Baseball is back and the players aren’t the only ones banking off the sport. Find out how these hot businesses are making a living off of America’s favorite sport!
CNN Money shares…
Peanuts, popcorn and cookies?
Cracker Jack, peanuts, hot dogs. It almost seems like ballpark food is more exciting than the game itself. And if Pati Grady has anything to do with it, we’ll soon be adding shortbread cookies to the list of iconic ballpark snacks.
In 2004, Grady searched online for a baseball cookie cutter to no avail. Improvising, she used a drinking glass to cut rounds out of dough made from her family’s shortbread recipe and used a crimping tool to make stitches.
Coincidentally, the cookies were the exact size of MLB regulation baseballs, and Grady sensed that she had the seed for a new business. She incorporated and named the company Cooperstown Cookie, in honor of her hometown and the location of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
In 2008, Cooperstown Cookie scored official licenses with Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame, doubling sales immediately. “It changed everything,” Grady said. “And with licenses, the world of wholesale opened up.”
Today, she supplies her treats to stadiums across the country, from Busch Stadium in St. Louis to Seattle’s Safeco Field. Grady also does a pretty brisk online business, selling cookies packaged in boxes and teams emblazoned with team logos.
Baseball season never looked so good
Frustrated with their sports-obsessed husbands spending all afternoon in front of the TV, best friends Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso devised a way to keep themselves entertained — without confiscating the remote.
“While the Men Watch” is a radio webcast that features play-by-play announcing from a woman’s perspective. Dubbed “Sex in the City Meets ESPN,” past show topics include “Frankenstein on the Field: 10 Fashion Fixes for MLB Umpires.”
Their first broadcast was in early 2011, just in time for the Super Bowl. After two games, more than 2,000 women were tuning in. As a result, the show has landed sponsors, including MAC Cosmetics and Carol Tannenbaum Vintage Collection. Sutherland and Mancuso are also fielding TV and book deals.
Last baseball season, “While the Men Watch” pulled in listeners from Ireland, Mexico, Ukraine and Spain — even though MLB doesn’t broadcast in those countries. The show earned its highest overall ratings and ad revenues during the World Series.
Said Sutherland, “I never would have thought that I would actually be saying that I’m looking forward to baseball season.”
Cufflinks made out of baseballs
Ravi Ratan purchased the domain name Cufflinks.com as an offshoot of his family’s third-generation menswear company and with plans to eventually start a business.
Even before the site was developed, Ratan immediately started receiving e-mails from people looking for cufflinks online. To capitalize on the interest, he took photos of the inventory in one of his family’s retail stores and posted them online. Everything sold out in one day.
Ratan officially started Cufflinks, Inc. in 1999. And in addition to standard offerings, he decided to sell sports-themed accessories as a way for men to subtly show allegiance to teams in the NFL NBA, NHL and NCAA.
One of Cufflink.com’s most popular items is a set of cufflinks that have small pieces of MLB game-used baseballs attached. When customers purchase cufflinks made from those balls, they can visit MLB.com to learn the history.
Ratan sells about 20% of his Major League Baseball-licensed products on or around opening day. The company is expected to rake in $10 million this year, up from $3 million just three years ago.
Get the entire article at CNN Money!
— Wealth Building Daily
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