Sportress of Blogitude

Furntiture store mogul makes good on $4M promotion gamble on Houston Astros


When Jim McIngvale, known in Texas as “Mattress Mack,” gave the okay on a promotion for his Gallery Furniture store that was tied to the number of games the Houston Astros would win this past season, he understood it came with some semblance of risk.

But in the end, McIngvale is more than happy with how things turned out, even if it resulted in him refunding over $4 million to customers.

The terms of the promotion were as follows: The first 500 customers who purchased more than $6,300 in merchandise at Gallery Furniture would have the total price of their purchase refunded should the Astros win more than 63 games during the 2014 MLB season, with the “63” theme tied to the celebration of the store’s 63rd anniversary.

Of course, the Astros put up 70 wins, an increase of 19 wins after the team’s brutal 51-111 campaign in 2013.

The Astros’ decent improvement meant that “Mattress Mack” shelled out a whopping $4.2 million to 420 customers on Sunday night, surprisingly with a smile on his face.

He conceded that increasing the necessary win total at which he had to issue refunds was an option, but he’s glad he kept it at 63.

“I could have put it at 70, which would have made it much more difficult, but I wanted to give the customers a better chance to win, and that’s the way it turned out,” McIngvale said. “The customers are happy, we’re happy.”

McIngvale turned it into a big event, with free food and appearances by Astros executive Reid Ryan and former players Larry Dierker and José Cruz, per a Houston Chronicle report.

“You never like to put a certain win number out there, since we’re in the rebuilding process, but we thought, you know what, this is a good way to get people excited about the Astros again,” Ryan said.

And it only cost him $4 million to accomplish it. Hopefully, he had some kind of insurance policy in place in anticipation of the unpredictable outcome.

(image credit: Thomas B. Shea/Houston Chroncile)