In most professional and collegiate level sports leagues the teams only care about their own revenue streams. Most teams have minimal (if any) incentive to promote:
- other teams’ tickets and merchandise in the same league
- other teams’ tickets and merchandise in other leagues
- other teams’ social media properties and websites
Since many of the minor league, independent league and summer collegiate sports teams always would like more revenues and profits then the question becomes: how can the sports teams find ways to derive revenue from each other without affecting any current business models?
This is a great question!
Common Intellectual Property And Other Sports Revenue Solutions
One way to address this is to deal with a common headache which all teams have. For example, in the independent professional baseball industry most general managers, managers, coaching staff members and front office staff members get a constant barrage of phone calls, e-mails, letters and social media inquiries asking about tryouts from prospective players. Most teams do not have tryouts going year round to address the prospective player demand, and only a few teams have tryouts which can make the team (or league) any money.
From personal experience as a team official in the lowest level of pro baseball in the late-2000’s, the GM and I received roughly 300 calls and e-mails each month from prospective players. Whether the players had any previous pro experience or not, the consensus with other team officials in the league is that it is a significant annoyance which never seems to end!
So how does this “headache” get resolved in a way where all teams can benefit in some way?
One way is to have a centralized tryouts notification service which gives teams a financial incentive to promote the service regardless of if the player ever shows up at any tryout for any team, in any league. Such a service exists (DISCLAIMER: this is a website/service owned by the same for this website, so regard this simply as a case example) to help the teams: http://www.independentbaseballtryouts.net
This is a tryouts notification and intellectual property (MP3 interviews) which gives advice to these prospective players on how to make a pro baseball team and stay on it. The intellectual property is sold through one of the largest online/digital retailers (Clickbank.com), and it offers anyone to become an “affiliate” for free. This permits the team to register with Clickbank and enter in the desired payment name and address; and Clickbank then manages the infrastructure for a team to get a “tracking link” (customized website link) specific to the team and the product being sold.
Should a prospective player click the team’s specific tracking link on the website (or social media, e-mail newsletter, etc.), and then purchase the tryouts notification service/intellectual property, the team would earn a commission. Since the product happens to be digital (no physical delivery) then opportunity for a large commission percentage can be had. In this instance, the tryouts service pays roughly 60% of the post-transaction fee proceeds. After a certain minimum commission amount is earned, Clickbank then pays the team (“affiliate”) with a physical check according to the payout schedule.
Why Should Sports Executives Care About This Concept
While the example above is relegated primarily to the independent professional baseball industry, the real power is in grasping the concept and beginning to recognize that your team or league has much more revenue potential than you may have originally thought. For example, there are many things your audience wants. Sticking with prospective athletes, they and their families may begin to recognize that the athlete doesn’t quite have the skills he thought he has. He may want help on:
- increasing his vertical leap skill
- improving his 60 yard dash time
- improving his overall muscle mass
There exist affiliate programs for all of the items mentioned above; and the teams can become affiliates and promote those products with the free tracking internet links.
To take it to the next level, the teams in a league could band together and create their OWN intellectual property (e-books, videos, audios, etc.). From there they could have other teams in the sports industry become affiliates for THEIR product. Since everything gets paid on a commission basis only, and the money is handled through a neutral third party, teams can make money putting money in the pockets of other teams… some not even in the same sport.
That’s Great And All… But Is There Any Demand For This?!?
The answer is yes. Google has a tool which gives conservative estimates of the number of times someone is looking for any phrase across the country. The conservative estimate of the phrase “improve your vertical jump” is roughly 1600 times each month. This means nearly 20,000 searches a year — just in the search engines (!) – are looking for that ONE phrase. Obviously there are hundreds of related phrases each year with lots of demand!
It also means that many more would be open to clicking your tracking link to an “improve vertical jump” online video course, since 20,000 people a year will actively go to the search engines with many more willing to share tips and your marketing messages through social media and e-mail newsletter mentions.
Whether you are willing to have your sports team become an affiliate, or are willing to take the more advanced step and create intellectual property, you can begin to understand that a small portion of your revenues now can be had:
- shared by other teams
- shared by entities in other sports
There is MUCH more to this topic, so contact us for guidance on what you would like to accomplish with your particular team or league. Thank you.