Department of Finance


Date of this Version



Journal of Sports Economics, 2017, 30 pp. DOI: 10.1177/1527002516684170

See also Online Appendix:


US government work.


This study documents the effect of the Super Bowl on the stock returns of firms that are geographically associated with the competing teams. We find significant upward return drift in the 9 trading days leading up to the Super Bowl, a pattern consistent with investors trading in anticipation of the game itself. The ‘‘anticipatory behavior’’ among investors leads to widespread pregame returns, which is not documented in prior studies. These pre-event abnormal returns are positive and statistically and economically significant for all firms, and the size of pre-event returns varies according to each team’s favored status. In addition, firms associated with the winning team exhibit significant positive return drift over the 10-day period after their win. Firms associated with the losing team exhibit moderate downward drift. Our findings are strongest among the smallest quintile of firms and are robust to various risk adjustments and using a matched sample control group. The collective findings suggest that only by standing on the sideline will investors avoid winning around the Super Bowl.