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Marketing in Major League Baseball

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  1. Introduction
  2. The fanaticism
    1. The very first MasterCard 'Priceless' commercial
    2. The purchase of souvenirs such as t-shirts and hats
  3. The movie Fever Pitch
  4. Convincing people to be a part of the obsessive fan base
  5. Connecting with and remember baseball legends
  6. The nostalgia of the fans
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

Even before the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, people were religiously collecting their merchandise. Now, with the onslaught of newly marketed ?2004World Champions? merchandise, there are even more t-shirts and hats to go around. Yet, this obsession goes beyond apparel. In the movie Fever Pitch, the protagonist, a schoolteacher named Ben, has Red Sox bed sheets, a Red Sox shower curtain, and just about every other piece of Red Sox memorabilia that has ever been produced. But why does he, along with legions of other sports fans, feel the need to collect team merchandise? Each time a fan buys a player's jersey, they feel like they are reconnecting with the team, and everything they have experienced with that team. When a fan looks up at his signed baseball, he remembers the time he caught that foul ball at the park. Fans stay connected with the team and their memories by purchasing the team's licensed merchandise.

[...] In 1997, the very first MasterCard ?Priceless? commercial showed a father taking his son out to a baseball game. The narrator revealed the cost of a hot dog, a ticket, and then declared: ?real conversation with your 11-year- old son Priceless.? ?According to a new study by sports marketing agency Octagon, called ?Passion Drivers,' MasterCard's original ?Priceless' vignette hit upon one of the two most important reasons fans love baseball: nostalgia? Nostalgia is a huge part of why people love baseball, and it is also a major part of how sports marketers get fans to buy a team's merchandise. [...]

[...] Hiestand's article focuses on the Boston Red Sox, and its sports marketing franchise, which had the most ?winning? year of any brand name in America in 2004. The team is almost unbeatable in fan devotion; last year's ticket renewal rate was and the club sold all its spring training tickets in six hours. It is also seen in merchandise sales, which has increased 200% over 2003. He goes on to explain about the effect of the team winning the 2004 World Series on Red Sox Nation. [...]

[...] The marketing of the franchise works, because more than 30,000 fans have spent $ 9.95 for ?citizenship? in Red Sox Nation, and fans have spent over $225,000 worth of souvenir rings. There's no evidence in this dying either- 2004's draw for the $10 daily tours of Fenway was quadruple the 2002 total. Klatell, David A. and Norman Marcus. Sports for Sale: Television, Money, and the Fans. New York: Oxford University Press The author of this book repeats over and over again his love of sports - his willingness to participate in them and affinity to watch them, but goes on to say how corrupt and horrible they are. [...]

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