One year ago during training camp, Eagles tackle Lane Johnson promised beer for everybody if the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
Bud Light, an NFL sponsor, quickly leaped in with a Twitter reply:
"Let's make a bet. Win it all and the party is on us. Deal?"
On Feb. 4, with the confetti raining in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Bud Light agreed to keep the promise. Days later, representatives handed out tokens for free beers, redeemable at bars along the route of the Eagles' victory parade.
Bud Light is keeping the good times going. The brand and the Eagles announced that limited-edition "Philly Philly" commemorative packs will go on sale for $29.99 each on Aug. 16, the date of the Eagles' preseason game against the New England Patriots.
The name is inspired by the name of the "Philly Special" play — the one that had quarterback Nick Foles catching a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton — and Bud Light's "Dilly Dilly" Super Bowl ad campaign.
Each pack will be individually numbered and will include a 25-ounce aluminum bottle and two Bud Light glasses etched with a diagram of the play. The diagram also appears on the back of the box — and, for that matter, on the back of some delivery trucks for Penn Beer, Bud Light's Philadelphia-area distributor. Eight of the packs will contain a ticket granting tickets to the Eagles' season opener on Sept. 6.
Specifically, Bud Light says, 20,418 packs will be sold in the Philadelphia metro area, corresponding to the Super Bowl date.
Andy Goeler, Bud Light's vice president of marketing (and a Jets fan), said he could not recall Bud Light's producing a similar commemorative pack before. Given the Johnson bet last season and the resulting interaction with the Eagles, "the idea just bubbled up," Goeler said.
By the way, it turns out that an Eagles fan on Bud Light's marketing team was behind the lofty promise.
Kyle Lazarus, 31, born and raised in Washington Township, Gloucester County, and a graduate of St. Augustine Prep in Atlantic County, was at the Twitter keys. He's a New York-based senior manager for digital marketing at InBev, Bud Light's parent company.
The next step was — ha-ha — convincing his boss that he had made the right call. "Andy was staring at it with a hard eye," Lazarus said, referring to Goeler.
Goeler said he came around quickly, acknowledging that should the Eagles win, the brand could pull off the giveaway and look like heroes.
"He was a nervous wreck all summer," Goeler said of Lazarus, even though the prospect of the Eagles' winning the Super Bowl in August 2017 seemed unlikely.
"But it could happen," Goeler said. "We started to meet and create a plan."
Then came January and the NFC championship title. More anxiety.
Then the Super Bowl itself.
"During the game, I'm thinking, 'They could win this.' And I knew a lot of people will be asking, 'Is Bud Light really going to hold true to their promise?'" Goeler said. "As soon as the game ended, we jumped into action immediately. We sent out a social media message, and that changed the conversation to, 'Wow. They are going to honor their word.' "
The upshot: Lots of happy Philadelphians, Goeler said, declining to disclose how many beers were given away — and Bud Light's Philadelphia sales performance in the first quarter of 2018 was its best in three years.