On Money, Ads, and Revenue

A few days ago I went to a nice, old-fashioned baseball game. Even though baseball isn’t my favorite sport to watch, I would always enjoy sitting back in my seat, watching the game unfold: the doubles, bunts, pop flys, amazing catches, and other baseball-specific events.

One thing I don’t understand about baseball is how much sitting time there is. Between the innings, between the pitches, while the batter isn’t hitting the ball, when a timeout is called, breaks between at-bats, the list just never ends. The approximate calories burned during an hour of baseball are 230 - vs the calories burned in an hour of football: 745 (for a 205 pound person). That is less than a third of the calories.

As I was sitting in my seat, waiting for the teams to switch between innings, I realized something: I could not look one way or the other without seeing or being targeted by an advertisement. Long banners stretched around the stadium, flashing ads of all types, only to pause for about five seconds for a scored run; advertisements on the billboards, advertisements behind the bullpen, advertisements everywhere. Even where you’d least expect them.

I decided to count these advertisements. With everything from StubHub to Wells Fargo, I counted a total of seventy-one advertisments - just from where I was sitting. This made me realize just how monetized baseball is - they make money through the sitting time, they make money through every single second you’re out there, in your seat.

We didn’t pay to get into the game. A nice person came up to us and gave us his tickets for free - however, Angel Stadium sure did make money off us that day through advertisements.

This reminds me of Jeff Atwood’s article, where he says:

When apps are free, you’re the product

I have now discovered that if anything is free (see my post about free products), they are selling the consumer in some way. Scoring another home run is no longer the point of the game; making money and generating revenue is.