If Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale ever offers you a wager on sports, take it. Don’t bother with the details, just take it. Mattress Mack, owner/operator of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, has lost his shirt on sports-related promotions in the past, and it appears that the Houston Astros could cost him upwards of $4 million in refunds.
Prior to the season, Gallery Furniture unveiled a promotion that offered a full refund on purchases to 500 contestants, contingent upon Houston winning 63 games. In other terms, if the Astros lost “only” 99 games, every person entered in the contest would receive free home furnishings. With the team performing better than expected (already at 40 wins by the All-Star break!) the writing appears to be on the wall for Mattress Mack.
Below is a status update from the company’s website.
Before the Astros Opening Day game, Gallery Furniture issued a challenge: the first 500 customers who purchase $6,300.00 or more from Gallery Furniture would receive full refunds, if the Houston Astros™ win 63 or more games in the regular season.
Mattress Mack promised that 100% of the furniture purchase price will be refunded to ALL 500 participating customers, if the Astros could pull off at least 63 wins. The promotion received a hugely positive response from Astros fans all across Houston and quickly the 500 slots were taken.
The Astros have worked hard and played well this year, led by all-star Jose Altuve and rookie sensation George Springer, and are closing in on 63 wins! The countdown for $4 Million in FREE furniture for Houston begins!
There is a method to Mack’s madness, however. After doling out over $8 million in refunds for two losing “Pigskin Promos,” the furniture magnate explained to the Houston Business Journal that it’s all part of a strategy that targets a specific demographic.
“We’re trying to attract Millennials, and this promotion brought in hundreds of Millennials,” McIngvale said.
The wild promotions garner plenty of publicity in the webspace (see: this website), which allows him to reach his target audience via new media. Mack feels the promotion far exceeds the lost revenue.
“If it’s good for the customer, it’s good for us,” he said. “If the customer wins, we win.”
Only 23 more wins to go for the ‘Stros and Mack will have even more happy customers.