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Baseball Industry is Disruptive | Sees Record Revenues

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January is a great time to look back on the previous year. For the baseball industry, looking back over 2019 should bring many smiles. In December 2019, Forbes reported that the MLB’s revenues continued to grow. Baseball equipment sales continue to rise as well. Any betting man would say that now is a wonderful time for the baseball industry. 

But, what are the reasons for this jump in revenue? The rest of this article explores those questions. We also examine the market changes that have created a surge in bat sales in addition to a rise in the revenue of other baseball equipment.  

MLB Record Numbers

The increase in the MLB’s revenue from $10.3 billion in 2018 to $10.7 billion in 2019 may not seem like much. It is, however, and extremely significant jump. The first time the league exceeded $10 billion was 2017. That they have now almost topped $11 billion just three years later is extraordinary. 

Experts suggest that there are a number of reasons for this rise in revenue. Most importantly, the MLB profits greatly from its media rights deals. Many of these have extensions well into the new decade. Media deals with ESPN and Turner Sports will expire in 2021; although, extensions are likely. Last year, the MLB agreed to an extension with FOX that will last until 2028. 

Another reason for the increase in revenue is likely the MLB’s competitive balance. The 1994 rules that created a sharing structure and luxury tax have contributed greatly to the overall parity. While this is not a perfect system, and there is still a dichotomy created between large and small-market teams. But, the rules have added to the perception of parity, if nothing else, which increases viewer engagement with baseball. 

One thing that can mitigate revenue for the MLB is the rise in expenses and other investments. These cost $9.7 billion in 2019, which is up from $9.4 billion in 2018. As costs rise, overall profit falls. However, since profit and revenue are separate concepts, expenses and investments do not affect the overall totals and projections. 

Equipment Market Changes

A rise in revenue for the MLB indicates growth for the baseball market as a whole. Another market area with a rise in revenue in 2019 was baseball equipment. According to Batsfinder.com Bats, especially, has been seeing a surge in sales since a rule change in 2015. 

The 2015 rule essentially created the need for players and teams in every level of USA baseball to purchase new bats. The new bat standard came into effect for the 2018 season. There was some controversy about the decision. Some saw it as a crass money-grab. 

Money-grab or not, the bat rule change contributed to a surge in bat sales in 2017 and 2018. While experts do not expect this level of growth to continue, it did contribute to the revenue increase in the U.S. baseball industry. Once bat sales level off it will be interesting to see whether the baseball industry revenues continue to grow. 

Unlike for bats, the rise in the baseball equipment market overall is projected to continue. A forecast for the baseball equipment market in the U.S. from 2019-2023 came up with these results: “This popularity for baseball game [sic] will lead to the expansion of the baseball equipment market in the US at a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.” Baseball is the second most popular sport in the U.S. and its popularity is only growing with the youth market. 

Additional factors for the rise in baseball equipment revenue could be the growth in sports and fitness products. These products are broken into four categories: sports equipment, fitness equipment, apparel, and footwear. All four categories experienced growth in 2018. That growth is expected to continue indefinitely—most projections show growth until the end of the projected period, typically 2025. 

The SFIA’s (Sports and Fitness Industry Association) yearly Manufacturers’ Sales Report, which provides revenue numbers for the sports and fitness industry, has not yet released its 2020 report. But, the 2019 report, which examined 2018 revenue, found a .8% increase in sports equipment, a 3.6% increase in fitness equipment, a 1.2% increase in apparel, and a 4.6% increase in footwear. Stay tuned for the 2020 SFIA report to see if projections remain consistent. 

Competition among manufacturers and an increased interest in sports and fitness are the main contributing factors to the sports and fitness products industry growth. This trend only helps the baseball industry revenue. As a sport with a more surmountable barrier to entry, baseball will likely continue to remain popular. 

Conclusion

While it is too early to have all the information about the baseball industry in 2019, there is much to celebrate. All signs point to record revenues across the board. The popularity of the sport, the MLB’s multiple revenue streams, and an increase in the sport and fitness industry’s revenue have all combined to create this record revenue. While all signs point to increased revenue for the baseball industry, only time will tell if the projections hold up. 

Written By Mike Epson: I’m a real estate investor, author, and an all-around sports fan. I love that the great American past time is making a comeback. 

Isabella Rossellini is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as content developer with many years of experience. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including business and start-ups.

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Sports + Gaming

A YouTuber Star: Tommy, AKA Linkmon99, Makes A Living Making Videos Out Of His College Dorm

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Ever since the birth of the Internet, business has changed fundamentally in its attempts to try to adapt and keep up with our fast paced, digitally dominated society. Today, technology continues to advance the ventures of businesses and entrepreneurs. Tommy, better known as Linkmon99 on YouTube, is a prime example of this; he has found a way to harness the capabilities of technology to create his own business and grow his brand to impressive status.

“My name is Tommy, I’m 20 years old and based out of Connecticut USA! I’m a popular YouTuber (450,000+ subscribers) who makes gameplays and vlogs based upon the online game platform Roblox. On Roblox I’m considered to be the ‘Richest Player’ for my collection of limited tradeable items being the most valuable of any player (non-employee) on the site, which is what draws millions of people to watch the videos on my channel.” Tommy explains. 

On his YouTube channel, Tommy reaches millions of viewers monthly and drives massive traffic to the ecommerce websites he operates. He continually works hard to create and grow revenue streams through his content creation on YouTube, Roblox, and other various ventures. In addition, he finds the time to be a fulltime student and division three runner at college:

“I run a verified YouTube channel under the name Linkmon99 for 450K+ subscribers and am paid for the millions of views I receive each month. The total value of my account exceeds 100 million Robux, a virtual game currency which converts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Given that there are more than 1.5 billion accounts on Roblox, and the site has over 100 million active monthly players, this is an incredible feat to have to one’s name. Besides just being a YouTuber, I am a full time college student and D3 runner at Wesleyan University, and am involved in various other business ventures including my own ecommerce websites RBXToys and RBXCity. I’m passionate about gaming as well as music, and like to play guitar & drums in my free time!” Exclaims Tommy.

Despite being only 20, Tommy knew from a young age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur and did not want to work a normal 9 to 5 job. Tommy wanted to find a way for him to make a living that not only broke away from being a traditional employee, but also combined his interests of video games and content creation. 

“I always knew I had a passion for entrepreneurship, I was just unclear how I would go about satisfying it. I definitely didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 job without passion. I desired to be able to work as much or as little as I felt like on any given day. Above all, I never wanted it to feel like work. I always wanted to turn my dreams, hobbies, and passions into something that would make me financially stable -as well as things that would have a real positive impact on the world and make a difference.” Says Tommy.

Because Tommy was one of the first people attempting to breakthrough in his industry, he struggled a bit with getting off the ground. He used other youtubers as guidance on his path to success, but realized that there were still very few resources available to help him.

“In the past 2 years I’ve come a long way, but I think the thing that made my journey the most difficult was the lack of solid resources available for someone my age embarking on online entrepreneurship endeavours such as mine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of content up there when you search ‘how to be a youtuber’ ‘how to start a business’ or ‘how to get rich’ on Google, however plenty of that content is scams or oversimplified guides. Actually learning how to apply those broad principles to something you could work with yourself is much more difficult. For me, I had to learn a lot through trial and error and by networking with other youtubers, brands, and entrepreneurs. It’s great that people were willing to work with me and pass along advice, and thus I try to do the same for others now and always.” Tommy remarks.

Because Tommy is only 20, he knows that this is just the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. He is excited to see where his path takes him in the future. Tommy also wants people to know that he is not that different from many others who want to start their own businesses. He encourages people to go for it and to follow their dreams.

“I truly believe this is only the first chapter to my story, and I can’t wait to see what I can achieve in this new decade if I continue with the effort and energy I have given so far to my life and endeavours. Lastly I want to say to whoever is reading this, YOU can do it. As cliche as that sounds, I started everything I have today from literally nothing but a dream and it’s slowly becoming more and more of a reality every day. Believe in yourself, and never stop working hard. If you ever need encouragement or advice feel free to reach out to me, because as human beings we grow together!” States Tommy.

You can check out Tommy’s YouTube channel at Linkmon99. Also, you can find him on Instagram and Twitter under the username @Linkmon99 for both platforms. Lastly, you can check out his ecommerce websites at rbxcity.com and rbxtoys.com.

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Sports + Gaming

The Future of Fantasy Football: ESPN+ Fantasy contributor Alvin Zeidenfeld shares insights

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Rudimentary forms of daily fantasy sports existed as far back as the early 1960s. What started as a mere pass time three decades ago has evolved into a widely popular virtual sport that encompasses multiple athletics such as basketball, hockey, football, and several others. More than 59 million people partake in DFS, aka Daily Fantasy Sports in America alone. While the Daily Fantasy Sports industry is growing exponentially, within its reign, 80% of people play Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football expert and ESPN+ contributor Alvin Zeidenfeld shares his insights about the future of Fantasy Football and how it is poised to scale new heights in the future.

The growth of Fantasy Football

Today, daily fantasy sports (DFS) have undergone a tremendous transformation, owing to changing consumer behavior, the advent of technology, the internet, and the invention of smartphones. Leading DFS platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel have witnessed large spikes in both entry fees and revenue. Daily Fantasy Sports raked in approximately $335 million in 2018 and the ensuing years. Alvin Zeidenfeld added, “Daily Fantasy Sports is growing at an unprecedented proportion, while Daily Fantasy Football helps engage people on multiple levels. Millions of people enjoy the NFL, while also engaging in Fantasy Football. It helped create a whole new fanbase for an existing sport, that supersedes the actual sport itself.”

How Fantasy Football has impacted sports

Fantasy Football has bolstered engagement in the NFL. At the same time, Fantasy Football fans follow live games and content more than any other fanbase. In retrospect, Daily Fantasy as a genre has become popular, with people becoming more open to the concept. Its direct impact on the sports industry, both real and virtual, is irrevocably clear. Established businesses and brands that were previously wary of Fantasy Football are now eager to hop on board. Alvin elaborated, “Brands like Yahoo recently announced that they would launch a Daily Fantasy Sports site, while USA Today already has one. Professional sports teams are signing deals with leading sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Fantasy Sports has a bright future ahead!”

Alvin Zeidenfeld is a renowned DFS veteran. He won the “DraftKings Millionaire Maker Tournament,” where he won the coveted 1st place price of one million dollars. Alvin was hired as a DraftKing “Pro.” He now shares his insights, strategy, and guidance with beginners and aspiring professionals alike. He considers himself an involved hobbyist, while his passion for Daily Fantasy Football is unparalleled. Apart from working with DraftKings, Alvin is a Daily Fantasy Sports analyst on ESPN, where he helps create content across multiple platforms. Alvin is a popular Twitch streamer and podcast host, widely respected for his expertise in Fantasy Sports, and specifically, Fantasy Football.

Conclusion

Alvin continues to follow his passion, while the Daily Fantasy Sports industry continues to flourish. He firmly believes that beyond the number crunching, strategy, and high stakes prizes, the one thing that contributes to the industry’s growth is how DFS can connect, interact, and engage. Fans can have fun, compete with one another, and actively pursue the sports that they love most.

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Sports + Gaming

“Racing has taught me a great deal about life” says American Race-car driver Richard Heistand

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When you’re zooming across a circuit, there is a lot that rushes through your mind. From overcoming obstacles and facing challenges to thinking on your feet and learning from your mistakes, it’s a real challenge that is as punishing as it is rewarding. Renowned Race-car driver Richard Heistand shared his experience and learnings from moto-sport and how it mirrors the challenges we face in life.

Heistand was right. Motor racing is a battle, and it is one in which only a select few excel.

Not your ordinary sport, it requires dedication, personal development, and most importantly, a high level of mental focus. In the same measure, drivers in motorsport teach us some vital lessons. Here are a few of them:

Focus on Winning; But Learn if You Lose

Experienced racers don’t compete in a race strictly for the thrill of the contest. Their focus is to win, to add another feather in their cap, another trophy, or another crown. But racers also know that losing is part of the game, and no matter how well-prepared you are for the race, winning is not guaranteed. This doesn’t stop the drivers from dedicating all their resources to the planning process and to keeping their eyes trained on the ultimate prize.

Heistand painted a clear picture of how winning and losing relate. “We don’t win them all, but there is always something to be taken away if we don’t win. It is important to apply the lessons that are gained in the race for the driver, team, and car preparation to the next event.” he said.

The vital lesson here is that even if you lose, you can learn something to apply to the next opportunity. Such is the attitude we ought to cultivate in business, school, work, and even family.

It’s Teamwork: Delegate and Trust Others with Certain Tasks

Nothing is more thrilling than watching a team of specialists repair a race car. In a matter of seconds – literally – a once-damaged car goes back on the track as if it never left. This is what a professional driver’s pit crew accomplishes at every race.

This organized effort by the crew certainly points to a lot of preparation behind the scenes and before the actual race. The coordination is the epitome of teamwork where everyone is a trusted expert who zealously handles their specific area of expertise and with only one thing in mind – winning the race.

Knowing the strengths of your team and delegating work to the most suitable individuals will ultimately lead to the flawless execution of tasks and with enviable results.

Things Change Quickly and Winners Adapt

All race drivers come to the track with the confidence that they can win. Some will bring an immense amount of experience and their very best skills. The conditions on the track, the conditions in the car, and a number of other factors can change quickly to test all of the skills that you have.

The most successful drivers in motorsport exhibit an ability to adapt quickly to a changing environment. This forward thinking allows them to gain an advantage on track over their competitors and keep them in the race. Simply said, humans are also a product of successful adaptation.

Conclusion

There are lots of important lessons to draw from motorsport teams. We might not go through life at the speed of a race car, but we must try to find our own operating window and to be the best version of ourselves. This requires constant evaluation of our skills, our relationships, and most importantly, a drive to shine whenever we have the opportunity.

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