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Bobby Bonilla playing for the New York Mets in 1994.
George Gojkovich/Getty Images
Mint Mobile has a new one-day promotion on Thursday: 25 years of wireless service for $2,500. The new offer celebrates “Bobby Bonilla Day,” the internet holiday when New York Mets and baseball fans mark the date each year when the team pays retired outfielder Bobby Bonilla $1.19 million.
Aptly called “The Bobby Bonilla Plan,” the carrier is offering new customers 4GB per month of high-speed 5G or 4G LTE data for what amounts to $100 per year for 25 years. The carrier normally charges $15 per month for the 4GB plan and this promotion would knock it down to the equivalent of $8.33 a month, albeit with a very long commitment.
You will need to pay $2,500 upfront to take advantage of the promotion. In the fine print, the carrier notes that it “reserves the right to buy back The Bobby Bonilla Plan under certain conditions,” adding that it is “mostly just impressed that you’re interested, honestly.”
Aaron North, Mint’s chief marketing officer, says that you can upgrade higher data buckets, with the jump to unlimited running an extra $180 per year at Mint’s current rates. Mint sells its service in prorated three-, six- or 12-month plans. A caveat: You will need to make the change every year as at the end of 12 months the plan will revert back to the 4GB of data listed in the contract.
North notes the absurdity of that quirk and that his company is actually offering a 25-year plan. “We normally don’t have a 25-year plan so people normally pay every year, and then they’re given the opportunity to choose what level they want,” he says. “So it sort of puts a smile on my face now that I’m saying it out loud.”
While he says the company “didn’t really expect to sell any” of these plans, people are taking advantage of the offer. As of 11:15 a.m. PT, the company says that 23 people have signed up for the promotion.
North says the company is prepared to honor its end of the contract binary option strategy and third party monitoring of internet communications provide service for 25 years. The carrier offers a seven-day return policy and recommends that those who do this plan contact its customer support about options if they decide later on that they don’t want to hang around for the remainder of the term.
Bonilla, who retired in 2001, has received a payment of $1,193,248.20 every year since July 1, 2011, and is set to continue to receive payments every July 1 until 2035. The unusual situation originated in 2000 when the Mets negotiated a buy-out with the one-time star for the $5.9 million he was still owed. Instead of paying a lump sum, the team agreed to make the annual payments for 25 years starting in 2011, with a negotiated 8% interest rate.
As , the Mets ownership at the time had money invested with the fraudulent financier Bernie Madoff that “promised double-digit returns, and the Mets were poised to make a significant profit if the Madoff account delivered.”
That… , and in recent years Mets and baseball fans have to mock the overly generous contract.
The virality of the day seems to have appealed to Mint Mobile and the wireless carrier’s owner, the actor and internet darling Ryan Reynolds. The company has even recruited Bonilla to star in an ad, with Reynolds taking to Twitter Thursday morning to note that the company has “actually sold 9 Bobby Bonilla Plans already!”
Update: We’ve actually sold 9
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The deal, which can be found on , will be available until 11:59 p.m. PT Thursday (2:59 a.m. ET Friday).
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Correction, 10 a.m. PT: Mint has clarified that customers taking advantage of the deal will have to pay $2,500 upfront, not $100 per year as we were previously told.