February 1, 2011

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Predicting the Super Bowl Based on Fathead Sales

By: Lionel

At Fathead, we don’t spend too much time comparing the sales of the various teams we carry.  Recently, however, someone asked me how the sales of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have been so far this year and if I thought that was any indication of how the Super Bowl will turn out.  Obviously, logic tells us that product sales have absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the Super Bowl, but the question was interesting enough, and I was sick of doing real work, so I did a little bit of research.

Traditionally, both the Packers and the Steelers have been strong selling teams for Fathead.  The Steelers are perennially one of the best on our roster, and the Packers have been no slouch, even in the post-Favre era.  Looking just at this year, however, from January 1 until now, the number of Pittsburgh Steelers Fatheads sold is about 46% higher than the number of Green Bay Packers Fatheads.  Could that be an indication that the Steelers will win the Super Bowl?

Before you completely dismiss the question, consider this:  in the past two NBA Finals, the team that sold more Fatheads in the month prior to the Finals emerged as the Champion (it was the Lakers both years, with victories over the Magic and the Celtics).  And we saw the same in the last two Stanley Cup Finals — the Penguins outsold the Red Wings the month before the final series of the 2009 Playoffs began and went on to win it all, and the Blackhawks similarily outsold the Flyers in the month before the 2010 Final.  The better selling team the month before the World Series has been champion each of the past three years (Phillies over Rays in ‘08, Yankees over Phillies in ‘09, and Giants over Rangers in ‘10).

And you may not realize this, but we actually sold Barrack Obama and John McCain Fatheads prior to the 2008 election (and that’s not a joke).  Would you care to guess which candidate sold more?  That’s right:  by a pretty healthy margin, it was Obama.

With the NFL, though, it hasn’t been quite as clear.  The theory holds up for 2009, when we sold more Pittsburgh Steelers product than Arizona Cardinals product the month before the Steelers beat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl.  But prior to last year’s Super Bowl, we actually sold fewer New Orleans Saints Fatheads than Indianapolis Colts Fatheads (although it was very close).

So we can’t call it an exact science, but it certainly is intriguing that Fathead sales have been such a successful indicator of the outcomes of major sporting events the last couple of years.

Am I prepared, then, to predict that the Steelers will win Sunday’s game?  Not a chance.  I am, however, prepared to make a more sure-fire prediction:  the day after the Super Bowl, we’re going to sell a lot more of the winning team’s Fatheads than we will the losing team’s Fatheads.

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