Must Read: SBJ’s Baseball’s Youth Movement (my take: the house is on fire)

The Sports Business Journal has a must-read about how baseball is back baby and obviously doing great!

“Whether or not 25-year-olds are watching baseball on TV is not really a measure of whether or not 25-year-olds are interested in baseball,” said Phil Orlins, ESPN vice president of production

That’s right! They LOVE baseball, except for the watching baseball part.

At the All-Star break, SBJ Atlas reported that regional sports network ratings among viewers age 25-54 were up 4% this season compared to a year ago — and that games were more than double other prime-time entertainment.

Which has nothing to do with both NYC teams being in first place, or the Los Angeles team being in first place.  As we saw last week, people in Pittsburgh LOVE baseball!

Fortunately, the article quotes Emory University marketing professor Mike Lewis who studies fan trends for his Fanalytics website and podcast.  Lewis has not yet been coopted by the baseball mafia, and realizes the house is on fire like I have been telling you.   I will add some bold since people skim articles.

The Emory Marketing Analytics Center’s most recent survey data found that 24% of respondents identify as a baseball fan. That ranked third of the five major sports, ahead of hockey and soccer but behind football and basketball.

In an interview, Lewis dug deeper into the raw data and shared that, of the younger half of the Gen Z cohort — those under the age of 20 — only 15% were avid baseball fans.

“There’s definitely a disconnect that has started to happen over the last decade or two in terms of kids,” Lewis said. “There might be kids at the ballparks, but I don’t know the kids are actually on track to become baseball fans when they’re 10 anymore.”

As I said before, baseball will mostly die off with me and the Gen Xers, and it has already lost me this summer, and that’s with a first place Mets team.  It will totally die off when the elder millennials die.  That’s someone else’s problem, so cash those Fox checks and play playoff games past midnight and enjoy your beach house.

I also enjoy this tidbit from the Cardinals.

They realized moving first pitch from 7:15 to 6:45 would come at a small cost of late arrivals but with a greater gain of fans staying later. A byproduct is that earlier start times make games more accessible to younger fans.

Yeah but what about those poor Los Angeles based sports fans we worry so much about?  How are they supposed to watch a Cardinals game at 4:45 in the afternoon?

Anyway, baseball is back baby and doing great!  Enjoy this article in the Sports Business Journal