Job Numbers Predict Super Bowl Winner?

For those interested in the world of wagering, the Super Bowl is famous for its exotic opportunities — length of the national anthem, color of the Gatorade to be poured on the winning coach, etc. If you’re mainly interested in who wins the game, look no farther than unemployment statistics, according to an analysis by outplacement firm RiseSmart.

The team whose metropolitan area boasts the lower unemployment rate during the previous calendar year has won 17 of the past 20 Super Bowls – a remarkable 85 percent success rate.  Based on this correlation, the New England Patriots should claim the NFL championship over the New York Giants.  Through November, the 2011 unemployment rate for the Boston metropolitan area was 6.8 percent, compared to 8.5 percent for the New York metropolitan area.

On January 26, 1992, the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI; that year, the Washington, D.C. metro area’s unemployment rate of 4.6 percent was substantially lower than Buffalo’s 7.2 percent. So began the string in which 17 out of 20 times, the Super Bowl winning city had a lower unemployment rate than that of the losing hometown. The predictor has been correct in the past three championship games, including Super Bowl XLV, in which Green Bay (7.7 percent 2010 unemployment) defeated Pittsburgh (8.0 percent).

Other facts of note:

• On the seven previous occasions that both teams’ metro areas have had unemployment greater than 5.5 percent – as is the case this year — the team from the metro area with the lower jobless rate has won in every instance.

• During the five previous occasions when at least one team represented a metro area with 7+ percent unemployment – as is the case this year, with the New York Giants – the team with higher unemployment lost in every instance. 

• The Giants’ upset victory over New England in Super Bowl XLII, when the Patriots entered the game undefeated, represents one of the three times in the past two decades when the unemployment rate predictor failed to predict the outcome of the game.

“Correlation does not imply causation, of course. And there are exceptions to every rule,” says Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of RiseSmart. “But one should never underestimate the power of having a job.”

It’s Going to be a Super 10 Days

OK, it’s already a little more difficult to get out of our downtown Indianapolis parking garage. The areas to the north and east of Lucas Oil Stadium are currently filled with more barricades, scaffolding and lift trucks than one can (almost) imagine. And congestion should soon reach nearly unprecedented levels.

Bring it on! Yes, there are going to be a few inconveniences associated with Indianapolis hosting Super Bowl XLVI. But that’s like a tiny, temporary pimple on the face of the most beautiful woman or handsome man in the world. (OK, I struggled with that analogy, but you get the picture).

The attention of the nation and world will be focused on our city and state on Super Sunday and the days preceding it. Hoosiers should embrace the moment — and enjoy it. Most out-of-town guests will not arrive until February 2 or so; the first few days (starting Friday) are an opportunity for all of us to take part in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can check out all the Super Bowl details for yourself. But as information continues to become available on the wide variety of concerts, programs, events, special activities, etc., I am convinced (in a purposeful mixing of metaphors) that we’re going to hit a home run. Indianapolis and Indiana are going to simply wow the National Football League, the fans, other visitors and anyone who is paying attention.

Once-in-a-lifetime may turn into a repeat performance a few years down the road. But don’t miss out this time around. And I close with practicing my closing line during my volunteer interactions with guests: Have a Super Day!

Bradshaw to Headline ‘Super’ Event

OK, we can’t be absolutely sure there will be football this summer (training camps and preseason contests) or early fall, but does anyone really believe that players and owners can’t figure out a way to compromise when $9 billion in revenues is at stake.

And Indiana, of course, has even more on the line than normal with Super Bowl XLVI (that’s 46 for those needing a Roman numeral translation) coming to Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012.

But the Indiana Chamber can guarantee football on November 17 of this year when Terry Bradshaw highlights our 22nd Annual Awards Dinner. In addition to four Super Bowl titles as a Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback, Bradshaw shines as a commentator, actor, singer, author, motivational speaker and more.

It’s always an outstanding business celebration (ask any of the 1,500-plus who attended in 2010), but it’s great to tie in to Indiana’s latest opportunity to shine on the sports world stage.

Check out today’s press release; more on Bradshaw; and a 2010 Annual Dinner highlight video.