Memphis' Million-Dollar Missed Free Throws


Each of those missed free throws late in Monday night's national-championship basketball game between Memphis and Kansas turned out to be rather expensive for some Memphians. According to the advertising director at Ashley Furniture Homestore, Tiger fans would have received more than $1 million in refunds for furniture purchased over a pair of promotional weekends last winter.

"We had no idea we'd get the response we did," says Ashleys Furniture's Kim Conrad. "People stood in line for a couple of hours at a time, and were happy to do it."

The promotions -- each spanning three days -- were held last December and then again in early February. The offer was for a full refund on furniture purchased during the promotional periods if the Memphis Tigers won the national championship.

Conrad says thousands of customers flocked to the store for a chance to improve their homes and get the Tigers basketball team to pay for it.

And there was little ambivalence among the Tiger-faithful customers. "The deal called for customers to mail in their rebate form after the Tigers won the championship," explains Conrad. "But people were mailing them in as soon as they got home!"

The promotion was insured by S.C.A. Promotions, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Had Memphis won the title, Ashley customers would have received checks by June.

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