The paper "Oakland A’ s " is an outstanding example of an essay on sports and recreation. “ I think there are only three things that America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, Jazz music and Baseball. They’ re the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced” – Gerald Early. These famous words indeed sum up the craze and popularity of baseball as a sport enjoyed by millions of sports enthusiasts across the globe. However, the United States is by far, the largest market for baseball besides American football, although it boasts of an impressive fan base in other countries including Japan, Canada, Australia, China etc.
Some of the probable reasons for its stupendous success as a sport that elevated its stature to a national pastime, especially in the U. S., include, the association of baseball to the country’ s culture and tradition, its impact on American society, and the fact that the country has literally grown up with that sport which makes playing baseball, second nature to the Americans. It reflects the nation’ s national spirit, and attitudes of its people.
Oakland A’ s (Athletics) is a professional baseball team which is based in Oakland, California and consists of members such as Orlando Cepeda, Rich Gossage, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Morgan, among others. They are a member of the Western Division of American League’ s Major League Baseball and achieved widespread popularity and acclaim owing to their series of American League Championship titles during the years 1988 – 1990. The face of the popular sport, however, has changed over the years with its commercialization.
It is increasingly being used a lucrative business opportunity which has the capacity to attract huge revenues through the sale of tickets, advertising revenues, franchisees, and the works. The increasing hype has led to fuel it's ongoing popularity and the organizers and professional leagues are cashing on the opportunity embracing it with open arms. The economic drivers of the baseball business include technological advances, expected levels of markets, tourism, tournaments, among others. The Haas family controlled the Levi Strauss & Co. in the late 1980s bought the Oakland A’ s when the team was in a totally disintegrated state and urgently in need of professional assistance.
Post-purchase the family not only help rebuild the team but also offered to refurbish the stadium, reform the marketing campaign, and were solely responsible for the team’ s corporate renewal. In compliance with their turnaround plan, they introduced a new farm system – that produced two consecutive rookies of the year, invested considerable effort and devised attractive marketing plans to make visit to the ballpark an exciting experience, created theme parks, upgraded the food quality levels, implemented new technology, and beefed up their marketing campaigns.
It was largely successful which was evident through the team’ s strong performance that helped them draw approximately 2.2 million fans from 1.7 million in the previous year (NY times, 1988). The improved infrastructure has helped the team in creating a strong brand presence that has heightened the brand loyalty amongst its customers which would evade any temporary decline in its on-field performances. The A’ s should most certainly, raise the price of their tickets since prior to 1990 the team had a mediocre image but after winning the American League Championships between the period 1988 – 1990 the team’ s status was elevated and gained large-scale appreciation.
The management at Oakland A’ s can capitalize on this growing popularity and play on its strengths by raising its ticket prices. The future of baseball is definitely bright and the game is here to stay, considering the avenues it has opened up in the recent years which, makes it an excellent business opportunity to be explored and exploited. “ There are a lot more important things in life than baseball.
I just haven’ t found out what they are yet” – Marty Schupak.