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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Demand curves are downward sloping: Utah Jazz version

Apparently for Game Three of the Western Conference Finals the Utah Jazz gave away light blue t-shirts to the fans. The result was the entire stadium awash in the team's light blue color. I doubt that was intimidating to the San Antonio Spurs fans, in and of itself, but it likely added to the esprit d'corps of the Jazz fans. Ultimately, the Jazz won Game 3.

For Game 4, the team charged $10 for the same t-shirts they had given away the game before. The result? Not too many blue t-shirts sold and the arena wasn't nearly as "true blue" as it had been in the previous game. Moreover, the Jazz lost Game 4.

Demand curves are downward sloping - the lower the price, the greater the quantity demanded.

Here's the kicker. Unlike in previous years where the series went 2-3-2, now the series go 2-2-1-1-1 [Correction May 30, 2007: As pointed out by a helpful reader, the 2-2-1-1-1 format has been around since 1976], which means that the Jazz could lose Game 5 and therefore not play another home game this year. What does the team do with the unsold t-shirts?

[Addendum: Given that the series format is nothing new, perhaps the team sold enough $10 t-shirts to cover the total cost of all t-shirts made? If the team owners perceives a lower probability of making it to the finals, perhaps it makes sense to try to cover the costs of the t-shirts?]

I believe the conference finals have been 2-2-1-1-1 since around the mid 70s. It is the NBA finals that are 2-3-2, and remain so even now.
I stand corrected (and noted in the post)...The move to 2-2-1-1-1 was in 1976.
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