Team Marketing Blog: Apr 11, 2005

In Mar 2005, blog sites were a relatively new thing, and Team Marketing Report staff wanted to give one a shot. Over the next several months, TMR’s staff posted numerous stories and other sports business thoughts as the “Team Marketing Blog.” We have saved all of them and re-posting each of those individually for your reading enjoyment. Please note that many links may no longer work.

Below is the entry from Apr 11, 2005, penned by Jon Greenberg and touted as TMR’s first “official” blog post…

Welcome …

… to Team Marketing Report‘s blog. Both of you. (Ba-dum-bump. I’m here all week. Try the fish.)

Anyway, back to the greetings, good tidings and such.

After 17 years of providing monthly and yearly products on the world of sports marketing and business, we at TMR figured there is no better time than now to get up to speed with the 21st century and start a blog.

For those not in the know about what a blog is…well, you’re looking at it. It’s an informal site that can be an original news source, a place to find links to the “news of the day” or an online community message board. Hopefully, this one will be all of the above.

For our first official posting, I wanted to touch on the Major League Baseball Fan Cost Index. Compiling this information is an arduous task, and one, thankfully for me, that mostly falls on our executive editor Becky Wallace, the office FCI guru. There are numbers to be crunched, seats to be scaled, and most of all, follow-up phone calls and e-mails to be made.

Some teams do not want to participate in this study, as is their right, which can often make compiling this information a chore. But that’s why we make the big bucks.

Becky persevered and came up with a strong survey that reflects the rising costs of watching sports outside of your living room:

The FCI began in 1991 and has in time become a part of the sports lexicon (well, the part that deals with ticket prices anyway). Media sorts from all over call the office in anticipation for the numbers weeks before they go out. It’s an easy story (“Greedy teams gouge fans! News at 11!”) and one that teams on the plus side of ticket increases tire of quickly.

I was at a game at Wrigley Field this past weekend. Since I got the tickets for free, I didn’t worry about the $50 price tag per. But after my girlfriend and I got two slices of pizza and a drink for about $12, she made a comment to me, not knowing that TMR does this exact research: “How can any family afford to go to a baseball game?”

According to our formula, it would cost a family of four $210.01 to go to Wrigley, provided they paid for parking and bought a couple hats for the kids. That’s about $56 more than the MLB “average.” It cost us (had we paid for our tix) approximately $120, and we took the train there and walked home.

That’s not to say I think, or we think, prices are “out of control,” as some media members are wont to wag. Prices increase incrementally in every sport, much like they do in everyday life. This year’s FCI reported more gains than ever, though. Seventeen teams raised ticket prices by 1 percent or more. Four teams dropped prices, three of which after bad seasons. Overall the FCI average went up 5.6 percent and the average ticket price rose 6.3 percent to a still-manageable $21.17.

We’re currently in the process of vetting information for our second annual Minor League FCI and we’re curious on how your team, in whatever league, level and sport, deals with the rising costs of tickets and how, without the benefit of a championship team or a park with the mystique of a Fenway or Yankee Stadium, your team works on drawing families to your games more than once or twice a year.

You can e-mail me at jon@teammarketing or simply post a message down below.

Here are some good blogs that mention the baseball FCI. I chose to solely include blogs not to indoctrinate you into the world of unedited fan-boy chatter, but to highlight how prolific, and research-oriented these sites have become. These are your fans:

Here are some other blog-related sites that I recommend:

Well, it’s quarter to 9 (at night; I don’t get to the office that early in the morning!) and I’m gassed.

I hope you enjoyed the first entry and look forward to speaking with all of you. Well, both of you anyway.

– Jon

Currently Founding Editor/Columnist at The Athletic Chicago. Jon was with TMR from 2003-15, including Executive Editor 2008-15.