MLB claims that girls and women are significant revenue streams in Men’s Baseball – no question, in Boys Baseball, as the sisters and mothers also have to attend to their brother’s – and father/husband’s – youth playing activity. What percentage of accessories does MLB and licensing partners anticipate manufacturing that are strictly a girl or woman’s version of a shirt, jacket or cap; how much money is generated purchasing these and other boy and men’s versions, intended as gifts for the other half of the population?
How many tickets are intended for girls and women to sit in at the ball park? How many nachos, sushi rolls, garlic fries, hot dogs, cotton candy, hamburgers, kettle corn and cups of soda and beer are ingested by girls and women – those both happy and attentive to the game taking place in front of them; as well as bored and uninterested but having to be there with their brother, father, husband?
Women’s Baseball might generate the opposite demographics – where the boys and men are having to attend, uninterested – but I am not sure about that presumption. Boys and men are acclimated to the game and enjoy it – again, another, generalization, but, one that is mostly accurate and supports the idea that they would probably adapt well to the differences they might experience in a girl or woman’s version of the game.
Softball does not seem to be a viable commercial option to compete with the attention of families for their wallet and pocketbook. Personally, I do enjoy watching it but don’t have a personal connection to the game: no one in hour house has ever embraced it as an alternative to Baseball or any other sport or activities they have shown interest in. That may seem beside the point of whether or not Softball is a viable commercial entertainment option.
There is no doubt that Softball is popular – but why, I have to ask, objectively? I am not being cute: what are the specific attributes of the game that are enjoyed by players; sustain the interest and careers of coaches and their staff; families travel constantly and to distant locations, spending thousands of dollars in communities they may never have heard of before.
In each case, youth baseball and softball, including High School and College levels: there is the factor of equipment and clothing intended for playing the respective games.
What happens if Softball disappears; Girls and Women’s Baseball ramps up quickly and establishes a norm for society and its distribution of funding: how will it impact both the progression and reliable infusion of money into MLB and Youth Baseball, nationwide, enjoyed and expected from girls and women?
It is unlikely that Softball and Baseball will see an entire drop off of activity and loss in revenue, but:
no doubt, the addition of an entire new industry – or industries – utilizing the same essential resources, such as fields, garment manufacturing; equipment manufacturing; team and scheduling computer software; printers of How To books and rules booklets; marketing all unisex training equipment to three different fields of stick ball, all derived from Baseball…
As Women’s Baseball does exist, today, organized through the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and within regional, global affiliates, such as the Pan-American Baseball organization, existing sporting goods manufacturers benefit from the marketing opportunities as they sponsor the games, reaping the rewards of sales after the games, by the participants, and their teams, clubs and leagues back home: in both Baseball and Softball.
For the recent 2009 Women’s Baseball Pan-American games in Venezuela, Wilson was the sole equipment sponsor.
I am going to continue with this blog over time – please chime in with your comments.