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Newsletter #834: The “Ideas from Baseball” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Smart marketers are always looking for inspiration, even when they’re at the ballpark. The next time you’re at the game, look for marketing lessons you can take back to the office, like these:

1> Take extra care of your best customers
2> Make it easier for fans to buy
3> Do something goofy once in a while
4> Check it out: The weirdest team names in sports

1> Take extra care of your best customers

What are you doing to make sure your most loyal and valuable customers stay happy? The San Francisco Giants have established a special customer service program for season ticket holders. Each are given the name, phone number, and email address of an assigned team representative who will help them with anything they need. They’ll even help them sell seats for games they can’t or don’t want to attend. And should any of them have a problem, the Giants’ head of client relations makes sure to find them in the stands at the next game to make sure they’re having a good time.

The lesson: Make sure you know who your most valuable customers are and that they’ve got a lot of reasons to stay loyal.

Learn more: Inc.

2> Make it easier for fans to buy

The easier you make it for customers to spend money with you, the more sales you get. Anyone who’s been to a major league ballpark knows it can sometimes be a hassle to get to a concession stand or to find a vendor when you’re hungry or thirsty — especially if it’s crowded. But at the Seattle Mariners’ SAFECO Field, fans can tweet @Msbeervendor with their order and have it delivered to them. The whole concept is run by a lone entrepreneurial beer vendor named Kevin Zelko, and he’s showing just how simple it could be to make ordering beers at the game that much easier.

The lesson: When was the last time you tested your order process and searched for ways you could make spending money with you easier?

Learn more: CNBC

3> Do something goofy once in a while

Don’t forget to have a little fun now and then. Most baseball teams — especially the minor league organizations — have to work hard to earn and keep fans, so they’re a great place to explore funky marketing ideas. One of the all-time best examples is the Charleston Riverdogs who in 2003 attempted to host the quietest game ever played. For the first five innings there was no talking, fans wore duct tape, and everyone held up signs that read “Yeah!”, “Boo!”, and “Hey Beer Man!.” They even replaced ushers with librarians and had golf marshals hold up “Quiet Please” signs.

The lesson: Don’t forget that having a little fun now and then is important for the morale of your employees, the happiness of your customers, and your overall word of mouth.

Learn more: Sports Illustrated

4> Check it out: The weirdest team names in sports

When all the mascots like tigers, bears, bulldogs, and sharks get claimed in a sport, everyone else is left to either copy or get creative. Here’s a collection of the best of those that opted for the latter.

Check it out: Cracked

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