Jumping to Conclusions

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It’s always been popular among politicians and journalists. But there are signs that the sport of jumping to conclusions is on the verge of making the leap to mainstream America.

One indication: physician’s incident reports of injuries related to the sport have shot up over the past three months.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), most of the mishaps occurred during amateur attempts at hasty decision making. Jumping to conclusions was previously practiced only by professionals, and the AMA finds the trend toward novice participation dismaying.

But Arnold Schwearz, chief marketing officer of Couch Potato Gear, Inc., sees the startling hop in statistics as an opportunity to boost profits.

To capitalize on it, Couch Potato will rush out a national advertising campaign over the coming days. The hip new television spots feature neophyte conclusion jumpers practicing their sport while safely outfitted in the company’s products.

“Our helmets, knee pads, elbow protectors and wrist guards offer ideal protection for these athletes,” says Mr. Schwearz. “The commercials will also promote our most recent offering, military-style night goggles, which allow jumpers to practice 24/7.”

As an indication of the potential size of this market, Mr. Schwearz says the budget for the new ads is about $500 million. He believes that’s reasonable, given the projected results.

But company analysts have questioned whether the marketing effort will add enough bounce to the bottom line to recoup the cost. They believe spending heavily to promote equipment for a “fringe” sport could alienate Couch Potato’s core consumers, ultimately reducing revenues and profits.

“Conclusion jumpers are widely viewed as reckless risk-takers, while other sports enthusiasts, most notably the three-wheelers, motorcyclists and rock climbers who have made Couch Potato safety gear the “in” brand, tend to be traditionally cautious,” says S. Pitch, managing director of Sports Marketing Unlimited, a marketing intelligence firm. “Targeting this group is a whole different game—one that Couch Potato may not be able to win.”

Mr. Schwearz disagrees. “Sports is an evolving market, and Couch Potato can’t afford to be caught napping. We believe our focus on jumping to conclusions is sound business practice.”

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