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 National Baseball Museum in Cooperstown, New York had 373,793 visitors in 1992- over 100,000 more than the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City received. American audiences have attended an old-time baseball ballet in Pennsylvania, an opera in New York, and plays in Chicago, Boston, and off-Broadway. There is a Nellie Fox Society in Chicago, a Burleigh Grimes museum in Wisconsin, and a Dizzy Dean Museum in Mississippi (Dawidoff 22). The state lottery sponsored a $225,000 tour of the 2004 World Series trophy throughout New England. [...]
[...] EBSCO Host. Emerson Coll. Lib., Boston, MA Oct http://search.epnet.com. Unlike Janoff's article, this Brandweek article is filled with facts, reasoning, logic, data, and substance. It focuses on the reasons why fans love the sports that they do. The US sports marketing agency Octagon conducted a study in 2005 to find out fans' passions regarding sports self-identified fans over the age of 16 were given surveys on nine professional sports and the Olympics. They were asked to record how strongly they [...]
[...] Chicago Black Sox' “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was involved in a baseball gambling scandal; his autograph sells for $23,000, compared to the $2,500 Mozart and $2,250 Michelangelo signatures (Dawidoff 23). The baseball Babe Ruth hit for his sixtieth home run in 1927 sold for $200,000. A flannel uniform shirt once worn by Mickey Mantle ran for about $111,000. Baseball cards are no longer kids' collectables but a serious commodity; a 1909 Honus Wagner sold for $451,000 (Dawidoff 22). “Card shows are spiced by the appearance of a ‘legend,' old ballplayers like Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio, who are hauled in for a few hours to sign anything put in front of them by long lines of people who have paid $50 to $100 for the privilege” (Dawidoff 22). [...]
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