Cleveland Indians' 15-Game Win Streak Means Fans Get $2 Million In Free Windows

Sep 8, 2017
Originally published on September 8, 2017 3:41 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You've heard of windows of opportunity. Well, here's a story about an opportunity for windows. Bear with me. Last night, with the help of five homeruns, the Cleveland Indians won their 15th straight game.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Oh, Greg Allen, goodbye. Two-run homer with two out here in the seventh. And look at that smile as he circles the bases.

SIEGEL: Now, some Indian fans had even bigger smiles thanks to a local window company. Universal Windows Direct had a deal - buy windows after July 1 and if the Indians won 15 games in a row - which is something very, very rare in major league baseball - those windows would be free.

Well, William Barr is CEO of Universal Windows Direct, and he joins me now. And how much in free windows did the fans win last night?

WILLIAM BARR: When it was all said and done, it was $1.7 million in free windows, siding and entry doors.

SIEGEL: And we should explain at some point as you had made this offer you insured against the risk of the Indians winning 15 games in a row.

BARR: That is correct. We took out a policy hedging that it border wouldn't happen. And just like anything else, there was an actuary table on the possibility. And we found an insurance company that was willing to take the risk.

SIEGEL: I saw a quotation of the premium at about - was it 75,000 that you had to pay for this?

BARR: It was some - it was right in there, somewhere in that neighborhood.

SIEGEL: And you did this fairly confident that a 15-game win streak was pretty unlikely.

BARR: Well, they won 14 games last season. And the last time a major league team had won back-to-back 14-plus game winning streaks was a hundred years ago, so we felt very confident that, you know, it was probably not going to happen. But at the same time, you know, we took out the insurance policy. And we thought for our customers' sake, why not?

SIEGEL: Now, there's an interesting part of this, which is last night, as the Indians were on - as it turned out they won the 15th straight game, you brought a number of your customers to the ballpark even though the Indians weren't at the ballpark. Is that right?

BARR: That is correct. The Cleveland Indians were gracious enough to allow us to have a watch party at Progressive Field even though they were in Chicago.

SIEGEL: So there you were in the stadium with (laughter) your customers. And we heard - we heard some recordings of them being very, very excited about how much money they got refunded at this moment. Here's what we heard.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Almost $7,000.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Eleven thousand dollars. Yes.

SIEGEL: That was from cleveland.com. Is it already a commercial for your company as well?

BARR: Oh, absolutely.

SIEGEL: That $1.7 million is the total sum. How many customers where they were, all told, who were covered by this deal?

BARR: It was 220 customers total.

SIEGEL: And I bet every one of them will buy all of their future windows from you and your company, don't you think?

BARR: Well, we heard some really great things last night. One of the things we heard - we asked people, what are you going to do with the money? Some people were - they were planning on giving it to different charities. Some people were going to take well-deserved vacations. Obviously, some folks wanted to buy more windows, which we were thrilled about.

SIEGEL: William Barr, CEO of Universal Windows Direct, thanks for talking with us.

BARR: Thank you, sir. Have a great day.

SIEGEL: And congratulations on losing your bet.

BARR: (Laughter). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.