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Everything I Know About Small Business Marketing I Learned from Watching Baseball

20 Apr

Today is the day the Red Sox are celebrating the 100th birthday of Fenway Park.

Yesterday, I took part in the team’s Open House and spent a chunk of the day wandering the country’s oldest (and yes, most beloved) ballpark.

In short, it was awesome. I got to go into the Sox dugout, touch the Green Monster (Wally too), sit in the famous Ted Williams seat, and basically, go anywhere in the park that I wanted to. It was a perfect way to spend a few hours.

Of course, truth be told, I haven’t always been a Red Sox fan (I grew up in New York, and am the child of Mets fans). But I’ve always been a baseball fan.

I love the drama, the history, the athleticism, the strategy, the pageantry, the pomp and circumstance … and how aspects of baseball translate into other areas of my life, like my career as a marketer.

I know that even when my team isn’t doing well — which, yes, lately is too often — there’s still plenty to learn from watching each game.

So humor me, if you will, as I share nine things you can learn about small business marketing from watching baseball. Continue reading

A Close Call for Me and Terry Francona

1 Oct

Over the course of the nearly eight years since he was hired as manager of the Red Sox, Terry Francona gave fans lots of great memories, both large and small.

There were the 2004 and 2007 World Series wins, of course, as well as the way he embraced Jon Lester after Lester’s no-hitter in 2008, the way he would always give Dustin Pedroia a hard time, the way he stood by his players, his incessant gum chewing … and so many others.

But here’s one of my favorite Terry Francona memories, a true story you may never have heard before. Continue reading

Play Ball

22 Sep

For baseball fans, especially Red Sox ones like me, the new movie Moneyball couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

That’s because Moneyball reinstills a love of the game, one that can’t be tarnished even by a losing team.

It’s a top-notch Hollywood entertainment, featuring an old fashioned star turn at its center, and it instantly became my favorite movie of the year (so far) as soon as the lights went up.

Batter up, indeed. Continue reading

A Weekend for Manly Men

17 Jan

In all the years I’ve lived in Boston (that’s 13, if you’re wondering), and with all the winters that my mom has spent in Florida, my dad has never come up by himself for a “Boys Weekend.”

At least, that was the case before this past weekend. Continue reading

Spring Awakening

19 Mar

There’s something about going down to Florida in March and seeing a spring training baseball game that makes you feel like everything’s alright with the world again. You get that feeing the instant you walk up the ramp, see the green grass on the field, see the players (preferably in Red Sox uniforms) taking batting practice, and hear the cracks of the bat. After a long, cold winter, it’s music to this baseball fan’s eyes and ears.

So it was on Saturday when I went to see the Sox take on the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale. My guess is that because it was an away game for the Sox, and they’d just played the Yankees the night before, not too many marquee players wanted to make the trip south. (Plus there was the matter of the World Baseball Classic and a couple injuries.) The biggest Sox names who showed up were Jed Lowrie, Rocco Baldelli, and Josh Bard (who, as of this writing, has now been let go by the Sox). But no matter. It was a decent game (at least it was until the Sox lost in the bottom of the ninth) and it was fun to see the team back on the field live and in person. And even better, I didn’t get a sunburn this year, like I did last year. Woo hoo!

So, happy spring everybody. Baseball is back.

(Looking up at the right-field bleachers.)

(That’s Orioles outfielder Ryan Freel signing autographs. Unfortunately, our tickets were on the home-field side of the field and not the visiting team side, so I have pictures of the Orioles and not the Sox.)

Another Shut Out

4 Mar

Again I have to say that I don’t get it. And I don’t just mean that literally. I mean I just don’t understand why it’s so hard to get Red Sox tickets. I’ve written in the past about the problems I’ve had on the general on-sale day. Well now I need to complain because for what feels like the third or fourth straight year, I’ve been shut out of even having the opportunity to buy tickets to Opening Day, the Yankee/Red Sox games, or tickets on the Green Monster or Right Field Bud Deck. If you don’t know, the Sox hold multiple separate raffles (all random, of course, ha ha), and winners don’t even get tickets to those games — they simply get the chance to buy tickets to those games. So yeah. After wasting a day in the Virtual Waiting Room and having no luck getting tickets, then you have to enter your name in the drawings and wait to see if you’ll be selected. And yes, that’s right. Not only didn’t I get tickets, I didn’t even get the option to buy tickets. And again, this is the third or fourth year in a row that I didn’t make it through to a single one of those ticket-buying opportunities. What the fudge! How rigged is this ticketing system?! Am I ever going to get through? I’m getting tired of only seeing games in Florida or only going to Fenway for concerts.

You’ve Gotta Love the New York Post

9 Feb

Today’s cover is simple, direct, and to the point.

Good for Youk

15 Jan

Kevin Youkilis has reached a deal with the Red Sox that will pay him $41 million over four years, a deal that also includes a club option for $13 million if he stays until 2013.

That would bring the total value of the deal to $53 million over five seasons.

Not sure what needs to be said about this other than “Good for you, Youk!”

This is much deserved.

And nice job, Sox, for locking in such a great player.

Not This Year

19 Oct

Good for the Rays. That said, what a bummer. I mean, even when you tell yourself they won’t win — they can’t come back from 3-1 again … can they? — when the momentum shifts to the Sox as it did in Games 5 and 6, it’s hard not to get optimistic and excited, and to think they might just go all the way. But, alas, you can’t win ’em all. This was not our year. Last year was. And so was 2004. But I’m sad for ‘Tek, and happy it was not he who made the last out. I hope this was not the last time we see him in a Sox uniform. And thankfully, it was a closer series than it initially appeared it would be. We didn’t lose by screwing it up as much as the Rays just played better.

I sat here watching Game 7 Sunday night in my beloved broken-in 2007 World Series Champions sweatshirt, and I’ll keep on wearing it, remembering the good times we had last fall. And, now I can get back to my real life, since I will not have to stay up late to watch baseball games again until April. (But oh, how I wanted to for another week.)

Thanks, Sox, for a great season. We’ll see you in February at Spring Training. And CHB? I still blame you.

Off to St. Pete

17 Oct

I’m not going to lie: I had the Red Sox dead.

I was already wishing people Happy Winter.

I was saying I didn’t want the Sox to win Game Five because I didn’t want the series to continue, didn’t want them to come back and to have to relive the same story we saw in 2004 and 2007.

Hell, I was only awake to see the end because I was going to watch John McCain on David Letterman. Continue reading

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