Perhaps the most inspiring thing about McIngvale is that, even at 70 years of age, he continues to show up at his stores every day, and more impressively, continues to stay ahead of the curve on sales, marketing, and advertising concepts. In short, the dude just never stops, and perhaps one of his most ingenious marketing concepts has been his use of high stakes gambling as a means to generate revenue and "free" advertising buzz.
If you're a sports fan, then you already know that, since (as best I can tell) the 2017 World Series, in which the Astros beat the Dodgers in seven games, Mack has been running promotions for various sporting events where customers can win their entire furniture purchase (minimum of $3,000 retail value) if a certain side wins a major sporting event. For example, when the Astros won the 2017 World Series, hundreds of Gallery Furniture customers got their purchases comped.
The total retail value of the furniture given away by McIngvale in that particular promotion? $10 million.
Since then, Mattress Mack has done similar promotions involving the 2019 World Series, the 2021 Super Bowl, the 2021 Kentucky Derby, and the 2021 Final Four.
So what's the secret sauce, to where Mack can sleep at night with this much potential revenue resting on the swing of a bat or the mood of a horse? Well, this is where the sports betting world comes in. In order to hedge against potential losses, McIngvale finds sports books willing to take seven figure bets, and backs the same side that his customers are rooting for, and in essence, paying for all or part of their furniture with the sports book winnings.
It's a genius plan, because whatever red ink gets generated in the process is more than justified by Mack's huge wagers getting mentioned on the radio, the news, or in articles like this. So with that said, Mack is getting in on the 2021 Astros earlier in the season than he's gotten in on any previous Astro promotions, placing two seven figure bets up in Indiana on the Astros at 10 to 1 to win the World Series:
Jim McIngvale (@MattressMack)flew to Indiana to make monster bets on the #Astros.Jim wagered $2 million with William Hill Astros win the World Series & 1 million with FANDUEL. Both at 10-1. If Mack wins he gets $30 million + the wager. Gallery Furniture’s customers will also win pic.twitter.com/qtM2N8KFRl— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 22, 2021
When you run a business, there are several different ways to skin the cat that is "generating revenue." I respect any man who chooses to do so while placing gargantuan wagers on our local sports teams. To Mattress Mack, a hero to Houstonians and degenerate gamblers everywhere!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.