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The Orioles Want to Change Baltimore…


I had a question from a reader about how the new format of more frequent newsletters is working for me. 

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In the form of transparency:

  • The open rate is down from around 46% to 44%. 
  • The number of views across all channels is up about 50% because distribution in other places has increased. 
  • Subscriptions are steady, up about 0.5%. 
  • My reader engagement numbers are up as well. I don’t really track those, but I get a lot more emails from folks. 
  • What people tell me is that they enjoy these emails more than one bigger one. 

Strategy, Strategy, Everywhere:

Love this one from Roger L. Martin.

In class, I teach about the levels of strategy using flight as an analogy. Roger’s explanation is a similar one. 

Give it a look because there are layers to your strategy and you need to know which one you are dealing with to be effective. More importantly, you need to know how they all fit together. 

The Pac-12’s demise is a story of hubris:

You can say that again. 

There’s a coming commercial real estate crisis:

Y’all know I love my research and insights. One big thing I learned last year was that commuter train ridership was down about 50% in a lot of our major cities, around the world. 

The one big exception was that Sydney had done some things in the CBD that had helped them face less of a decline than other major cities. 

Commuter traffic times were up about 20%. 

Now we see that office occupancy rates are through the roof, real estate companies are starting to default, and it looks an awful lot like our businesses and politicians are going to stand around and wait for it to happen. 

For all of us who touch the world of tickets, this means that we need to rethink our ticket strategies and how we draw folks in. 

I know of teams that have scan rates that are under 50%. As we saw a few months back with Tony Knopp’s observation on the coming challenges to the corporate/premium ticket market, the entire ticket system is in trouble if some different calculations about incentivizing attendance can’t be made. 

John Angelos wants to reinvent the business of the Orioles and change Baltimore

FYI, I’m more likely to go to Camden Yards than Nats Park because it is about 15 minutes quicker to get to Camden Yards than it is to Nats Park from my house in Upper NW DC. 

I went on Opening Day when fans were allowed back into the stadium. 

A few points here: 

  • Pay attention to the marriage between price and attendance as John Angelos points out “elasticity”. You may be able to charge more, but you’ll drive down demand. It is a balance. 
  • The ballpark is conveniently located. As I pointed out above, getting people in and out of the area of your events is going to be a challenge that needs a new approach to it. 
  • “Visionary” gets thrown around a lot, but I do think that this moment in history demands that people stop nibbling around the edges, looking at options that will take the same old and squeeze another 3% out, and think about how to create models that are sustainable and provide new avenues for growth. This is part of the point of the Cory Doctorow interview I shared the other day, there isn’t much growth left unless we just exploit people. 

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