Major League Baseball has an attendance problem. Their attendance numbers have fallen consistently since 2015. While the lack of attendance has not only affected the MLB during that period, the decline is worrying to many baseball insiders.
Attendance is a large portion of revenue for the MLB. In order to get back to 2007 levels—when total MLB attendance was 79,503,175, the league must institute some changes. In the rest of this article, we discuss the changes the MLB needs to approve in order to compete in a crowded marketplace. We will also examine the multi-varied reasons for their declining attendance, especially since revenues for the league, and baseball in general, continue to rise.
Falling MLB Attendance
Baseball and MLB are businesses. As such, they must have a business and marketing strategy and good brand development. Major League Baseball has entire marketing and brand development teams to oversee its development. However, is their approach working?
In some ways, the answer is yes. The MLB’s revenues continue to rise. One of the major revenue streams is television. The MLB’s television deals are worth more than $1.5 billion per year. Games are shown across three networks: ESPN, Fox, and Turner Sports. Licensing and sponsorship, too, is a large revenue source for the MLB. The league’s robust relationship with sponsors and its licensing agreements have contributed to the growth in revenue.
“Attendance is a large portion of revenue for the MLB. In order to get back to 2007 levels-when total MLB attendance was 79,503,175, the league must institute some changes”-Mike Epson from batcritic.com“
Yet, while television, licensing, and sponsorships are on the rise, attendance is not. The MLB still relies on game attendance, and the consequent concession sales, for a large portion of their budget. And, yet, in the last four years attendance is down over 7%, and in 2019 attendance dipped below 70 million for the first time in sixteen years.
What Has Caused Falling Attendance?
The reasons for falling MLB attendance are many. We will focus only on a few of the most important here.
- Ticket prices
Historically, MLB ticket prices have been high. However, in recent years, this trend has been reversing. Many teams now offer more affordable season passes and reduced-price passes. As more and more teams adopt this strategy, it will be interesting to see if attendance rises. However, so far there has been little, if no, perceivable change.
Additionally, a lower single-game ticket price does not account for your other expenses at the game. Concessions, programs, parking, souvenirs, all of these things will cost money as well, and may likely be marked up significantly. Plus, the MLB has 81 home games per year. There is significant pressure to attend more than a single game, which means the yearly cost for game attendance will still be quite high.
- Length of games
The Baseball Stop had this to add “Lowering ticket prices may not be enough to raise MLB attendance. One of the crucial issues that dissuade new viewers is the length of the game.” By 2014, most MLB games lasted over three hours. With the historically bad teams of 2019, it makes sense the viewers would struggle to sit through an entire baseball game in person.
- Too many choices
That leads us to the final big reason that MLB attendance may be falling: There are too many choices. With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a plethora of other entertainment choices at a person’s fingertips, paying a premium to watch baseball in person is less appealing. It is also highly likely that the MLB’s marketing has gotten lost in the noise, especially among the younger generations.
How to Fix the Problem?
So, how the MLB fix their attendance issues? First, they may not even want to. League revenues have been on the rise even as attendance has fallen off. Noah Garden, the executive vice president of business and sales for the MLB even claims “It [attendance] isn’t going to die. But it’s going to change. There are going to be a different number of people that want to purchase tickets a different way.”
Garden is mainly referring to the new ticket promotions and packages. However, were the MLB to choose to raise their attendance levels, there are a few changes they can institute immediately. Both described below relate to gaining a younger and more diverse audience.
- Social media marketing
In the last decade, social media marketing has become a staple for most successful businesses. The MLB has not yet utilized this avenue well. Were they to leverage YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, it is likely that they would grow their audience, which in turn increases the pool of people willing to purchase game tickets?
- Appeal to Millennials
Along with increased social media marketing, the MLB could appeal more strongly to Millennials. The oldest members of this generation have their own families and children. There has also been a growing wealth gap in the generation, with 54% of Millennials only financially coping and 22% financially vulnerable. Lowering ticket prices further, appealing to families, and even increasing and broadcasting fan experiences can help bring in a Millennial audience.
While the MLB’s revenues continue to rise, their attendance levels keep falling. This points to larger issues within the league and baseball’s place in U.S. culture. To compete with other forms of entertainment in this new decade, baseball will have to make some changes. Appealing to a wider audience and utilizing new social media marketing strategies can help carve out a place for the MLB in 2020 and ensure their success for many years to come.
Grand and Glorious Los Angeles: Experience the Sports and City At a Time
Los Angeles is undeniably the most exciting city in the
United States. The beauty of the town and a warm and sunny climate for most of
the year has made Los Angeles, the sports and entertainment capital of the
world. A city that is known for urban sprawl also has sports venues that are
impeccable as any in the country.
It has all the features of sports facilities that have some unique array of arenas and stadiums that are state-of-the-art. Some people even say modestly that what the ark was to Noah so is Los Angeles to pro sports. With such plenty of options to suit every interest and price point, Los Angeles will be hosting some of the most significant sports events over the next decade.
In an expensive city like Los Angeles and with so many entertainment options, Sports Where I Am is one of the platforms that has the best discount programs offered on Los Angeles attractions related to entertainment and sports events tickets in Los Angeles. They can be the key to attending various events you are interested in. Such platforms offer a secondary ticket marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets to events.
Seven grand and glorious things of Los Angeles:
1. Enjoy your Favorite Sport
The city provides some terrific venues like staples that hold quite an enduring experience to all sports fans. Dodger Stadium has become one of the baseball’s pre-eminent parks which include an all-you-can-eat section, and dugout club passes for Dodgers and Angel’s games.
You will never find a shortage of bars and restaurants across this expansive city, and also you can find a place to watch your favorite team with your fellow fans anywhere in Los Angeles. Get to watch a game with beautiful hillside views at the Rose Bowl or enjoy a first-class indoor experience at Staples Center.
2. Must visit Places of Attraction
Los Angeles has some of the unique areas of attraction consisting of great museums, beautiful beaches, fun theme parks and, colossal shopping malls. Some essential and must-visit places to visit are – Universal Studios, The Griffith Observatory, Disneyland Park, The Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Getty center, which can give boundless enjoyment.
3. Reserve your energy for Multiple Activities
Whether you are planning to spend a day or an entire week in Los Angeles, then don’t forget to carry a full bag of energy to enjoy the fullest. You will have to squeeze the time in between to go from window shopping on Rodeo Drive to cruising yourself at the famous Pacific Coast Highway and to explore the old historic buildings of downtown L.A.
4. Relax adequately
Visiting Los Angeles is an adventurous trip filled with all the unique experiences between fantasy and reality. Forget not to get yourself toned at some beaches in Malibu or Santa Monica Pier. Enjoying the beautiful coasts of Los Angeles will give you one of the memorable experiences that you will not forget in your lifetime.
5. Restaurants and Dining
There are a lot of places to eat in Los Angeles with an international atlas of exotic cuisines. L.A.’s dining culture revolves around various types of cooking and celebrity-spotting. Also, enjoy the most amazing Top Gourmet Food Trucks in LA to see what its street food has stored for you.
6. Get yourself engrossed in the Nightlife
Los Angeles, the happening place where you get to see the mix of dancing and drinking. It has a legacy of night culture where we get to see live music concerts across the city. From the Standard Downtown to the Mondrian’s Skybar, the locals, along with regular guests, lure on the beats and showcase their culture.
7. Plan around Events
As this city has quite a lot of things to offer you need to plan on the items you want to explore. Get all the details of the events held at nearby places like annual ethnic festivals, county fairs, street fairs, music festivals, and concert series and plan your itinerary. Hence cluster your activities and get to see the event you want to visit on any given day.
Baseball Industry is Disruptive | Sees Record Revenues
January is a great time to look back on the previous year. For the baseball industry, looking back over 2019 should bring many smiles. In December 2019, Forbes reported that the MLB’s revenues continued to grow. Baseball equipment sales continue to rise as well. Any betting man would say that now is a wonderful time for the baseball industry.
But, what are the reasons for this jump in revenue? The rest of this article explores those questions. We also examine the market changes that have created a surge in bat sales in addition to a rise in the revenue of other baseball equipment.
MLB Record Numbers
The increase in the MLB’s revenue from $10.3 billion in 2018 to $10.7 billion in 2019 may not seem like much. It is, however, and extremely significant jump. The first time the league exceeded $10 billion was 2017. That they have now almost topped $11 billion just three years later is extraordinary.
Experts suggest that there are a number of reasons for this rise in revenue. Most importantly, the MLB profits greatly from its media rights deals. Many of these have extensions well into the new decade. Media deals with ESPN and Turner Sports will expire in 2021; although, extensions are likely. Last year, the MLB agreed to an extension with FOX that will last until 2028.
Another reason for the increase in revenue is likely the MLB’s competitive balance. The 1994 rules that created a sharing structure and luxury tax have contributed greatly to the overall parity. While this is not a perfect system, and there is still a dichotomy created between large and small-market teams. But, the rules have added to the perception of parity, if nothing else, which increases viewer engagement with baseball.
One thing that can mitigate revenue for the MLB is the rise in expenses and other investments. These cost $9.7 billion in 2019, which is up from $9.4 billion in 2018. As costs rise, overall profit falls. However, since profit and revenue are separate concepts, expenses and investments do not affect the overall totals and projections.
Equipment Market Changes
A rise in revenue for the MLB indicates growth for the baseball market as a whole. Another market area with a rise in revenue in 2019 was baseball equipment. According to Batsfinder.com Bats, especially, has been seeing a surge in sales since a rule change in 2015.
The 2015 rule essentially created the need for players and teams in every level of USA baseball to purchase new bats. The new bat standard came into effect for the 2018 season. There was some controversy about the decision. Some saw it as a crass money-grab.
Money-grab or not, the bat rule change contributed to a surge in bat sales in 2017 and 2018. While experts do not expect this level of growth to continue, it did contribute to the revenue increase in the U.S. baseball industry. Once bat sales level off it will be interesting to see whether the baseball industry revenues continue to grow.
Unlike for bats, the rise in the baseball equipment market overall is projected to continue. A forecast for the baseball equipment market in the U.S. from 2019-2023 came up with these results: “This popularity for baseball game [sic] will lead to the expansion of the baseball equipment market in the US at a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.” Baseball is the second most popular sport in the U.S. and its popularity is only growing with the youth market.
Additional factors for the rise in baseball equipment revenue could be the growth in sports and fitness products. These products are broken into four categories: sports equipment, fitness equipment, apparel, and footwear. All four categories experienced growth in 2018. That growth is expected to continue indefinitely—most projections show growth until the end of the projected period, typically 2025.
The SFIA’s (Sports and Fitness Industry Association) yearly Manufacturers’ Sales Report, which provides revenue numbers for the sports and fitness industry, has not yet released its 2020 report. But, the 2019 report, which examined 2018 revenue, found a .8% increase in sports equipment, a 3.6% increase in fitness equipment, a 1.2% increase in apparel, and a 4.6% increase in footwear. Stay tuned for the 2020 SFIA report to see if projections remain consistent.
Competition among manufacturers and an increased interest in sports and fitness are the main contributing factors to the sports and fitness products industry growth. This trend only helps the baseball industry revenue. As a sport with a more surmountable barrier to entry, baseball will likely continue to remain popular.
While it is too early to have all the information about the baseball industry in 2019, there is much to celebrate. All signs point to record revenues across the board. The popularity of the sport, the MLB’s multiple revenue streams, and an increase in the sport and fitness industry’s revenue have all combined to create this record revenue. While all signs point to increased revenue for the baseball industry, only time will tell if the projections hold up.
Written By Mike Epson: I’m a real estate investor, author, and an all-around sports fan. I love that the great American past time is making a comeback.
Daanish Azim – The Phonepreneur
Earlier this week I was able to sit down with Daanish Azim as we discussed his journey and how he got to where he got today.
- Hey Daanish, how old are you, where are you from, and what is it that you do?
I just turned 23 years old last month, I’m from Chicago, IL. I Currently run few online businesses such as an amazon dropshipping store, I’m building up an entrepreneur clothing brand, and I resell phones for profit as well as teach others my methods on how to flip phones for profit.
- What was the first entrepreneurial experience you had that you can remember?
The first entrepreneurial experience I would say I had was buying and reselling phones when I was around 17/18 years old just so I can make some extra income so I can help my dad as he was going through some job issues. But as my first business owner venture, I would say it really began with joining a network marketing company.
- When did you know that you wanted to work for yourself and go a different route?
I knew this at a pretty young age, but it wasn’t really until my last year of high school, that I really started studying the number of people who went to college and the amount of debt they took on for college and how long it took people to actually pay back all their student loans while they were maybe even working at a job they don’t even like. This is when I knew I had to figure out ways to work for myself and take a different route than the majority of people. Also, a quote that really stuck with me that I heard from a successful multi-millionaire was “watch the masses, do the opposite” this quote till this day sticks in my head.
- How did you get into flipping phones?
It honestly happened pretty randomly, I was always amused by the fact of flipping things to make a profit rather than just working a job to make $10/hr(or whatever per $/hr). So as I was one day looking to buy a new phone I found a nice phone at that time called a Moto X for like $150 which I knew was a good deal, so I ended up driving about an hour with my dad to go buy the phone, pretty randomly I decided to list the phone for like $280 on eBay the next day and literally the phone sold within 24 hours of my eBay listing and I was in shock. Imagine I bought a phone for 150 and sold online for 280 without much work or time involved and netted about $100 profit on that one sale, that’s when I knew there was money to be made with flipping phones and that’s how my journey started with this side hustle!
- How have you had so much success in your industry?
In simple terms I was able to figure out how to flip a phone for a profit and by doing it enough times and learning through trial and error I was able to understand this hustle A-Z and by now I’ve been able to buy well over 300-400 phones in the past few years and flip them for a profit and done well over 150k in sales with it while never having a warehouse or shop or anything, just straight out of my house mainly just leveraging my phone to do it, And now I’ve been able to start teaching some students 1on1 and coming out with a course soon to teach people how to resell phones for a profit to make additional income.
- What would you say your 3 core values are?
My 3 core values would have to be integrity, responsibility, and self-improvement.
- How have you leveraged personal branding and social media to grow your business?
I had just opened up a business Instagram page like less than 2 years ago and I’m so glad I did. By posting content and being my true-self and connecting with others it has helped in many ways. I’ve built some great connections with other like-minded individuals, been able to partner up with other people just leveraging my personal brand as well as being able to take on a few students who I’ve never met but just by leveraging and building up my personal brand it has given me so many opportunities and been able to connect and make some great friendships through it.
- What advice would you give a young person looking to get started in entrepreneurship?
One of my biggest advice would be to just get started! Most young people tend to think more and act less. I would also tell them to focus more on self-education and first start by investing into themselves and start to go to any entrepreneurial events they can get a chance to go to and try to find a mentor/coach who is where they’d like to be and is willing to guide and help them.
- What do you want your life to look like in 5 years?
5 years from now my goal is to be totally financially independent, making a positive impact, speaking on stages, helping my parents in any way, having a partner, traveling the world, giving lots back to charities, and just overall being fulfilled while still chasing a bigger dream and vision for myself.
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