Dawn Kotowski runs a Taco Bell located near the SUNY-Cortland campus where the New York Jets hold training camp. After the team's quarterback made a few trips to the fast-food franchise -- ordering a chicken taco and chicken burrito without tomatoes each time -- Kotowski gave him a hat emblazoned with the Taco Bell logo and playfully asked Sanchez to wear it at practice.
The second-year player did even better, sporting the hat during several team meetings that were filmed by HBO's "Hard Knocks." The Sports Business Journal reports that Taco Bell received the equivalent of $68,000 in free advertising due to Sanchez's choice of headgear.
"The nice ladies at Taco Bell gave me a Taco Bell hat," Sanchez told reporters when camp broke. "I was really excited about that, and Bart [Scott] was really excited about that. This place is awesome. We love being here. We can't wait to be here next year."
"Territorial Taco Bell affinity is common amongst men in the early 20s," said NFL blogger Chris Chase. "The one that was near my apartment in college has always had a special place in my heart because they always hooked it up with extra fire sauce and cut my Mexican pizza in eight slices instead of the usual four."
A Taco Bell spokesman says Kotowski was rewarded by the company "in a number of ways." For her sake, we hope one of those ways wasn't in the form of free tickets to the Jets' season-opening game against the Ravens, because that would have been more like a punishment. Sanchez must have eaten at Chipotle before that one.
- Taco Bell