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We Promise to Win!

March 24, 2015

We Promise to WinTwo stories about teams whose wins were guaranteed…or were they?

Various locations of Morris Home Furniture Store and Ashley’s Furniture Home Store in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio are run by the same company. In December 2014, VP of marketing Rob Klaben made a promise to shoppers: if the Ohio State Buckeyes won the national championship of college football, anyone who bought furniture costing more than $2,000 by the end of the month would receive a full refund. This was not an easy promise, because first the Buckeyes would have to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to get into the title game, and then win the title game by at least seven points. Ohio State went on to beat Alabama, and played Oregon in the title game. Final score: Ohio State 42, Oregon 20. The furniture store honored its guarantee.

A day before the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament began, Eastern Washington University coach Jim Hayford appeared on The Jim Rome Show, a nationally broadcast sports talk radio program. He was there to discuss his team (EWU is a small school of 12,130 students) and its unlikely selection for the tournament. Hayford, however, stressed that his team was “not just happy to be here. We play fast. We’re the third-leading scoring team in the country.” He went on to guarantee to Rome and his audience of millions that the team from Eastern Washington University would beat its first round opponent, heavily favored Georgetown. Final score of the EWU-Georgetown game a day later: Georgetown 84, EWU 74.

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