People in Houston need no introduction to Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who owns Gallery Furniture in Houston. A lot of sports fans may not either, as he’s made quite a name for himself by associating his business with both the highs and lows of the Houston Astros over the years.
I don’t know much about his business at large, but he’s been on our radar for several years. Back in 2014, when the Astros were absolutely terrible, he promised a customers who spent a certain amount of money on furniture at his store a refund if the Astros didn’t lose 100 games that year. They lost only 92 games and Mattress Mack had to pay out $4 million or so in refunds. In 2017 he did a similar thing except this time he offered big refunds if the Astros won the World Series. Which they did, of course, which cost Mattress Mack around $12 million.
Mattress Mack is at it again this year. He’s been offering customers who spend over $3,000 on stuff a refund if the Astros once again win the World Series, as they’re favored to do.
One might think that this is irresponsible, but you probably don’t become a successful furniture salesman if you’re not savvy about such things. I mean, without even knowing anything about the guy or listening to him explain himself, it’s a very safe assumption that the guy simply — and correctly — figured that his offer was great, mostly free advertising, that it increased sales volume and that it might’ve inspired people on the fence to buy something. His margins, along with some well-thought-out conditions on the refund offer, no doubt ensures that his “crazy” promotion will do more good than harm for his business.
Oh, and he’s getting some insurance for his offer too. In the from of laying bets on the Astros in order to mitigate his losses should Houston win the World Series. From ESPN:
A Houston furniture salesman, attempting to mitigate millions of dollars in potential refunds from a promotion, placed one of the largest bets ever taken by a U.S. bookmaker on Tuesday at a Mississippi sportsbook.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, bet $3.5 million on the Astros to win the World Series at the DraftKings sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At +220 odds, the wager would pay a net $7.7 million if the Astros win the World Series.
And he’s continuing to lay bets, which he notes is much easier this time around than it was in 2017 given how many states have legalized sports gambling in the past year or so. The story gives a good look at how bets that size compare to the usual action at sports books and makes it clear that Mattress Mack is not dabbling here. It’s probably also worth noting that, in addition to mitigating the refund offer, the story of his big bets are some good P.R. for his image as a wheelin’-dealin’ Texas businessman, and that likewise helps his brand a good deal too.
I’m not sure if it’s too late to get in on the refund offer, but if you’re in the market for an expensive mattress, I highly recommend the Tempurpdic LuxeAdapt. Life changer, man. Life changer.