Turning Pinstripes Into Dollar Signs
Baseball is a business. A big one. And a unique one.
Baseball doesn’t have customers. They have fans.
Customers need to be sold. Fans buy even when product is bad.
Baseball gets free advertising. That’s why ESPN exists.
The New York Yankees are the most valuable baseball franchise: According to Forbes a net worth of $3.7 billion dollars. Like all brands the NY Yankees have a tradition to display their product. The players wear blue pinstripe uniforms. There are no names on their backs, just numbers. While other teams have opted for names, not the Yankees. This tradition has held for over a century.
But it’s all changing. For one weekend they lose the pinstripes for nicknames. A NY Post editorial says, “No other uniform in all of sports is as timeless and elegant as Yankee pinstripes… It’s lunacy to abandon it, .. for the sake of a marketing stunt…all so MLB can sell fan versions of the new duds for a mere $200.”
Goodbye pinstripes, hello a few bucks. Will a cheap gimmick destroy a respected brand? Probably not. But one scheme leads to another.
Recently the NBA voted to allow advertising logos on jerseys. For example, the Orlando Magic will feature Disney. How long before the pinstripes give way to Stub-Hub?
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the damien harvey group