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Goose Island scratches free beer field-goal giveaway; new prize is attending any NFL game in 2019

Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO -- Goose Island Beer Co. was out of bounds by offering a free year of beer to anyone who kicks a 43-yard field goal outside the brewery Saturday, so it came up with an arguably better prize: airfare, hotel and entry to any regular-season NFL game during the 2019 season.

Goose Island announced its clever marketing stunt Monday, a day after the Bears' Cody Parkey missed what would have been a game-winning 43-yard kick against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In a bid to show solidarity with the kicker, Chicago's oldest brewery -- which sold in 2011 to Anheuser-Busch, where a majority of its beer is now made -- said it would erect a goal to demonstrate the difficulty of nailing such a kick.

The promotion, predictably, garnered a wealth of attention. Even People magazine couldn't resist.

The updated prize comes with a bonus: Anyone who nails the 43-yard field goal will get a chance to break the NFL record of longest field goal ever -- 65 yards.

Nail that, and you get two tickets to next month's Super Bowl.

(You won't nail it, so quit dreaming.)

The initial prize of a free case of Goose Island beer each week for a year would have run afoul of an Illinois law that forbids breweries from giving beer away, Goose Island President Todd Ahsmann said.

Signups to kick will run noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the brewery, 1800 W. Fulton St in Chicago. Kicking begins at 1 p.m.

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The weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of snow Saturday afternoon. The competition will happen, snow or not, Ahsmann said.

"If it snows, I think that will make it more fun," he said. "Just like a real game. They don't control the weather."

Since announcing the promotion, Goose Island's social media channels have been flooded with amateur kickers sharing videos of themselves nailing long field goals.

Ahsmann said the brewery has no clue whether to expect a dozen people to hit the field goal -- or none.

"We have no idea," he said. "We might blow our entire marketing budget in one day."

(c)2019 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

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