30 Years of Break Time
December 25, 2015
Written By Adam Buckallew
The summer of 1985 included many memorable highlights: “Back to the Future” debuted in theaters and went on to become the year’s top grossing movie, Tears for Fears released their hit radio single “Shout” and the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals were in the midst of rousing seasons that would culminate with a World Series showdown.
MFA Oil had its own excitement that summer as the company launched its first convenience stores. Initially known as Fast Break, the original location opened on Paris Road in Columbia, Mo. Additional stores were quickly added in Sedalia, Jefferson City, Tipton and Holts Summit. Now known as Break Time, MFA Oil’s convenience store business has continued to grow throughout the years with 77 locations now serving motorists in Missouri and Arkansas.
To celebrate its 30th birthday, Break Time offered customers special pricing on select items and kicked off the Ride in Style Sweepstakes, offering a 2015 Chevy Camaro. Customers registered in stores or at the website BreakTimeis30.com.
“Our customers really enjoyed the birthday specials we offered in stores during July and August, and they were excited about the opportunity to win a new car through the sweepstakes,” says Jennifer Bach, director of Break Time marketing and merchandising. “Customers submitted entries for the sweepstakes inside our stores and online. Overall, the response we saw was excellent.”
Additional prizes and gifts were given away to customers who participated in the birthday celebration on the Break Time Facebook page.
“The buildup to the 30th birthday presented us with a unique opportunity to connect with our customers via social media,” Bach says. “We launched an eight-week Facebook campaign in July to promote the birthday milestone, sweepstakes and our in-store specials. The campaign incorporated fun 1980s-themed throwback posts that led to a great deal of engagement and interaction with customers.”
Finalists for the grand prize were selected and invited to attend the Break Time Birthday Party on Saturday, Aug. 29 at the newest Break Time location on Grindstone Parkway in Columbia. The official birthday bash featured awesome 80s tunes, complimentary hot dogs, cake, ice cream and party prizes. The winner of the Ride in Style Sweepstakes was announced at the party. Leslie Lindsley of O’Fallon, Mo. was selected from eight finalists to drive home in the brand-new Camaro. Break Time team members and MFA Oil home office staff were able to get in on the fun by wearing t-shirts with the message “Party Like it’s 1985” printed on them during the birthday festivities.
“Anytime you can create engagement with the consumer, that’s a good thing,” says Curtis Chaney, senior vice president of retail for MFA Oil. “The birthday party, special pricing and the car giveaway created a fun, memorable experience that customers will associate with Break Time in the future. These types of experiences help build brand loyalty and may factor into future buying decisions.”