Championship Fever: Will Transactions Translate to Titles?

Melissa Ojeda and Kari Ramirez, eBay News Team

eBay DataLabs reviews purchase habits from the start of the NHL and NBA Playoffs.

For the first time in history, the San Francisco Bay Area has a team in both the NBA and NHL championships at the same time; the Golden State Warriors and the San Jose Sharks. With eBay headquarters in the Bay Area, eBay DataLabs took a peek at its troves of data to see how purchasing behavior - across the U.S. - have been impacted by the championships.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks

After waiting 25 years, the San Jose Sharks are making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup final. Since the start of the playoffs, which kicked off on April 13th, we’ve taken a look at how their memorabilia has stacked up against their Eastern Conference rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. As you can see from the graphic below, leading up to this final round of the Stanley Cup, Sidney Crosby and his teammates are the more popular team based on sales on eBay.com. 

sharks penguins stanley cup growth map2

“As a Bay Area resident, it’s been exciting to see both the San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors make it into the final round for the Stanley Cup and NBA finals, respectively,” said Zoher Karu, eBay’s Vice President and Chief Data Officer. “While it’s no surprise that there’s been an influx of memorabilia hitting eBay, it’s been fascinating to see how team popularity is spread across the U.S. For instance, the Pittsburgh Penguins are concentrated on the East Coast, but they still had a large following in Florida - despite the fact that they knocked out the Tampa Bay Lighting in the previous round. Maybe it’s Penguins fans flying south for the summer?”

Leading into the weekend before the start of the Stanley Cup finals, San Jose Sharks fans were celebrating their quest for the Cup as eBay.com saw over 10,000 views of Sharks memorabilia. Or, it could be new fans jumping on the bandwagon, just in time to celebrate in Sharks Territory. 


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

As the 2016 NBA Conference Semifinals between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder continued to Game 7, fans held their breath each game to see if the Golden State Warriors’ 73 win season would amount to a 2016 Championship. And, as the Warriors ventured further into the Western Conference Finals, fans also wondered if the rematch between LeBron James and Stephen Curry would actually happen.

In April, we took a look at the rivalry between James vs Curry, Cleveland vs California and Nike vs Under Armour. In the graphic below, you can see eBay commerce burst in response to uniquely identifiable, singular events in the real world - LeBron celebrating the Ten Year Anniversary of his first Nike shoe in 2013, LeBron's homecoming from Miami back to Cleveland (Cleveland Plain Dealer), the 2015 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors (pennant), Curry's back-to-back Most Valuable Player award in 2016 (jersey).

But, does the recent popularity of Curry before the playoffs actual mean that fans will purchase more during the playoff series? 


Now that the Warriors and Cavs will take their rivalry to the court on Thursday for Game 1, we’ve taken a look to see if that popularity is tied to the purchase behavior since the start of the playoff series, April 17th.

As you can see in the graphic below, the popularity of the Warriors is spreading within the Bay Area leading up to this final round of the NBA Finals, but LeBron and his Cavalier teammates are the more popular team across the U.S. based on items purchased on eBay.com.  

warriors cavaliers growth map

Join the party!

There’s still time to show your team spirit! Visit eBay to check out all gear for the NHL Stanley Cup and NBA Finals.

Also, to keep tabs on what’s trending, be sure to check out: ebay.com/trending