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A Business Model Learned From Baseball


After my trip to Boston this week with Jamie and Alasdair to INBOUND with HubSpot, we took in a baseball game and there was a business model learned from baseball that day.

And we just checked in at the airport, so I was thinking on the way home about repeat business models and the title of this is a business model learned from baseball.

One of the key things I want to just try and get across here is if you look at how your business is set up, one-off purchases, multiple purchases, that’s only because you choose your product that way.

Now, if you’re doing big, major conversions, and I get that, you can’t convert a house or a garden ten times.

The Repeat Business Model

But you can certainly add in repeat purchases and repeat business models on a regular basis.

So, for those of you who caught us yesterday, we were at the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox baseball game, and I took some time to look at how baseball’s structured, and the Boston Red Sox’s played 167 games this season, and when you look at it, they played five times at home this week.

They played Tampa earlier, I think it was the Tampa Blue Jays earlier this week, then Houston Astros in the back end of the week, and we went to that game last night, or one of the games last night, and they played again.

So, they wrap that game up at nearly ten o’clock last night.

Then they were pitching out again at five past one today.

Look at the raving fans that have got sports teams.

If you look at football, the football they’re once a week, maybe there’s a mid-week game.

But these guys are getting 36, 37 thousand people every single game five nights a week, and the tickets weren’t cheap.

I mean, we may have bought last-minute cheap, but we were in the side seats there, not the best seats in the house by a country mile.

Don’t Let The Money Put Your Off

Nowhere near the best seats, nowhere near the worst seats, but 59 dollars a piece, every season ticket at the Boston Red Sox in the seat is 9,000 dollars.

But that fact of the matter is that you can get the fans to turn out, week in, week out, day in, day out.

It’s not just the cost of the season ticket.

It’s the cost of the game, the cost of the beer or the soda or the hot dog or whatever.

So, how on earth can you get your business model where people are buying something off you every single day?

Create A Membership Site To Share Your Knowledge

Could just be a subscription like in a membership site.

You might be 30 pounds a month for a membership site, and out of that 30 pounds a month, you might attribute one pound a day for a repeat purchase.

So, obviously, you know we do a lot of membership site work in our digital side at Mike Midgley Executive.

And I’m just asking you to give some thought about it, even if you do convert houses or gardens or buildings or cars or machinery, and you think, well hey, I’ve only got a one-off purchase, what monthly subscription could you put in, even if it’s a pound a day.

Where you’re sharing your knowledge?

We’re all experts and have the expertise, in each of our individual businesses, whatever that is.

Wouldn’t that be worthwhile?

You think about it, you get a hundred customers paying you 30 pounds a month, that’s three grand a month, recurring.

You got a thousand people paying you 30 pounds a month, that’s 30 grand a month and just for sharing what’s in your head, so leverage your skills

Define Your Core Regular Sales

So, all I want to just throw out to you today is give some thought to how you can get your customers to buy off you every single day.

And even if you’re in the bigger purchases, or commodity purchases than a membership site to help their experience.

  • I downloaded an app.
  • I could buy my tickets, I could check in.
  • I could get the latest’ news, I could get what seller is the place on.

There’s loads of information that you can get either in an app or a membership site, and I really, really want to challenge you to think about how you can take the knowledge out of your head, put it down, and sell it in a monthly subscription where you continue to add value.

And that’s just the lesson from baseball.

They get the fans to turn up four, five times a week, not twice or three times a month like they do in the Premier league or the championship or the football or rugby games.

And I think that’s an awesome business model and some of the contracts that these guys are on, looking through the programme, one player’s on 30 million dollars a year.

I think there’s a rookie out there at about 550 grand a year.

The money that they get paid by player position or strength is no different in any sport like it is in football, Wayne Rooney gets a tonne of money, Ronaldo, Messi, people like that.

Keep Them Coming Back

The point I’m trying to get to is they’re fueling that business model, and they’re fueling that from revenue and commercial terms.

It does not come out of ticket sales, Red Sox at Fenway Park only holds about 37-38 thousand people, so, it isn’t the biggest ground in the major league baseball season.

But obviously, they’ve got a lot of core sponsorship, they’ve got TV, money, and I get all of that.

But ultimately, getting raving fans to turn out three, four, five times a week, and paying that type of money, plus savouries, drinks, hot dogs, car parking in Boston, I think the cheapest I saw it yesterday on game day was 25 dollars just to park the car for the game.

Some were 42 or 43, 45, 50 dollars just to park the car.

You add that to a ticket, a hot dog, a beer, programmes to merchandise, the revenue that’s coming through these American sports franchises in phenomenal.

And, they’ve got to fuel that.

They’ve gotta get people to put a hundred in their pocket, and that’s not just once or twice a month.

Avoid them Choosing Someone Else

I know the sports teams have the ravings, you’re born into a club, you don’t just, I’m supporting Boston this week, and the New York Yankees next week.

Or Liverpool this week and Everton the week after.

I get that. And you might not be able to have that fan base that’s fanatical like that.

But I know that as entrepreneurs, you’ve got a tonne of knowledge in your head.

I know as an entrepreneur you’ve got a tonne of knowledge that you’ve trained over those years, whether you’ve done a City & Guilds or an apprenticeship or some type of training. I started back in the mid 80’s on a Maggies YTS scheme.

Memberium Membership Sites

I know that you have that knowledge, so if you want to leave me a comment below, and tell me what type of knowledge you think that you could do.

Let’s get some ideas out on the table.

Doesn’t matter what business you’ve got, what knowledge could you put into a monthly membership site online, and then let’s see if we can help you get that built.

We’ve got some promotions running on membership sites, fully blown, fully designed, fully built, and I’d be happy to have a chat with you about those, and that’s not really a pitch, you can go anywhere and get a membership site.

You don’t have to get it off us, I’m just saying we got some promotions on those and some incentives as Jamie qualifies as being a Memberium certified partner.

We’ve got Alastair who is a Memberium Certified Partner.

They’ll hook up to Infusionsoft applications as well.

So, if you’re interested in setting up a membership site, and even if you’re not, just leave me a comment below, tell me what knowledge you’ve got, and what you could do on a monthly service that you could put fresh new information in every single month to keep your customers attached to your brand, enhance their experience, deliver value, all that type of stuff.

Hope you found that helpful.

You’re never going to make it and achieve early retirement by having one customer in a membership site.

It is all about volume, and all about having a tribe to get there like the football or the baseball or the basketball fans who show up week in, week out.

But ultimately, have a go at it.

This is the best way to approach it,

  1. What knowledge do I have that my customers regularly ask for?
  2. How could I package that up and make that into a product, like a monthly video series, a monthly web series, a monthly PDF, and things like that?

So ultimately, give that some thought, see how you go with it, and leave up a comment below of what you think you could put in there, and I’ll be happy to give you some free advice, even if I could just send you a blueprint of how to build a membership site, maybe get your web developers to do that, decide a word processor, something like that.

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.