This year, however, MSU announced that the partnership deal with Taco Bell was not renewed by the company. Meaning the free tacos—and all the tradition that comes with them—was just over. Like that.
Various Taco Bell locations in and around East Lansing had long provided a freetaco to anyone who proved by way of ticket stub they had attended an MSU basketball wherein the Spartans scored at least 70 points. But the fast food giant ended that time-honored promotion this year.
“The sponsorship agreement with them ran out,” MSU associate athletic directorPaul Schager said, “and they decided not to renew it, although it was a fan-favorite and something very positive and very popular….
Schager said the promotion had been in place since 2004. He said it was a good partnership for both parties, but Taco Bell’s corporate officials made the call to end the deal.
Taco Bell representatives didn't even return phone calls. No explanation given. Taking away East Lansing's tacos was arguably the most dick move in the company's history—even worse than their historic exploitation of stoners' stomachs with the “fourth meal.”
But wait! After the news was released this week, pissed-off Spartans began to belly-ache on Twitter. The student section's official account even recruited sympathy from Penn State. And Taco Bell reversed the decision, deciding to provide students with free tacos once again. From the AP:
On Wednesday, Taco Bell announced it was retaining the giveaway at 10 locations in and near the campus town.
“Our local franchisee is grateful for the passionate Taco Bell fans at Michigan State University and is exploring exciting new partnerships with MSU Athletics,” Taco Bell Corp. said in an email statement to The Associated Press. “As a thank you to fans, customers with an MSU basketball game ticket can still get a free taco at the locations below for the remainder of the season when the team scores at least 70 points.”
[H/T: USA Today FTW]