Exploring a market curiosity: an examination of the Super Bowl Indicator

Thomas H. Thompson (Department of Finance and Real Estate, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Kabir C. Sen (Department of Management and Marketing, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Publication date: 13 February 2017



The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive initial evaluation of the Super Bowl Indicator (SBI) from 1966 to 2015.


The authors evaluate the predictive ability of the SBI over two different time periods on four stock market indexes. Also, the authors compare the SBI predictive ability with other alternative indicators based on Super Bowl results as well as that of the January barometer (JB). As a robustness check, the authors examine whether the JB can predict Super Bowl outcomes. The authors use Granger causality to reduce the threat of spurious correlation.


The SBI surpasses the competition in both time periods, but it is evident that its predictive powers have waned since 1989. The authors find that the pre-Super Bowl January performance of the New York Stock Exchange is an impressive predictor of whether a team from the original National Football Conference won the big game between 1967 and 1988. Also, for the 1989-2016 period, the authors observe that the JB is a significant predictor whether the pre-game favorite wins or loses.


This study makes several contributions to the literature. The authors examine the SBI against four market indexes (Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, and NASDAQ) with raw and point spread-adjusted scores. Testing a corollary to the SBI, this study is the first to examine the influence of the JB (sometimes called the January effect) on Super Bowl results.



Thomas H. Thompson and Kabir C. Sen (2017) "Exploring a market curiosity: an examination of the Super Bowl Indicator", Managerial Finance, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 167-177

Download as .RIS


: https://doi.org/10.1108/MF-05-2016-0131



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