (all without the defense rushing at you and blocking it with their hand — the NFL actually ruled the Bears kick as a block, not a miss).

In addition to silencing 100 of Cody Parkey’s critics, Goose Island also donated $20,000 to the Bears kicker’s favorite charity. Nice gesture!

All in all, the field kick promotion was timely, creative and a great way to tap into Goose Island’s target market. Follow their example and jump on spontaneous branding opportunities that occur. Even if you have to punt and make a few modifications along the way, you still score big in the end.

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