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MLB clubs increasingly relying on analytics to generate revenue: club executive

All News 12:15 December 11, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are increasingly relying on analytics to help generate revenue while faced with a myriad of challenges, a club executive said Monday.

Joe Januszewski, executive vice president and chief revenue and marketing officer for the Texas Rangers, gave a presentation titled "Working in Major League Baseball: Building a Winner on and Off the Field" at the start of the annual Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Winter Meeting in Seoul.

Januszewski laid out primary revenue streams for big league clubs, including tickets, sponsorships and media rights fees, and discussed how teams are trying to find creative ways to make money. Januszewski noted that booking events -- weddings, festivals, races and music concerts -- at ballparks on nongame days is also playing a larger role in the business strategy for MLB teams.

And to enjoy more success on the business end, MLB clubs have reached out to data analysis, something that has already led to revolutionary changes to on-field product in MLB.

"Utilizing more quantitative data in search of better business outcomes is an area that is growing rapidly while taking on more importance across MLB and all American sports," Januszewski said. "This is one area where we have seen teams growing their head counts as they look for new ways to analyze data in search of revenue optimization and better cost controls."

In this photo provided by the Korea Baseball Organization, Joe Januszewski, executive vice president and chief revenue and marketing officer for the Texas Rangers, gives a presentation during the KBO Winter Meeting in Seoul on Dec. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

Januszewski said the Rangers hired their first dedicated business analyst three years ago.

"Most of the work to date has focused on ticket sales, utilizing buyer data, past sales information, pricing, and survey work to ultimately help us more effectively market and sell tickets," he said. "We are looking to expand analytics into its own department, with multiple employees dedicated strictly to the pursuit of securing, analyzing, and modeling data with the goal of making recommendations to all leaders of our various business units."

Januszewski said the Rangers applied analytics to set their ticket price for the 2018 season.

"We took a hard look at our individual ticket pricing and re-calibrated our pricing throughout each scale of the ballpark based on historical sell-through and anticipated demand based on opponent, day of the week, promotional giveaways, start time, time of year and several other variables," he said. "Moving forward, we will apply this approach to our season ticket pricing as well."

Januszewski is responsible for the Rangers' revenue streams, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships and media sales. He has held sales and marketing roles for three major league clubs and spent eight seasons with the Boston Red Sox before joining the Rangers.


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