While I was out shopping, I came across two displays full of party accessories with football themes. Among the dozens of items, you can buy a tray with 10-yard line markings, a football shaped chip dish, ketchup and mustard containers with footballs and cups with sayings like: “Hey Ref, check your phone; I think you missed a call.” My favorite was personal penalty flags that you could presumably throw at the television. 

These displays got me thinking about the difference in the culture of football vs. baseball. I have never seen a display for baseball party items, nor have I ever heard of the need for them. Who throws a baseball party except maybe for the World Series? Why hasn’t tailgating made its way into baseball? Why do friends gather to watch regular season football games, for both college and pro, when baseball doesn’t warrant group use of the Man Cave or sports bar until the post-season?

My theory is that the availability of football is limited. Teams only play one game per week. They only play on a few select days. The regular season is short. You only have a handful of opportunities to see your team live vs. 62 chances to go in baseball. There are no double headers.

So with football, less is more. The scarcity leads to greater demand and importance when the sport is in season. 

Think about your organization and whether it more closely resembles football or baseball. Do you have a limited offering or do you provide multiple services? Does your model spread out your involvement with clients or try to concentrate it into a select period? Can you engage customers in multiple ways (eg: watch parties or tailgating) vs. requiring them to attend the live event?

Football and baseball both have their benefits, and there isn’t one right way to structure your organization. Just don’t punt away your opportunity to be intentional about your choice.

beth triplett


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