B2B Marketing Lessons from a Community Baseball Game


By Robert Pease, CMO Practice Lead, Heinz Marketing

I love minor league baseball.  To me it is the purest version of the game with the players all playing hard for a chance at the major leagues with the odds stacked against them.

I happen to be in Bend, Oregon this week and was fortunate to take in a Bend Elks game.  They are part of the West Coast League of collegiate wood bat teams – essentially a Summer league of college players.

It was “$2 Tuesday” so upwards of 2500 people jammed into the ballpark.  The experience was great and I thought there were some good lessons we could apply to B2B marketing.

The price of admission was low and got us in the door but that is not where the spending stopped.  The crew there did a great job of entertaining the audience with a jazz band, a 3rd inning golf chip contest to the pitcher’s mound, and free t-shirts thrown into the crowd reminding everyone to call 811 before digging.  The game was exciting so there were all these incremental moments of value unlocked during the course of the game that did not cost anything more.  What did cost more was a great craft beer selection, pretzels, hot dogs, french fries, etc.  But that was OK because the experience delivered value at the $2 ticket purchase price and then gave me the option to enhance my experience with additional purchases.

The overall experience was amazing and even though the ticket price was reduced to get us in the door, our group of five adults and seven children made several trips for concessions as we felt we had almost been given the experience.

How would you lower the price of admission in your business to showcase the experience a customer can receive?  Do you price and emphasize individual pieces or focus on the total value delivered?

I have run a company with a “freemium” model in the past and attracting users who have no intention of ever paying can lead to extremely low upgrade rates.  Putting a price on what you sell and letting the customer make incremental purchases to enhance their experience (and value derived) can go a long way to building a business and loyal customer base.