The Other Beautiful Game

Jun 06, 2014 • Sports, Toys

soccer and sex toys

According to LELO, the design-conscious sex toy manufacturer, in the weeks before a major sporting event, four out of five purchases on their site are made by men. This is a big contrast to other times during the year, when purchases for the Swedish luxury pleasure brand are pretty even between men and women. Before the Super Bowl, the usual 50 percent of buys made by men at jumped to 74 percent. In the week before the Champions League final — between two Spanish teams — men’s purchases jumped to 88 percent.

In preparation for the World Cup, the number of men shopping has peaked, though it’s important to note that’s not the only sporting event going on right now. The NBA finals were June 5, too — just as the Olympics came less than a week after the Superbowl. A chart defining the exact dates of peaks, or the raw data itself, would go a long way to better analysis. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating trend, as you can see in this graph from the LELO blog:

sex toy sales before sporting events

LELO believes that this change is a way to keep things civil at home for men whose partners don’t enjoy sports as much as they do. In a sense, the sex toy becomes a peace offering in preparation for their absence or inattention. While the top-selling toys during these pre-game periods could theoretically be repurposed for use by men, that doesn’t really make sense given the amount of exciting luxury male toys on the market.

Other toy sellers and distributors should consider looking at their own sales data (beyond LELO products) to determine whether this is an industry-wide trend. Another interesting thing to think about is if any large event results in purchases of couple-focused toys. And what do sales look like before things like elections?

Data. We want it.

  • yonatanzunger

    The interesting missing piece of data is total sales by gender, rather than fractional sales by gender. Are men accounting for a higher fraction because total sales among women are drying up? Are aggregate sales spiking right before a game?

    And of course, breaking this down by type of toy could be quite interesting as well.