One aspect this website has long promoted is the reduction in the “fragmentation” between the independent leagues. While much of the fragmentation has its roots in the early days of this version of independent baseball (1993 onward), the problems of why independent baseball hasn’t made huge strides in the minds of fans around the country may begin to start to see some resolution.
In his for-pay weekly column, Bob Wirz had a nice write up on the Atlantic League’s new president Rick White. Bob mentions that Rick envisions more standardization for licensing, sponsorship, online ticketing and more. He also refers to a conversation between White and Miles Wolff, the commissioner of both the American Association and the Can-Am League (which will be a division in the AA for 2014). Bob refers to things in his interview such as:
- league wide databases
- expansion of Atlantic League teams across the country
- opportunities for other sports stars to cross over to baseball such as the recent signing of Tracy McGrady with the Sugar Land Skeeters
- joint efforts between the top independent leagues for corporate licensing and sponsorships
As this site has promoted for the last few years, independent pro baseball needs to take advantage of its INDEPENDENCE from MiLB and MLB. Since it has the freedom to do virtually anything it wants (within reason), it has to differentiate itself to the pro baseball world beyond being JUST local, family-friendly entertainment – although that always should be the “core” of the business model.
What could this mean in terms of BIG dollar actions? Besides what Bob Wirz mentioned in his column this week, here are some of the opportunities to grow independent baseball’s popularity in a hurry… and increase revenues significantly:
- Creation of “how to” information where “teaser” videos are posted on YouTube and optimized for the various highly-searched-for phrases in the search engines. A digital intellectual property course can be sold through multiple outlets such as the Clickbank marketplace (like this independent baseball tryouts notification service product), Amazon Kindle, or other highly-trusted digital information marketplaces
- Physical books and DVD’s of the same information. Go to any major bookstore today and you will still see books being sold which were originally published in the 1990’s. Independent baseball can fill in the gaps and offer a series of books much like the “Chicken Soup” books where multiple volumes can be sold inexpensively
- Unique ways to monetize social media without having to ask anyone to buy anything. For example, the Pecos League has its per-click-revenue ads on its trivia page here. People who click the ads will put revenue in the league’s pockets
- A centralized marketplace for fans to buy ALL independent league merchandise on a platform like Amazon or Ebay or any other place where people buy online everyday
- A centralized website to help ALL minor league sports teams sell extra tickets by intelligent paid, inexpensive online advertising which is geo-targeted. Much like Hotels.com, such a site can help all minor league sports move “expected dead ticket inventory” to targeted landing pages where both parties (the teams and the ticket-selling site) get mutual financial benefit
- Methods to leverage the players’ connections on social media & e-mail. There are ways now that the on-field talent (should any player or manager/coach participate) can make money on his own likeness and influence
- Leveraging the “search engine authority” of each team’s website to become a legitimate “lead generation” vehicle for businesses in the team’s local community. This would boost sponsorships and other non-sponsorship revenue from the community if done intelligently
- Combining all team/league contact lists (social media, e-mail, video channel subscribers, etc.) to form a unified mechanism where national sponsors can get what they truly desire: exposure to the national marketplace for cheaper than the current avenues they have. For example, if a second tier glove manufacturer wants to increase sales (but doesn’t want to pay an athlete a huge endorsement deal) then it could go to the combined indpendent league contact platform to syndicate a video/coupon to all of the independent teams’ fan bases. This would permit a “one stop shop” for sponsors to get the word out and test their ad campaigns inexpensively before rolling out a campaign on the national level through TV, print and MLB sponsorship higher price points
Again, all of these are just the beginning. There are more revenue-generation strategies which can be found here.
Feel free to leave your ideas on this post if you truly believe that they are constructive and would add value to both the teams/leagues, any sponsors, and the end customer/fan.
There are several good books about the independent professional baseball leagues. You are welcome to see a list of suggestions through this link: Books Get notified of upcoming independent baseball tryouts from either of these services: first service or the second service. Prospective players can find some helpful resources here We will be providing a growing list of possibly helpful tips and suggestions on various baseball information. This will range from "how to" information about baseball skills all the way to helpful information for casual baseball fans. Please click the link for more information: Tips And How To Information