College football fans can soon display their team allegiance in an unusual place: their buns.
Starting Monday, Oklahoma City-based Sonic Drive-in will be serving new cheeseburgers stamped with an edible logo of a local college football team, including the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. The burgers have local flavor, too, like hardwood-smoked barbecue brisket atop the patty.
The stamps are made from tapioca starch and FDA-approved dyes and steamed onto the buns before serving, a process that adds several seconds to the cooking process.
“We're encouraging them to pick their team: Sooner or Cowboy,” said James O'Reilly, chief marketing officer for Sonic. “Every customer gets their own personalized team burger.”
Team logos add about a dime to the price of each burger because Sonic pays licensing and royalty fees to the universities, Sonic said.
In Oklahoma City, the Brisket Cheeseburger will cost $4.99.
Diners who wish to forgo the logo can request a burger without it, but they'll pay the same price.
The concept was tested last year in Lafayette, La., with the Ragin' Cajun, a spicy cheeseburger that comes with its own packet of Creole seasoning for the tots or fries.
In Oklahoma, the Brisket Cheeseburger will be available in Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Lawton with either an OU or OSU logo; a Smokehouse Cheeseburger will be served in Tulsa, with the same logo options.
College markets in Louisiana and Texas will have their own versions.
After the announcement Wednesday, Sonic fielded calls from schools across the country wanting to know how they could get their team on a burger, O'Reilly said.
The promotion could expand to more markets next year.