If you are seeking new ways to make money for your college, summer collegiate, independent professional, international or other high-level baseball team (or any other sports team) then one sound method would be to apply a digital “twist” on what you already are doing. If you derive a respectable percentage of your revenues from local sponsors (partners) then you can take advantage of your website’s inherent power to add more value in the local community.
Website Authority: The “Digital Oil” Under Your Website
Your website likely has a significant number of other websites linking to it. Many of those links likely are coming from “authoritative” websites both locally and nationally. Nationally, your site may be getting links pointing to it from Wikipedia, sports media websites, sports bloggers, player social media properties, schedule websites, ticket websites and more.
Locally, your website likely is getting links pointing to it from local media, nearby businesses, the chamber of commerce, local colleges and high schools, local bloggers and other local authority websites.
Collectively, these links pointing to your website – combined with those sharing your news and updates on their social media properties – likely have built up a significant amount of search engine “authority”. You can quantify this based on the Moz Domain Authority score, Majestic Trust Flow or AHREFS.com Domain Rank scores, among others. The higher the score, the more “genetic potential” your website has to rank for targeted keyword phrases in the search engines.
If your stadium or arena was discovered to have oil or valuable minerals underneath the property, then you know that the value of that property would increase dramatically overnight. What most sports team executives and administrators don’t realize is that their respective websites’ search engine authority (genetic potential) numbers are the digital equivalent of “oil” in terms of ability to generate new profits relatively quickly.
What To Do With This “Digital Oil” (Authority)
There are several things you can do with this built-up authority to generate new revenues. One is to enhance your local sponsorship/partnership program by building a local business directory. Your website’s authority now has the ability to power a business directory with several hundreds (or thousands) of business niche/category-specific pages for which local businesses already are paying for advertising in your geographic region.
If you were to go to the business phone book and create a new page on your website for every business category you discover, odds are that you can begin to rank in the search engines for several of those topics very quickly when someone types in the phrase “CATEGORY Town”. Using Brownsville, Texas for example a local team (which has good search engine authority scores) can have a new category page rank in the search engines for a keyword phrase like “equipment appraisers Brownsville Texas”. In Google (at the time of this post) you will see a former independent baseball team (Brownsville Charros) rank near the top of the search results for this phrase.
You then can post the contact information and website link on categories relevant to your current sponsors/partners. For those category pages you create where you do not yet have a partner, you can create some boilerplate content relevant to that topic and rank it in the search engines. Once you have a first-page ranking you then can contact local businesses already paying for advertising elsewhere (online or non-digital advertising) and encourage them to become a partner for your team. You can add their contact information and bundle it with a regular sponsorship package; or you simply can lease them the page which is ranking for their desired keyword(s). They can pay you per month (or for the season) and renew if they believe that the page you have ranking is generating them new business.
There are many other things you can do with these pages, but it should give you a starting point to help understand what you can do. There are several advanced methods you can implement which are beyond the scope of this post.
Why Will This Work?
Many businesses in your local area already are paying 3rd party entities a lot of money to advertise digitally, and most of that money is leaving your geographic area. These businesses may be paying the search engines to advertise in their platforms. Some are paying third-party directory websites. Other businesses are paying for targeted advertising in the various major social media properties. Most of that money is leaving the local market, not to get reinvested locally.
If you properly leverage your website’s authority and correctly create new, optimized pages your website has the potential to outrank most of the competitors in the search engines for those keyword phrases. In essence, you can “leap frog” many of the current first page rankings because your team’s website is authoritative AND relevant to the local market. Authority and relevance are two key aspects sought by the search engines when putting new website pages on the first page of results for targeted keywords.
By offering great first page rankings for their desired keywords, these businesses may feel inclined to do business with you when they otherwise wouldn’t be receptive to your team’s (or school’s) advertising pitch. You would be giving them what they want more than anything: increased odds of their phones ringing (or getting e-mails) from first-time prospective customers or clients.
You also can give these new businesses tickets as part of an advertising/sponsorship package, and this increases the odds of their meeting prospective customers at your upcoming games. Again, this is just one of many ways to leverage these new pages; and the advanced possibilities of what can be done are significant. Nonetheless, focus on the “big picture” of giving these local businesses increased odds of getting new customers. By doing so, they should become more inclined to be loyal to your team.
That’s Great In Theory…. But Are Any Teams Doing This?
The answer is yes. The Pecos League (featured in a 2014 documentary/reality TV show on Fox Sports 1) has decided to do this for all of its teams where there is an active website, including folded or future teams.
They have added over 1500 business categories for each market, and they have the potential to add more business categories over time. Here are the links:
- Bisbee Arizona
- Carlsbad New Mexico
- Alpine Texas
- Douglas Arizona
- Lubbock Texas (team never played)
- Las Vegas New Mexico
- Ruidoso New Mexico
- Alamogordo New Mexico
- Raton New Mexico
- Roswell New Mexico
- Santa Fe New Mexico
- Wichita Falls Texas (proposed team)
- Taos New Mexico
- Trinidad Colorado
- Tucson Arizona
- Las Cruces New Mexico
- Garden City Kansas
- Topeka Kansas
- Great Bend Kansas
As an example, here is a page which should rank well soon for the keyword phrase “Tucson recording studios” on the new Tucson Saguaros’ baseball team website:
Okay, I’m Interested. What Next?
If you are interested in what your team or league (or conference) can do, then be sure to contact us here. We can review your website(s) authority numbers and determine strategies specific to what can work for your situation.