Team Marketing Ruminations—MLB FCI, Women’s Pay Gains & Giant Colons

Tidbits, Thoughts & Tips around sports business…

News, notes and nuggets from our Publisher

Hello Friends:

The 2021 MLB FCI® looks at how teams’ market size correlates to their Fan Cost Index®

It feels like an eternity here since we last published one of our exclusive Fan Cost Index® reports. I think I read somewhere that Albert Einstein himself calculated 300 days of pandemic time basically equal an eternity.

Good news is that our look at 2021 Major League Baseball fan costs is now live! Head here to check out the 2021 MLB FCI®. (You must be a registered Team Marketing Report member to view.)

Even better news is over the coming weeks we’ll publish the 2021 NFL FCI. Then we’ll follow that up with NBA FCIs and NHL FCIs, all before the end of the year. That’s right, FCIs plural, as we’ll have a look back at both leagues’ pandemic-ravaged 2020-21 seasons and bring you up to date on their 2021-22 numbers.

Exciting times here at TMR.

Topline MLB FCI takeaways

The MLB FCI tells a tale of teams being cautious about ticket price changes, while looking to recoup some losses by increasing costs on other FCI elements. Beer and souvenir hats increased the most, and second most, respectively, of any time in the past 20 seasons.

View all the numbers and insights in our complete MLB FCI analysis now.

Love the FCI? Well, stay tuned to TMR because NFL, NBA and NHL are all on the very near horizon as we “return to normal” around here.

A few other ruminations while we’re at it…

USWNT gains ground on equal pay

Interesting news in the soccersphere this week with word that the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) has had an epiphany, two-plus years after 28 U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) players sued for gender equality.

“U.S. Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams,” reads a statement from USSF, which did not release contract details.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association’s contract expires at the end of this year.

In addition, the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association, representing players on the U.S. Men’s National Team, has been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2018.

Next up? FIFA, which will pay out $440 million in prize money to the men in the 2022 World Cup (up from $400 million in 2018, a 10% increase) while the 2023 Women’s World Cup will dish out $60 million (up from $38 million in 2019, a 57% increase).

Shameless TMR plug

Check out our SportsSponsor FactBook, yes, the old “blue book” and “sports marketers bible” is making a comeback! Please take a look, search for companies/teams/brands/media/etc. and share your feedback and suggestions with us.

While we’re on the subject of plugs — we’ve been busy painstakingly restoring the Team Marketing Report newsletter archives all of 1988-89-90-91 are currently up and searchable as well as various issues from 1992-2009. Head to the TMR Insider page and find insights, ideas and research that still work today.

Strong early returns for Payton & Eli

ESPN‘s “MegaCast” of Monday Night Football two days ago included the debut of Peyton and Eli Manning‘s show where they hang out and watch the MNF game live.

As the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand put it, ESPN is “paying the Mannings millions to do jazzed-up Zooms” but the Worldwide Leader is happy with the start, as Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli registered an audience of 800,000 viewers on ESPN2 alone.

And there’s a fair amount of chatter out there.

My guy Joe Favorito does a terrific job looking at it all in his piece posted earlier today, “Peyton, Eli, Streaming and The Personal POV of Broadcast…MNF Won’t Be The Same (And That’s A Good Thing)…” Joe’s line that jumped out the most: “Traditionalists can mock, but you saw another glimpse of the future, get ready for more.”

Side note: If you don’t follow/read Joe across his newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., you are missing out. He’s one of TMR’s Top Twitterers for good reason.

Last but not least

This is from a few weeks ago now, but I still can’t get this image out of my head:

“What in the holy hell is that?” you ask. Why, that’s Colleen the Colon, silly!

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada partnered with USL club Las Vegas Lights FC to bring Colleen to the Lights’ August 21 match, because, per the team, Colleen is “an oversized inflatable that fans will be asked to walk through upon entry to [Cashman Field]. Measuring over twelve feet wide and twelve feet tall, this inflatable allows fans to simulate walking through a human colon.  The experience is meant to teach individuals about normal colon tissue, Crohn’s disease, polyps, malignant polyps, colon cancer and advanced colon cancer.”

Sounds like the stuff of nightmares for fans of all ages.

“With our many partnerships, we seek to find new and interesting ways to educate the community about annual screenings and the benefits of finding cancer at its earliest stage,” explained John Bilstein, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada’s CEO. “We hope the Lights’ fans find this memorable and educational.”

If it does save one life, the terror of walking through a colon is worth it. Just don’t let yourself imagine it’s Bartolo Colon‘s colon.

Today’s social post worth a chuckle

From NLL‘s Panther City Lacrosse Club:

Have a weekend and, as always, stay fancentric friends!


Chris brings deep sports business experience to his role as publisher of TMR. He first put his sales, experiential marketing, PR, sales and valuation skills to work in sporting goods retail in 1986. He has since worked for brands and agencies across all major league sports, plus golf, college athletics, marathons and motorsports. Chris is also the proud founder of Painless Networking.