Friday, October 28, 2016

The Baseball Business

Life as a baseball fan used to be simple. You listened to the game on radio or sometimes you were able to catch the game on television ,usually Wednesdays and Saturdays or if you were lucky watched the game at the park. If you missed the live action, the only recourse was to read the recap and scan the box scores in the newspapers the next day. There was no fangraphs. Scouting reports from the minors were rare and you could care less on how the club allocated their payroll. The goal was to cheer the team on. Celebrate the wins, moan about the losses, then continue on with your day because all the information you could gather was limited and came from a very few sources.

Now, we not only know a players value, compared to an average replacement player, we have calculations to determine what dollar value he provides to the club. It's not only the dollars allocated to the current roster, but how future years of a contract, will affect the signing of young superstars within your own system. Budgets, revenue streams, current obligations, future obligations are to be considered as more seriously than the players who actually play for the team or might be needed by the team to succeed. Such are the intricacies of being a fan in 2016. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just more complex, rather than simple.

With all this in mind and while it's a subject that some wish to avoid, it does affect the Jays going forward. Edward Rogers tweeted  about an article showing how much the Jays playoff run was a hit for Rogers. In the article, Solutions Research Group reports that a staggering 2/3 of Canadians followed at least a part of the Jays postseason:
"The report also says team owner Rogers Communications “knocked it out of the park” from an advertising standpoint – with almost half (47%) of people recalling a sponsor or advertiser naming the media giant on an unaided basis. 
SRG says the number is “significantly above” the norm for unaided advertiser awareness for other major sports events."
Ever wonder how many people were streaming the game? I did. It seems that for every 5 people watching on television there's one person who's streaming the game.

Over at BJN, Stoeten delves into some of the numbers with some "very quick and very dirty math" to conclude
  "This is revenue being generated by the Blue Jays, or by Sportsnet, because of the Blue Jays. And it’s money being made on top of big growth at the gate, and from their portion of those national US TV deals that went into effect in 2013"
It is an important distinction. That the Blue Jays, specifically the revenue they generate for Rogers and the free advertising outlet they provide to make up to advertisers with the NHL product, are important for Rogers Media and it's holdings. The Jays should no longer feel the need to go, hat in hand, to the board, for budget increases. They should be welcomed with open arms.

The numbers speak for themselves. The Jays are a power house for Rogers both on and off the field.
It's time for Rogers to recognize this and provide the support necessary to maintain a consistent contender. It's a no brainer.