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Mensa guy's radical ideas for changing baseball.

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#41 Teflon

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:14 PM

 

As a man in his seventies I will not get into the 7 - 15 debate except to say I have five grandchildren in that age group and none of them are interested in baseball - none, not a bit.They like LaCrosse, Soccer, NFL, fishing, and running.And as much as they like their granddad it does not affect their choices.

 

To fully appreciate the aging demographic of baseball fans, look no farther than the fact that mikelink45 is in his seventies but is only a Junior Member of this community! 

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#42 mikelink45

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:01 PM

 

To fully appreciate the aging demographic of baseball fans, look no farther than the fact that mikelink45 is in his seventies but is only a Junior Member of this community! 

I may be the only one who is honored by that rating!

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#43 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:03 PM

According to Nelson the baseball audience was 41% composed of 55+ aged people in 2007, now it's 55%.
This compiles the issues well. Even the commissioner admits the problem. https://www.washingt...m=.81a38daf005b

Since that article came out, World Series viewership has been increasing again. It's good to be concerned. However, I would not want casual fans who don't watch anyway to be dictating the changes to be made.

#44 Mike Sixel

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:18 PM

Since that article came out, World Series viewership has been increasing again. It's good to be concerned. However, I would not want casual fans who don't watch anyway to be dictating the changes to be made.


Casual fans are 109*% the fans they need to appease. Serious fans aren't going anywhere.

*I just had to leave that typo in....
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#45 TheLeviathan

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:25 PM

 

Since that article came out, World Series viewership has been increasing again. It's good to be concerned. However, I would not want casual fans who don't watch anyway to be dictating the changes to be made.

 

The Cubs series was a huge boost and some of those fans were retained last year.But even then, the viewership numbers are only now getting back to where they were in 2004.And that is only a portion of what was viewing the games back in the 1980s.  

 

 

Now, the NBA was also better rated in the 80s, so some of that could have been technology that knocked the numbers down.But the NBA is trending up or maintaining over the last ten years, whereas MLB was in a clear decline until 2016.  

 

And as Mike said - it's the casual fans that keep you relevant.I'm an NHL fan but I'll be the first to admit it's a niche sport relative to MLB, NFL, and NBA in part because it almost completely composed of die-hards and far fewer casual fans.I'd prefer baseball not fall into that category.

 

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#46 mikelink45

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:36 AM

This era presents another seemingly unrelated set of data points that is worth noting.Sears was a store that I went to as a child, a lot.It was massive in S MPLS and its catalogs could anchor a tent in a storm, but they are gone along with their discount chain - KMart.We never thought that could happen.The malls are losing their anchors, the big department stores like Herberger's https://www.twinciti...-of-its-stores/

USA today highlights this trend in an article Subway, Rite Aid, Toys R Us, Teavana: Retailers closing the most stores in 2018, so far

 

It is essential that every business watch its demographics.This article is essential even if it changes nothing.The conversation must be held so that the leaders can contemplate change. Nothing that is discussed here is as radical as the creation of the DH. 

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#47 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:53 AM

A few quotes from a retailer CEO:

 

"While we are not asking to be spared from informed opinions about our business performance, for far too long, many commentators have rushed to conclusions about the future of our company."

 

 

"We don't need more customers. We have all the customers we could possibly want,"

 

 

Retailer?Sears.  


#48 Nine of twelve

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:00 AM

 

And for heavens sake, solve the endless 3-2 counts.

Easily done in 3 simple steps.

1.) Make the strike zone larger.

2.) Lower the mound to counteract the advantage the larger zone gives the pitchers.

3.) Make the ball a little softer.

The result: Batters have to swing more frequently and sooner in the count. Pitches will be easier to hit but fewer hits will go over the fence. Fewer walks, fewer strikeouts. 


#49 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:03 AM

 

According to Nelson the baseball audience was 41% composed of 55+ aged people in 2007, now it's 55%.

This compiles the issues well. Even the commissioner admits the problem.

https://www.washingt...m=.81a38daf005b

I'm not sure we're disagreeing on a basic idea - baseball should be more popular with kids - so much as the impact of that. Nothing you've posted (and this article is three years old already) suggests a new problem for the sport. You seem to think that if someone isn't a fan at 12 they won't be a fan at 42. That's just not the case. 

 

The problem of the younger generation isn't getting solved by making changes to the sport itself. Ways to get kids involved in the sport might require more funding for the RBI program, more youth baseball camps in rural areas, mlb creating playing fields in communities, promoting its stars, etc. Things like letting the Yankees pick their post-season opponent isn't likely to make kids watch and will piss off people who have enjoyed playoff baseball for most of their lives. The problem isn't the product on the field (with the three outcomes style potentially being an on-field problem).


#50 Nine of twelve

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:04 AM

 

I totally agree.However you really need to figure out what better really looks like from the perspective of your customer.Got to make changes to improve the experience of your customer and solve his/her problems and speak to their needs, not to develop products for products' sake or make change for change's sake.

 

I'd love MLB to go out there and gather data from customers (and they have plenty in their CRM, start with the mlb.tv subscribers) about what they want to see in the game.Go poll 50,000 people and publish the responses.If a particular change has more than 75% support, they should implement them.

 

Also, they should go to prospectives who are not customers and ask what it will take to make them customers.Then take the higher answers and pass them through the group of customers.If 75% + of them say ok, implement it.

 

That's how businesses make successful change. Data shows (up there) that baseball is a successful growing business.Unless particular changes will not alienate most of your customers you don't need to make changes.

The challenge is to make the young demographic more interested without losing the rest of your base. If you do so much that it damages the integrity of the sport you'll lose more fans (or customers if you must say it that way) than you'll gain.

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#51 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:16 AM

The Cubs series was a huge boost and some of those fans were retained last year.But even then, the viewership numbers are only now getting back to where they were in 2004.And that is only a portion of what was viewing the games back in the 1980s.  
 
 
Now, the NBA was also better rated in the 80s, so some of that could have been technology that knocked the numbers down.But the NBA is trending up or maintaining over the last ten years, whereas MLB was in a clear decline until 2016.  
 
And as Mike said - it's the casual fans that keep you relevant.I'm an NHL fan but I'll be the first to admit it's a niche sport relative to MLB, NFL, and NBA in part because it almost completely composed of die-hards and far fewer casual fans.I'd prefer baseball not fall into that category.

I consider myself a casual NHL fan. Do diehard NHL fans really want my input on how to broaden the appeal of their product?

#52 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:51 AM

I consider myself a casual NHL fan. Do diehard NHL fans really want my input on how to broaden the appeal of their product?


Probably not. Do you think they do?

#53 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:55 AM

I'm not sure we're disagreeing on a basic idea - baseball should be more popular with kids - so much as the impact of that. Nothing you've posted (and this article is three years old already) suggests a new problem for the sport. You seem to think that if someone isn't a fan at 12 they won't be a fan at 42. That's just not the case. 
 
The problem of the younger generation isn't getting solved by making changes to the sport itself. Ways to get kids involved in the sport might require more funding for the RBI program, more youth baseball camps in rural areas, mlb creating playing fields in communities, promoting its stars, etc. Things like letting the Yankees pick their post-season opponent isn't likely to make kids watch and will piss off people who have enjoyed playoff baseball for most of their lives. The problem isn't the product on the field (with the three outcomes style potentially being an on-field problem).


I honestly have no clue how you could read that article and still post the first paragraph. It implies you either missed the point of it or deliberately ignored it.

I don’t know if radical changes are necessary. In fact, given my experiences with kids, I tend to think the battle is already lost. We just won’t see the results for about 10 years or so barring something revolutionary to change the landscape.

#54 lwarring

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:55 AM

If the younger crowd are bored with anything other than home runs and strikeouts, should MLB give that to them? Should baseball become (even more of) a Home run derby contest if it satisfies the short attention spans of today's youth?

 

In my opinion, shifting the advantage to the hitter, but in a way that doesn't make everything about the home run would help. Larger parks? Baseball is at its best when the ball is in play.

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#55 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:31 AM

Probably not. Do you think they do?

So the follow up question is why would we diehard MLB fans want casual fans to fix our game for us.

#56 nicksaviking

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:33 AM

 

I consider myself a casual NHL fan. Do diehard NHL fans really want my input on how to broaden the appeal of their product?

 

The diehard fans surely don't. 

 

But if the owners are smart, they surely would.

 

Diehard fans tend to dislike change but change is always necessary. Sports are not immune to Darwinism.

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#57 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 09:48 AM

I consider myself a casual NHL fan. Do diehard NHL fans really want my input on how to broaden the appeal of their product?


The league should.
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#58 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:25 AM

So the follow up question is why would we diehard MLB fans want casual fans to fix our game for us.


No, but if you show me a business that only listens to their diehard fanatics, I will show you a doomed business.

I am not shocked diehard fans are dismissive of the issue. I just find them the least credible people to analyze the problem.
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#59 birdwatcher

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:04 PM

 

What check engine light?Imaginary? 

 

Fact:MLB revenue by year: Look at the rates of growth from 2001-2009 and 2010-2017. This is a business in growth.

 

27871544437_a2a65b8282_b.jpg

 

Extrapolation is a natural human behavior, but it does nothing to repudiate any of the facts being mentioned. Nor does it eliminate the future possibility of a reversal caused by changes in things like falling demand or alternative sources of entertainment, etc.

 

Oil prices at one time followed a similar growth trend. History tells us the commodity reached its clearing price and brought on a wave of change. I'm not pessimistic about the survival of baseball, but I'm optimistic that the pricing structure will collapse and turn professional sports on its arrogant head.


#60 PDX Twin

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:57 PM

What would be lost if baseball became more of a niche sport? It's not going to disappear completely. TV contracts (if such things even exist in a decade) will provide less money. Admission will probably be cheaper as teams attempt to fill their large facilities. Player salaries will have to go down, but most MLB players could lead satisfying lives on a fifth (if not a tenth) of their earnings. But surely the game will still be there for those who love it.

 

I'm not sure this is such a bad thing, especially compared to changing the essential nature of the game to cater to the whims of short attention spans.

It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.