This post is from CNBC sports producer Tom Rotunno:
One of the best sports biz stories of 2007 resulted from the Red Sox winning the 2007 World Series.
Jordan's Furniture, based in Taunton, Massachusetts, offered to refund the cost of qualifying pieces of furniture purchased during a six-week period before the 2007 season, if the Red Sox went on to win the World Series. Seven months later, over 24,000 fans received $20-30 million dollars worth of sofas, sectionals, and other items free of charge after the Red Sox defeated the Colorado Rockies.
For the 2008 season, Jordan’s offered a similar deal, but they made it slightly more difficult. The Red Sox needed to not only win the WS, they had to sweep it. I'm generally not a fan of companies repeating gimmicky promotions because by the second time around what was once mildly amusing can quickly become incredibly annoying (yes Taco Bell "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" I'm talking about you). But the Jordan's promotion strikes me as some pretty harmless fun.
One disgruntled Red Sox fan isn't laughing. Gisela Levin has filed a class action suit against Jordan’s claiming the promotion is an illegal lottery. Levin bought $4,660 worth of furniture during the pre-season promotional period but won’t be getting it for free since the Red Sox came up short in the playoffs. She wants her furniture for free anyway. Levin’s attorney argues that promotions based on chance—commonly offered at places like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts—don’t require the customer to buy anything. The Jordan’s promotion, they argue, does not offer that option. You have to buy something to participate, which they say is a violation of Massachusetts state law. Jordan’s Furniture says state and federal judges have already ruled in the furniture retailer’s favor on this issue.
Listen up Red Sox fans. It’s bad enough to be leaving early and booing players during playoff games. That's inexcusable. But suing a company that's trying to make you feel even happier about your team winning the World Series? In Boston parlance that is a "wicked pissah." (That's "not cool" for those who don't speak "Boston").
Here's hoping the judge sweeps Levin out of court and sends her home to her $4,600 sectional empty handed.
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