For the past decade the Cardinals organization has been on an unprecedented run of success, winning two world series, three league pennants, and playing October baseball seven out of the past ten years. There’s no question that the Cardinals know how to construct a winning roster year after year, but what most fans do not realize is, accompanied with the on-field success, the St. Louis Cardinals have been arguably even more successful in the business and marketing aspect of the game.
The franchise is worth an estimated $1.3 billion dollars according to Forbes, which ranks seventh in all of Major League Baseball. The most impressive stat, is that the Cardinals are the only Midwest organization that ranks in the top ten in the list. This is no coincidence, the organization has combined winning with shrewd marketing tactics in order to spread the gospel of Cardinals baseball and expand the reaches of Cardinal nation from coast to coast.
The Cardinals are so successful in the business and marketing side of the game for numerous reasons, but the most prevalent, is that the Cardinals understand who their target market is. The largest target market any sports franchise aims for are families. When a family attends a St. Louis Cardinals game, they’re not just going to a game, they’re going to an experience.
Even though the Cardinals have been arguably one of the most successful teams in the past decade, the Cardinals still have just the twentieth highest average ticket cost. In comparison, the Kansas City Royals, a similar market as St. Louis, have the fourth highest average ticket cost in all of Major League Baseball. The franchise recognizes that its primary demographic are hard working Midwest families who won’t pay outrageous ticket prices just to attend a baseball game. Busch Stadium offers numerous amenities for fans, from private clubs that serve meals, to batting cages and playgrounds, the Cardinals offer experiences that attract all ages.
During the 2016 season, the organization has fifty giveaways, which helps attract fans to attend games. While a promotional giveaway costs the franchise money initially, it is definitely worth the price. According to Forbes, it is estimated that a game that has a promotional giveaway will draw 35% more fans than a regular game. As a society of consumers, we are always attracted to any deal that gives us a free item. On a a promotional night, fans are willing to spend more money than they usually would to purchase a ticket in order to guarantee that they will receive the giveaway. This is a perfect example of how the Cardinals use promotional marketing to draw fans to Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals have the second highest attendance in all of Major League Baseball second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers. This fact is amazing because St. Louis only has a population of 319,000, in comparison New York has a population of 8.4 million. The Cardinals’ dominance and popularity has allowed them to draw fans from all over the Midwest, this allows the Cardinals to have similar financial success as large market teams such as the Yankees and Dodgers.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ newest expansion of the creation of Ballpark Village has extended the Cardinals brand even further. The Cardinals are now the owners of a major entertainment district in downtown St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals are pioneers in this creation as they are the first Major League Baseball team to construct and develop an entertainment district centered around a sports franchise. The one hundred thousand square foot district is home to several restaurants and bars, the Cardinals hall of fame, and multiple jumbotrons.
Ballpark Village has extended the revenue of the Cardinals year round. Ballpark Village also hosts many non-baseball events such as concerts and live shows. Ballpark Village attracts every type of demographic from young children to adults. Ballpark Village has became the premier spot for St. Louis night life. Almost everything in Ballpark Village is centered around the Cardinals in some way, which is perfect brand promotion and awareness for the club. The franchise has successfully transformed themselves into a fabric of the St. Louis downtown area. Ballpark Village is an innovative and genius creation of owner Bill Dewitt Jr that will permanently have its influence on the city of St. Louis.
The Cardinals marketing strategy is not only to attract fans, but arguably just as important, to attract corporate sponsors. The Cardinals make a a significant chunk of their profit from cooperate sponsors. The franchise has over thirty different cooperate sponsors, from AT&T and Ford, to Anhueser Busch. The Cardinals success makes it very attractive to companies to sponsor the Cardinals. With numerous national television appearances a season and sell out crowds, a company that sponsors the Cardinals will receive great exposure. This exposure allows the Cardinals to charge companies a higher price to display their name at Busch Stadium than other clubs. The franchise’s overwhelming success and extraordinary business prowess has allowed the Cardinals to ink a billion dollar television contract with Fox Sports Midwest that begins in 2018. This new television deal ranks the Cardinals among MLB giants like the Dodgers and Yankees!
The St. Louis Cardinals are a perfect business model for not only other sports franchises, but businesses in every industry. Their shrewd business tactics and outstanding marketing have made the Cardinals one of the most lucrative sports franchises in all of sports! The Cardinals have successfully been able to be one of the most lucrative teams in Major League Baseball, despite them being located in a small market. The franchise’s marketing techniques are a role model for every business. The franchise is in position to have many more years of success with its excellent roster creation and business tactics