How The MLB Plans To Make Up $4 Billion In Revenue
A complete guide to the 2020 MLB Season
Every morning I write an email discussing the business and money behind sports. If you would like to receive it directly in your inbox, subscribe now.
Theo Epstein became the youngest general manager in baseball history when the Boston Red Sox hired him in 2002, at the age of 28. Since then, he has put together perhaps one of the most prolific resumes of any baseball executive, winning championships with multiple franchises. Today’s article, “The Mastermind” by Wright Thompson of ESPN, is an excellent profile detailing the qualities that make Epstein great.
Let’s Play Ball
Baseball is officially back tonight with the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole visiting the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals and Max Scherzer at 7 p.m. ET.
Here’s everything you need to know about how the 2020 season will work (Source):
Each team will play 60 games.
There will be a universal DH for both leagues.
The trade deadline will be Aug. 31, instead of July 31.
Players must be on a club's roster by Sept. 15 in order to be eligible for postseason play.
To limit travel distances, teams will play a majority of games against their division opponents (40, or 10 against each division opponent) and the rest against their geographic counterpart in the other league (in other words, AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, AL West vs. NL West).
How will COVID-19 testing work?
Players, coaches and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during the regular season and postseason.
Players will receive temperature/symptom checks twice per day.
Any player who tests positive will not be allowed to return until he tests negative twice.
MLB Is Getting Creative
With a shortened season and no fans in attendance, the MLB is projected to lose over $4 billion in revenue this year. In an effort to increase advertisements and enhance viewer experience, the MLB is getting creative.
In order to make up for lost brand exposure and create new inventory for advertisers, you’ll see the MLB using virtual advertisements throughout the season. The league has used virtual signage in the past, but it’s typically been reserved for premier events like postseason games and the MLB All-Star Game. This concept is also currently being utilized for the MLS restart.
Sony Partnership Brings The Noise
To enhance the viewing experience, the MLB is requiring clubs to use some form of fake sound. Sony, through a partnership with the MLB, will provide teams with 75 samples of crowd noise from its MLB video game. The noise will be controlled through an iPad by the home teams audio technician (Source).
The Viewing Experience
Fox Sports, Major League Baseball’s broadcast partner, will utilize virtual fans for it’s MLB game broadcasts beginning Saturday. Originally a far-fetched idea, Fox believes virtual fans will offer tv viewers a better experience than empty stadiums or cardboard cutouts (Source). Surprisingly, it looks somewhat realistic. What do you think?
Dugouts will also look significantly different this year with players expected to stay 6+ feet apart.
Through a combination of virtual advertisements/fans, fake crowd noise, and socially distanced dugouts, the 2020 MLB season is going to be the most bizarre one yet. Who cares? Baseball is back.
If you enjoyed today’s email, subscribe now to receive future emails directly in your inbox.
With the 2020 MLB season being reduced to 60 games, and no fans in attendance, team owners aren’t the only ones taking a pay cut. Here is a list of the top 5 highest paid MLB players in 2020.
How would this list look with a full season (Source)?
Mike Trout, $37.7M
Gerrit Cole, $36M
Max Scherzer, $35.9M
Zack Greinke, $35M
Stephen Strasburg, $35M
There’s No I In Team
We need to build this community together. Tell me what you’re loving, tell me what you want to see more of. And most importantly, when your buddy asks how you know about virtual advertisements in baseball, tell em’ about us.