Every year we take the boys to a local baseball game.
Adrienne thinks it’s a great family memory, and I think its fun to have pictures at the same place every year. I tell myself it will make a good slideshow for the boys graduation.
I spend the entire ride to the stadium making a plan for how I will keep busy. I have the shortest attention span ever, so the idea of sitting outside for two hours and watching some men play ball makes me want to die.
We spend forty dollars at the concession stand before settling in our chairs.
This is the part that is the hardest for me.
The time when everyone is happy and there are no problems to solve. I literally do not know how to quiet my mind.
I take an instagram photo of the field, but it is kind of dark so no filter looks quite right.
I take a few more shots and test about five filters before I finally hit publish.
I look up and realize that most of the stadium seats are empty.
These people spend a ton of money on advertising. I literally can’t leave my house without seeing an ad for the Peoria Chiefs.
Tonight they are having a huge fundraiser, bounce houses for the kids, one-dollar hotdogs and fireworks after the game. And still, half the seats are empty.
I start thinking about their business model.
There are advertisements all over the stadium.
Every single announcement and activity is sponsored by a different brand.
I realize they have a sponsorship business model, except its like the worst sponsorship business model in the world.
Between the players, the stadium and general staff they have huge overhead.
And because they are in a small area, they have to sell tons of really small sponsorships. Securing and executing all of those sponsorships has to be a complete nightmare.
I wonder how much they have to pay their baseball players.
I start researching baseball career paths.
Here is what I learn:
1. If you make it to the major leagues you will make a ton of money.
2. If you don’t make it to the major leagues, you can play for one of these smaller leagues for a ripe salary of $13K a year. Yes, you will live below poverty level.
3. Some players are amazing and end up getting drafted from a regional league to a major league team, but the chances of this are like almost nothing.
Who gets better at baseball with age? Almost no one.
I decide this is a terrible business model. It is completely unsustainable.
I start trying to predict how long it will take for the entire industry to combust when Adrienne tells me its time to go.
We head over to collect the boys from the bounce houses. They come over holding plastic cups of neon colored slushie.
I check our bank account on the way to the car. We somehow managed to spent over one-hundred dollars at the game.
And suddenly I start to understand the business model of baseball.