Sports | June 8, 2019 2:06 pm

How the Raptors’ Season Yielded Millions of Free French Fries

Where three-pointers, McDonald’s and Kawhi Leonard converge

Delicious french fries
Brett Jordan/Creative Commons

Sometimes fast food promotions become the stuff of legends. Sometimes they can turn into unexpected investments. And sometimes they just get a lot of people free fast food.

The last of those is the case in Ontario, where a McDonald’s promotion has yielded free medium orders of french fries for numerous people. In the last year, McDonald’s locations in Ontario have given away over 2,000,000 orders of fries. No, that’s not a misprint. Yes, that’s a lot of fries. McDonald’s had expected to give away roughly a third as many.

What was the cause of this discrepancy? In part, the July 2018 trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto in exchange for Demar DeRozan. McDonald’s had forecast a number of three-pointers based on the Raptors’ statistics the previous season, and set up the promotion based on that.

As a Financial Post article about the promotion describes it, participants would download the McDonald’s app, and would receive “free french fries in Ontario every time the team made 12 three-point shots in a game.” The fast food chain had done a similar promotion with the Montreal Canadiens.

When Leonard arrived in Toronto, however, the team began scoring more three-pointers than they had before. A lot more. As the Financial Post puts it:

Last season, the Raptors hit 12 or more three-pointers in 43 of 82 games, and added another five games in the playoffs. This season the three-point threshold was reached 44 times in the regular season and another 10 — so far — in a much longer playoff run.

The fry giveaways have continued throughout the playoffs, with many restaurants preparing in advance for the increased influx of customers. And with Game 5 of the NBA Finals taking place on Monday, french fry fans in Ontario will have at least one more opportunity to sate their cravings and delight in their home team.

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