July 28, 2021

Contracting minor league teams is short sighted (Purple Row)


If you’re reading this, you’re probably a Rockies fan. Becoming part of a fandom is a highly personalized journey. (In fact, as you read this, you’re probably recalling some of the memories key to your fandom.) MLB is banking on this because in addition to profiting from baseball, MLB’s business model is grounded in monetizing your nostalgia.

That said, it seems counterintuitive that MLB is very bad at cultivating fandom. It restricts fan access to games by making them expensive, inconvenient, and family unfriendly. It fails to address meaningfully issues of domestic violence, discrimination, and cheating. It enables tanking. It has awful merchandise selections, especially for women. It keeps regional fans from watching local teams through MLB blackouts, unless they have a cable subscription. It prohibits fans from using video to make memes at a time when media most needs to be “spreadable.” MLB is all for fandom — as long as MLB is controlling and profiting from it.

So far, their plan is working — at least on the revenue side. In 2018, MLB made a record 10.3 billion through “baseball-related revenues,” even as attendance declined (down some 1 million…

Read “Contracting minor league teams is short sighted” at Purple Row