san francisco giants

Baseball Ratings

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Baseball season is officially over but for the past six months one thing never really made it out of the park.

Earlier this week the San Francisco Giants won game seven of the World Series. This is considered baseball's ultimate event and has happened only five times since 1988. And the fact that the series made it to a seventh game might be enough to save it from becoming the least popular World Series since they became televised.

Currently the least watched series is the Giants four game sweep of the Detroit Tigers two years ago. This time around the series averaged just over 12 million viewers in the first five games between the Giants and the Royals. Even five World Series games during the prime time block of television wasn't enough to help FOX win in the ratings.  read more »

A High Scoring Business Plan

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The owner of a Texas furniture store is using sports to drum up some extra business; and the customers are scoring.

Before the first pitch was thrown for this year's baseball season Jim McIngvale offered to reimburse the first 500 customers who spent more than $6,300 at his stores. But he would only hand over the cash if the Houston Astros won more than 63 games, matching the age McIngvale would turn this year.

And they did, winning 70 games and forcing McIngvale to be true to his word. So recently hundreds of people lined up and he paid up, to the tune of more than $4 million. Reid Ryan, president of the Astros, said the promotion was a great way to get more people involved in the season and excited about the team.  read more »

Play Ball

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This year’s opening pitch is about to cross the plate and fans can hardly wait.

Larry Baer is President and CEO of the World Series winning San Francisco Giants. I recently talked to him about the evolution from sport to business and how the last 20 years has impacted the game.

“You drew one million fans you were probably going to more or less break even. Now you have to get to three million. The good news is that the sport has evolved so there’s something in it for everyone.”

Baer says the fans are his most important clients and if the spring training crowds were any indication fans are ready to pack into stadiums. And he’s ready to make sure they enjoy every moment of every game no matter what the final score is.  read more »

Behind the Scenes

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Baseball season’s opening pitch is just one week away; and the players aren’t the only ones warming up.

Dennis O’Donnell is the sports director at KPIX; a CBS affiliated television station in San Francisco. I recently spoke with him about his experience covering bay area baseball for the past thirty years.

“The game is on a whole different level than it was 20 years ago, but the funny thing is its still two lines, hit the ball it’s still baseball.”

O’Donnell says these days his job requires a creative edge. Thanks to the internet game highlights are old news by the time his show airs. So he has to find a different type of story to tell. But the one thing that has remained consistent is the characters.  read more »

The Business of Baseball

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Baseball season is one week away and the players are hoping to score more than the winning run.
For 17 years Vida Blue pitched for the San Francisco giants, Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals; winning three World Series. I recently talked to him about the sport of baseball and the business of staying in it.

“It’s constantly changing, the owners are really savvy with how they sign players and the players are real savvy on how they approach getting their raises.”  read more »

Money Ball

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Baseball players make a lot of money, but not forever.

During his 17-year career Vida Blue pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals, and won 3 world series. He told me about the day in 1971 when he asked then A’s owner Charlie Finley for a raise; Finley said no because “I don’t have to”. So Vida became one of the first players to hire an attorney to go to bat for him. Today’s players have more negotiating power but every career eventually ends.

“They pay good money for these players, for their services but there comes a time in a player’s career where they have to make a business decision.”

Vida advises today’s players that when the spotlight fades so does their paycheck.  read more »

High Ticket Prices

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We are just weeks away from opening day of baseball season; and the players aren’t the only ones warming up.

Dennis O’Donnell is Sports Director at KPIX; the CBS affiliated television station in San Francisco where he’s watched the baseball business grow over his 30 year career.

“When I first started going to a baseball game at Candlestick Park it was $0.50 to get a ticket in the bleachers, I’m not sure how affordable it is for a family of four to go to a certain amount of games.”

Dennis fears high ticket prices keep some fans away.

“You have to pay for the tickets, you have to pay for the parking and you have to pay for the food. I think that some things should be made a little more affordable so fans can go to the game and enjoy the whole experience.”  read more »

Filling the Stadium

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When it comes to baseball; the most important people are not always on the field.

Larry Baer is President and CEO of the San Francisco Giants. A team that has won two World Series rings in the past three years. And while the franchise appreciates a win Baer says baseball has become a brand and his customers need more than just a winning season.

“The fans that come here, the clients that come to this ballpark we want to give them a good experience with everything we can control.”

Baer says this means filling the stadium with good food, friendly staff and a lasting experience. Baer says regardless of the final score every fan should go home happy.  read more »

Business Outside Baseball

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America’s favorite pastime is being hit out of the park.

Every spring, baseball fans across the country pack into stadiums to root for the home team. But if they can’t score a ticket; they turn to the next best thing. That’s big business for Peter Osborne, who owns MoMo’s restaurant across from the San Francisco Giants home field. He credits the team’s success for his own.

“It’s changed my life I’m not going to lie to you. I think it’s changed the city’s life as a matter of fact and its part of that evolution. It’s a dynamic, vibrant ingredient to every major metropolitan area.”  read more »

The Business of Baseball

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Baseball might have a six month season but for some players the game never stops.

“This is a business that is getting bigger and bigger and is really many different businesses all rolled into one.”

Larry Baer is the CEO and owner of the World Series winning San Francisco Giants. Baer says winning games is the primary business but he is also in the entertainment, customer and community service business. Baer says over the past 20 years the sport has evolved and there is something in it for all types of fans to enjoy. This helps organizations fill stadiums and bring in three million fans a season; especially because the competition is not only on the field.  read more »