Players have reported to camp, pitchers are stretching out, and Spring Training is underway.
But the best part is that teams have announced their 2020 promotional schedules which gives way to the question: has Major League Baseball begun to appreciate the potential of the bobblehead?
Hint, the San Diego Padres may have figured it out...
There are two things team must consider when making decisions about promotional giveaways (items that I loosely consider to have a resale value of at least $10) at sporting events:
- Promos increase ticket sales by a significant amount; and,
- Promos allow the team to charge more for tickets.
- Scrape each team's website for their promotional giveaway schedule for 2020,
- Parse through the text of each schedule to identify dates with promos such as:
- replica World Series rings;
- collectible coins;
- collectible pins; and
- Predict attendance at each game with and without a hypothetical promo using a simple regression model,
- Choose the best dates for which promos would provide the most value to the team; and,
- Compare my hypothetical promo schedule to the actual promo schedule and estimate the additional revenue from my promo schedule.
In 2020, the model says there are 172 games that have been sub-optimally chosen to feature a promo. I therefore reassign 77% of promo days (172/223) and find that the entire league may be foregoing ticket sales to the tune of ...
... $6.4 million!
Here's this years number in some historical context.
|Year||Total Promos||Reassigned Promos||Forgone Revenue ($)|
As seen in past years, the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs lead the league in terms of foregone revenue, but an appearance at the top of the list of losers is largely in part due to the fact that these teams have either a) above-average number of promos; or, b) above-average ticket price (i.e., Chicago Cubs).
Excluding the aforementioned clubs without promos, the San Diego Padres had the least foregone revenue. This is partially because of their more reasonably priced tickets (3rd cheapest in the league) but also because the two games they chose to feature promos were ranked the 4th and 5th best options by the model: the model chose to reassign the promo games but picked games that would sell only ~109 more tickets each.
Way to show them how it's done, Padres!
Below are the results for each individual team. How did your team do?