Know your Product/Event/Audience – Minor League Baseball Edition

Seems simple. Gotta know your product or event. Its what you sell its what makes you money. And yet working in minor league baseball there’s sadly some teams that don’t.

Often no matter what product you think you’re selling or what you set out to sell it isn’t at all what your audience is buying.

If you sell baking soda for cooking but your customers buy it for its ability to keep their fridge smelling nice you aught to change your marketing focus; or at the very least add to it. Well it would be very easy for minor league baseball teams to sell baseball but that’s not really why most fans buy it. Most teams are smart enough to realize this unfortunately some are not including one local team and its sad to see the resulting marketing efforts.

So what are minor league baseball fans buying if they’re not buying baseball? Several things including:

1) Entertainment- Pre-game shows, post game fireworks, in-game promotions like dizzy bat races, nightly promotions like Hawaiian night or Jersey Shore night.

2) Chance to see future stars- This really only applies to affiliated teams but its fairly self explanatory folks like to see rising stars as they try to make the majors.

3) Bonding – Chance to spend time with family/friends

4) Community – This is your team they’re part of your community and you’re proud of them.

Things you’re not selling?

1) Wins and losses – You’ve got your die-hards certainly but most fans aren’t concerned with your day to day wins and losses.

2) Your lineup – Its going to change with callups and player movement year to year anyway and most players the fans could care less about.

Why does this matter? Well take that local team i was talking about. Their facebook messages are about what their lineup is for the night. Their tweets are updates on the score of the game every inning. Their website doesn’t have a daily promo calendar. Their lineup is full of washed up ex major league players some of whom have had legal troubles and none of whom have ties to the community or who will likely be around long.

Not coincidentally they’re last in their league in attendance and one of the smallest drawing teams in any league. As always there’s a myriad of other issues effecting their attendance some positive some negative but i can tell you when added up they should not make them last.

With the minors as a whole setting attendance records and some teams struggling mightily its clear some teams get it and some teams just don’t.

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