Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before
Over the last seven years, in conjunction with much of the content you have read and presumably enjoyed both here and at MiLB.com, I have interviewed dozens (if not hundreds, if not thousands) of Minor League executives.
And when you interview that many people within the same industry, it’s a given that the same sayings will begin to crop up again (and again, and again). Therefore, I began to take note of the cliches that I heard most often, and eventually came up with this Top 3:
3. We want to be the front porch of the community.
2. We’re not in the sports business, we’re in the entertainment business.
1. When our fans leave the stadium they may not know who won the game, but they know they had a great time.
Of course, there are many more Minor League Front Office Cliches than the ones I listed above. So, I took to Twitter and, after listing my Top 3, encouraged others to submit their own using the hashtag #MinorLeagueFrontOfficeCliches.
The first to come in, courtesy @ToddBrommelkamp, was an oft-utilized doozy. This remark is employed as a response to those who criticize the “circus-like” atmosphere of many Minor League Baseball games:
— If we relied on baseball alone we’d have 400 people here every night.
Take that, purists!
EDIT! Credit @JillCacic for providing this overlooked gem, which is not only a big-time front office cliche but, also, the title of the first post in Ben’s Biz Blog history:
— There is no offseason.
— We market to families, families, and more families. (@PatMacBaseball)
— We don’t have sponsors, we have partners. (@NoelBlaha)
— Baseball is the backdrop of the family entertainment we provide. (@JonathanGantt)
— We (the front office) have to wear a lot of hats. (@JonathanGantt)
@JonathanGantt’s above 1-2 was a truly formidable cliche combo, and @RobRunnels soon came through with another devastating duo. Minor League teams have long positioned themselves as a superior entertainment product to whatever may be available at the local multiplex (their biggest competition, in many cases). Hence, observations such as the following are commonplace:
— Awesome experience that is cheaper than a movie ticket!
Mr. Runnels followed that up with another essential truism. The players may be “here-today, gone tomorrow,” but costumed characters are forever:
— The mascot is our biggest asset!
You want to read some more cliches? Well, I’ve got ’em!
— We are a cross-section of America. (@ClineThompson)
This one is a variation of my #2 cliche, featuring wording that I probably should have used in the first place:
— We’re not in the baseball business, we’re in the memory-making business. (@adp253)
— It’s about butts in seats. (@Jonathan_Norman)
— We are in charge of everything that goes on in foul territory. (@neils8405)
Another variation on a common theme:
— It’s not about wins and losses. It’s about entertaining people. (@JimmyFormula)
— There isn’t a bad seat in the ballpark! (@MinorStruggles)
— Come see the stars of tomorrow! (@AMarie029)
And on and on it goes…
In this post I focused on the sort of Minor League Front Office Cliches that teams use when describing and marketing themselves to fans and media, but many of those submitted dealt with the things that employees say when amongst one another. To see these, and others, simply click HERE.
Of course, cliches are cliches for a reason. I believe that the above accumulation of common industry sayings is as good an encapsulation of MiLB operating principles as one is likely to find. If you work in Minor League Baseball, then I hope you could relate. And if you’re a Minor League Baseball fan/casual observer, then I hope this helps to broaden your understanding of the business of baseball.
And now, in keeping with the theme, let me end this post in the most cliched way possible:
Thanks for reading, and if you have anything to add then please get in touch!