San Jose, Calif. — Jan. 21
Seattle Seahawks fans have earned a reputation as some of the loudest, most loyal fans in the NFL. But can their support push the Seahawks over the top and help win the team a Super Bowl? A RiseSmart analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that it can.
According to RiseSmart, a leading provider of enterprise career management services, the team whose fan base enjoys greater economic prosperity, as measured by lower unemployment rates, has won 20 of the past 25 Super Bowls, an 80 percent success rate.
Based on the correlation of BLS data and Super Bowl winners, the Seattle Seahawks are the favorite to defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Through November, the 2013 unemployment rate for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan statistical area was 5.9 percent, compared to 6.7 percent for the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metro area.
The “unemployment rate predictor” has accurately picked the Super Bowl winner in 20 out of 25 matchups beginning in 1989, when the San Francisco 49ers, hailing from a metro area with a low 3.6 percent jobless rate, defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, whose fan base was then experiencing a 5.1 percent unemployment rate, in Super Bowl XXIII. The correlation is based on the jobless rates in the competing metro areas in the calendar year preceding the Super Bowl.
Other facts of note:
• This is Seattle’s second trip to the Big Game. The Seahawks’ Super Bowl XL loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers represents an exception to the rule — it’s one of the few occasions when the unemployment predictor failed. Pittsburgh defeated Seattle despite having a 5.2 percent unemployment rate, compared to Seattle’s 5 percent rate.
• Three of the four other times the predictor failed, the Super Bowl winner was the New York Giants — who earned upset wins over Buffalo in 1991 and New England in 2008 and 2012.