Thursday, April 07, 2005

Steriods, Marketing & the Nats

Well, I was watching a report this morning asking the question whether Steroids has had an effect on baseball's bottom line this spring, and the answer is clearly yes: it helps tremendously.

It also probably helps that a) the Nats have moved to DC, and b) The Red Sox won and that rivalry is off the charts right now.

Essentially, the stats they gave were that ticket sales are up 7% (the Nats alone probably account for a couple of that percent), Merchandise sales are up almost exactly 100%, a pure doubling over last spring. Out of all merchandise, Yankees and Red Sox merchandise accounts for 53% of all sales, which is beyond what I would have even thought (I would have put it more at about 30% given some of the other big cities). And whereas the Expos were at the bottom of pretty much every merchandise category last year, the Nats rank 5th (didn't say who besides Yanks and Sox were ahead of them--my guess is Cubs and Dodgers). I think as the season gets going, Nats merchandise sales should only go up as people see friends and colleagues wearing the gear.

I'm hoping that this will have a snowball effect enabling the new owners to go out and get some additional talent, for example a shortstop that plays at a level above AA.

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