The NBA playoffs earlier this month were an exciting time for sports fans, with the finals between the Warriors and the Celtics bringing energy to their respective fan bases in San Francisco and Boston. In today’s Insight Flash, we take advantage of our ability dig down into customer geographies as well as our ability to pinpoint transactions on game days to examine how spend differed between the two groups of fans, digging deep into gambling spend specifically.
Overall, where shoppers spend their money differs dramatically between shoppers living in San Francisco and shoppers living in Boston. Indexed to our overall panel, over the last 35 days those living in San Francisco spent dramatically more than the total US population on Health Insurance (perhaps due to the number of startup small businesses), Automotive Services, and Ground Transportation. Those in Boston spend more on Quick Service Snack/Beverage, Wine & Liquor, and Money Transfer.
On game days specifically, spend trends were different in the teams’ two cities versus the rest of the country. For Game 1 in San Francisco, Warriors fans increased spend more on Casual Dining, while Celtics fans used Ride-Sharing services more and purchased more Wine & Liquor.
Spend Growth by Affected Subindustry
Game Days also corresponded to large increases in gambling spend, especially in Boston. Although our data does not capture the ACH payments used for many gambling services, the change in debit and credit spend on game days does still provide insight. Both the San Francisco and Boston CSAs saw a small increase in Gambling subindustry spend on May 30, the day after the Celtics beat the Heat to clinch their Finals entry. However, this was smaller than the 2.3x lift for San Francisco gamblers and 5.5x lift for Boston gamblers (versus May 26) seen the day of Game 1. Interestingly, San Francisco gamblers were more likely to place bets the day after subsequent playoff games, while Boston fans took heart from an at-home Game 3 win to bet at 7.8x levels (versus May 26) the day of Game 4.