The Business of Baseball Syllabus -- Fall 2010
CLASS TITLE: The Business of Baseball
Class Number: MSBM
Term: Fall 2010
Instructor Name: Vince Gennaro
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vince (2007). Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball: Maple Street Press.
Explores all aspects of the $6.5 billion industry of Major League Baseball (MLB). Discusses MLB's business
model and compares it to that of other professional sports. Examines the economic value associated with winning and losing
teams and its implication on the dollar value of players. Discusses the implications of free agency, the amateur draft, sourcing
of international players, and the player development system, on a team's business operations and finances. Examines the marketing
of a baseball team, from promotional strategies to put fans in seats, to longer-term brand building initiatives. Explores
contemporary issues such as, the internet resale of tickets and team-owned regional sports networks and their impact on the
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand the evolution of baseball as a business.
- Develop an
understanding of the underlying economics of an MLB team, including the economics of winning and losing.
- Understand the various methods to place a dollar value on a player's services.
- Understand the role of the player development system for an MLB team.
- Develop an understanding of the various aspects of marketing of a baseball team, including the role
of corporate sponsorships.
- Understand the importance and key levers that enable
a team to deliver a positive fan experience at the ballpark.
- Understand the
key strategic issues facing a MLB team and the leadership qualities necessary to be successful in a professional
- Identify current and future trends in sports business.
Conflicting Opinion: Opposing viewpoints are used throughout the professor's discussion of content to encourage
The Open-Ended Story: A scenario is presented
to the graduate students with the expectation that they will create a suitable ending.
Guest Speaker: An individual with expertise in a specific content area is requested to address the class.
The Debate: Graduate Students follow a set of basic guidelines to render their opposing
Brainstorming: The graduate students are challenged
to contribute a variety of solutions to one of a series of concerns. All replies are recorded.
Problem Solving: Students identify several solutions to a problem, and use a simple process
of elimination to determine if one answer is more effective for the particular predicament. The trial and error approach
is a common system of elimination.
Round Table Discussion: A
supportive interaction in which graduate students are encouraged to offer explanations without fear of being criticized.
Panel Discussion: Three or more students are selected to serve on a panel.
Each participant is given the same allotted time to present his or her standpoint before the larger group contributes additional
facts or points of view.
The Case Study: Individuals are provided
with specific content related to people or events. The information is used as a basis or rationale for class discussion.
Major Topics to be covered in this course:
History of Baseball as a sport.
- "How we got to this point"
- MLB Economics
- The financial framework
within which teams operate.
- Revenue and cost factors.
- The Stadium Debate
- Public vs. Private funding
- Economic impact of stadiums
- The Economics
- Balancing the tension between winning and financial returns
- The reason fans and sponsors "pay" for winning
the revenue and costs of winning
- The Dollar Value of Players
- Measuring value-the concept of marginal revenue product
risk factors into the valuation
- The "situational" nature of
- The Player Development System
- The origins of the minor league system
- Evaluating the cost
of developing Major League talent
- Various "sources" of player
ii. Free agency
- Pay and Performance
- The impact of the Reserve Clause
- The arbitration process
- Free agency
- Stadium Operations
- The production of a
- Measuring the fan experience
events-their cost and effectiveness
- Marketing the Team as a Brand
- Key attributes of a strong team brand
- Players as brand
10. Corporate Sponsorships
a. The value proposition for sponsors-what are they buying?
The demographics and psychographics of the MLB consumer
11. Valuing Fan Loyalty
Establishing an emotional connection to fans
b. The financial benefits of high fan loyalty
Leadership of a Baseball Organization
A strategic view of managing the business
trends in managing an MLB team
13. Contemporary Issues facing Major League
Class Attendance: Attendance at class meetings is a
fundamental requirement of this course. The courtesy of prior notification of an unavoidable absence is expected. Failure
to comply with this policy will be reflected in the class participation component of the final grade.
Grades: Assignment due dates are expected to be honored. Failure to meet deadlines will result
in a grade reduction. Letter grades may include a plus or minus. Final course grades will be determined on the following basis:
Mid-term Examination 25%
Class Participation 20%
Other Assignments/Projects 25%
Week or Date
Week One (8/30)
Overview, Introduction and Requirements
Week Two (9/6)
NO CLASS-Labor Day
Week Three (9/13)
MLB Team Economics
Ch. 1 & 2
Economics of Winning
Week Five (9/27)
The Dollar Value
Ch. 4, 5 & 6
Week Six (10/4)
Case Study-Derek Jeter Case
Week Seven (10/11)
Guest Speaker (Columbus Day)
Week Eight (10/18)
Week Nine (10/25)
The Player Development
Ch. 7 & 8
Week Ten (11/1)
Week Eleven (11/8)
Case Study-Cliff Lee Case
Week Twelve (11/15)
Marketing the Team as a Brand
Week Thirteen (11/22)
Week Fourteen (11/29)
Issues in MLB
Week Fifteen (12/6)
Guest speaker(s) to be added as available