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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Harvard Business Review Blog: Business Model Innovation the Red Sox Way

Major league owners are famously reluctant to release franchise-specific financial information. However, Forbes estimates that the value of the Red Sox has climbed from about $500 million in 2002 to $900 million in 2011 — an impressive 7% annual growth.

Companies seeking to revitalize seemingly stagnant businesses can take three lessons from the Red Sox success:

1. Question orthodoxy. Of course you can’t put people on top of the Green Monster. Or host a hockey game in Fenway. Or can you?

2. Systematically evaluate business model options. A business model describes how an organization creates, captures, and delivers value. Consider all of the different levers at your disposal to create growth.

3. Look to the peripheries. Cable broadcasting and fan clubs aren’t obvious places to look for growth. Growth often comes from carefully examining the edges of your current business.

Just because a business is mature doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth. If the Red Sox can find growth in an almost 100-year-old stadium, surely corporations can find growth in products and services that seem to have leveled off.

Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 22, 2011 at 05:39 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, products, red sox, special topics

Her set of baseball cards highlights players’ bizarre injuries

A regular Achilles Heel Rizzoli, if you will.


These strange but apparently true injuries are captured for posterity on a set of cards called “Left Field Cards,“and this, the first set, aptly titled “Bizarre Injuries.” They are printed from Mancini’s own linocuts onto letterpress paper.

“It’s fun to have a quirky point of view,” says Mancini from her home in Brooklyn. The artist, who moved from Lyon, France, in 2006, says she fell in love with baseball when she moved to the U.S. Her art reflects it—in addition to the cards she’s done several paintings with baseball themes as well.

She decided to feature the players’ foibles after googling fun facts about baseball. She discovered, as did we when we did our own Internet search (after finding out about Mancini on Design Sponge), that collecting information about peculiar baseball player injuries is a popular pastime. Or making a list about other weird baseball player facts. Apparently it’s a niche.

“I found all these guys who had gotten hurt in very strange ways,” Mancini says, “and I compiled my 10 favorite injuries.”

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, products

Sunday, October 09, 2011

John Feinstein: Question for Red Sox fans

Last Chance: Behind the Scenes at the Final Eight…

As soon as the last day of the regular season concluded, I was convinced there was a book to be done that would focus strictly on that final day, arguably the most dramatic in regular season baseball history. I thought—think—that if you go back to the eight teams involved in those four deciding games, focusing on the four teams fighting for the playoffs but also including the other four teams and get players, managers, coaches, broadcasters to walk you through that day in detail, you have one hell of a story.

My agent, Esther Newberg, who is one of those Red Sox fans who is STILL mad at Bill Buckner, says the story might be good but no Red Sox fan will buy the book even if you get really good stuff from Theo Epstein, Terry Francona, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz et al.

I understand that feeling. In 2008 when my book on Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina came out, I got a really nice note during spring training from Gary Cohen, the Mets longtime play-by-play announcer who is a good friend. Gary wrote that he loved the book, in fact thought it was the best one I’d written.

I wrote back, thanked him and asked him if it might be possible to come on for an inning or two one night to talk about the book, the process of writing it, why I chose Glavine and Mussina—typical promo stuff.

Gary’s answer was to the point: “John, I loved the book and you know I’d love to help in any way. But after the way last season ended (Glavine getting shelled for seven runs in 1/3 of an inning with the season on the line on the last day) there’s not a Mets fan alive who wants to hear the name Tom Glavine again anytime soon.”

He was, of course, right.

So, Red Sox fans, is Esther right on this one too?

Repoz Posted: October 09, 2011 at 12:16 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: books, media, products, red sox



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