Tag Archive | "Major League Baseball"

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Our Silicon Valley Roots Give Clients an Advantage

Posted on 15 August 2012 by matt

Since 2003, magnified by our presence in Silicon Valley, my partners and I have been retained by Boards, venture capital and angel investors, founders and CEOs of early stage tech companies seeking our guidance and assistance to gain footholds in the sports industry or with sports fans/consumers.

They have run the gamut from mobile, tablet and/or web apps to game and software development companies as well as WiFi and online loyalty/retention platform ventures.

Recently, a Monterey, CA-based manufacturer (People Towels) of a new “green” version of a standard premium giveaway – they call it the Eco-Rally Towel™ – retained us to help them break into Major League Baseball. Beyond the the product being fair trade made and with organic cottons, it features manna for sponsors, an Eco-Tag™ that both tells the image-enhancing “green” story and doubles as a retail coupon or vehicle to deliver a QR code. . . in essence a self-liquidating premium giveaway.  Everybody wins – the environment, fans, team and the sponsor.

Also, because of my experience as the CMO of an online K-8 education and professional development company, organizations developing hardware and software for the digital classroom and home schooling have also sought us out.

Our roles have been both strategic and operating in nature, being engaged as interim operating executives spearheading business development, product development, sales and brand building/public relations functions. We have also augmented the credibility and depth of senior management teams in their capital raising efforts.

Because of our wide reaching understanding of the inner workings of sports entities and sports fans (we have interviewed more than 850,000 of the latter), we assist our clients by helping them understand and  capitalize on

  • How, when leagues and teams make decisions
  • What motivates innovation
  • Variations in risk tolerance
  • Who are the leaders and followers
  • Behavior and attitudes of fan segments
  • How performance economics influence decisions
  • How to approach different sports and management levels
  • How to gain buy-in, overcome barriers
  • Sensitivity to implementation issues

 

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Previous Mets Fan Insights Would Help Them Today

Posted on 06 July 2012 by matt

The spate of interim league takeovers and new owners acquiring existing franchises (frequently with facilities assets) in Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL   is inevitably accompanied by dramatic alterations to operating and debt service economics and fan base uncertainty or malaise. Incoming owners always want to put a personal stamp of added value on their new investments during the first 6-12 months after their assumption of the reins, preferring to take time to assess beyond their due diligence processes what exactly they have bought. . . in other cases, as anyone familiar with Machiavelli will understand, the new owners make their first moves within hours or days.

This has reignited interest (and need) for fresh, objective introspection which is an important segment of our practice.

Rick White (Executive – Major League Baseball Properties, now a sports apparel industry principal),  with support from his boss, Joe Podesta,  anticipated the emergence of league headquarters-provided hands-on, localized marketing guidance to member clubs  when he retained me to carry out market and organization studies of the struggling Seattle Mariners and New York Mets.

Our latter work was completed just as the franchise was sold to Doubleday Publishing and minority investor, Fred Wilpon, so we presented the implications of our findings separately to Nelson Doubleday in his Doubleday Publishing offices and to the latter in his Long Island-situated Sterling Equities offices, his colleagues in attendance. Eventually, Doubleday and Wilpon purchased the club from the publishing house and, later, Wilpon bought out Doubleday.

Since then, when Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trailblazers, asked the NBA to investigate how he could streamline his business organization and decision making processes, the league created a task force (which retained me to assist), headed by Bernie Mullin,  to help bring the organization into alignment with its newly expressed straight forward mission of effectively running an NBA franchise and its venue as opposed to a once-broader vision of becoming a multifaceted media company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Messaging Master and Management Talent Scout

Posted on 17 July 2011 by matt

Tal Smith (President – Houston Astros) . . . one of the most highly regarded Major League Baseball  assessors of on-field talent and a long-time salary arbitration preparation expert , Smith also knew how to communicate a team building philosophy that the media and fans accepted  when the team was in a re-building mode on the field.  His “strong arms/tight defense” served the Astros well during my work with the club, my first MLB client, an engagement which at Smith’s request  included helping convert a recently retired successful pitcher into an effective ticket sales manager . . . Larry Dierker, later a color broadcaster and Manager of the Astros.

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