Rethinking Baseball: Saving America’s Pastime


A study published by Gallup found that only 9% of Americans list baseball as their favorite sport to watch. That’s the lowest total since Gallup first started conducting this study back in 1937.

However, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that overall participation in America’s pastime is surging, indicating a rekindled interest in the game. The question facing owners and executives now is how to capitalize on this trend, turning a casual game of catch into a lifelong love of the game.

Today’s podcast looks at three areas where baseball can improve. First, we talk to Jesse Cole, Owner of the Savannah Bananas. He focuses in on the entertainment aspect of the game, insisting that teams need to focus on making the game an experience for fans. In the second feature, Alec Weber from Blinkfire Analytics joins the show to talk about merging sports and social media. How are other leagues utilizing these tools and what could Major League Baseball be doing better?

On the final segment of the show, MarketScale Correspondent Sean Heath takes a look at the improvements that Major League teams are making to their stadiums to improve the experience for fans.

Play ball.

Fan Experience is the Key

Are fans enjoying the experience when they attend baseball games? That’s the main question for Jesse Cole, Founder of Fans First Entertainment and the Owner of the Savannah Bananas. As reports indicate that more people are picking up bats and gloves these days, the question remains: How do you transform a simple game of catch into a life of fandom?

“The key is that kids playing baseball need to see heroes. They need to see players that they want to be like,” says Cole. He also emphasizes the importance of the experience of a attending a baseball game. Ensuring that fans are entertained and have a good time is what keeps them coming back game in and game out.

How Baseball Can Win With Social Media

The NBA has experienced massive success with their sponsored jersey patch experiment. The league is bringing in added revenue and evolving their social media strategy to add value to their advertising partners. They’ve been on the cutting edge of this trend, but it isn’t difficult to imagine Major League Baseball soon going this way, as well, according to Alec Weber, Business Development Manager for Blinkfire Analytics.

“I just think the money is too great for baseball and these other leagues to not follow suit on sponsored jersey patches,” he says. As Alec explains, social media content can be tailored to provide maximum value to advertising parters, raising revenue and keeping fans connected with their favorite players and teams.

Upgrading MLB Stadiums

Each year MLB teams make upgrades to their stadiums to try to entice new fans to come through their turnstiles or encourage the pre-existing fans to come back. MarketScale Correspondent Sean Heath took a deep dive look at improvements are taking place around the league as we build up to the 2019 season. Will these trends catch on league-wide or are they going to fall flat?

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