Dear Major League Baseball,
I love you. I dreamt of being on the front of a Topps baseball card, of playing on an all-star team, and even of winning a World Series ring. Unless something goes horribly wrong with your league/players or something AMAZING happens to my body/arm, I will not live these dreams. However, I still have dreams of being around baseball. What other sport blends history, statistics, romance, and scandals so perfectly? The greatest curses and the most sacred of numbers are found in America’s true pastime.
So here it is, my pitch to you. I know that I only get a finite number of pitches, let’s hope my “stuff” is magical and electric…
This is where it all stems from; my definition of a “dream job.” There are few things I enjoy more than road trips and baseball. If I could somehow turn that into a job? Perfection. So, MLB, the ball’s in your court, nay, the ball’s in your hand… let me hit a home run!
A weekly special to be played before/after MLB Network’s game of the week which shows what the typical road-tripper/vacationer can do in that town and what the park has to offer someone from out of town. Every single city has its own unique flavor, places to visit, things to see, and areas that might otherwise go unnoticed. Meeting some fans and life-long residents of that area could give such a deep look at each of the 30 clubs’ territory.
Then there is the stadium… Highlight the stadium tours, places to visit in and around the stadium, and cover any unique sight-lines/seats the park has to offer. I am sure each club would absolutely LOVE to get information out to their visitors that they have tours or other special activities that they offer in addition to their standard baseball ticket. That’s the beauty of baseball, uniform rules for a game played on non-uniform fields (each one has different dimensions, characteristics, and history).
It’s really that simple.
And what would make this even more perfect?! If I could get a tiny house to pull behind me so that I could live on the road while doing this whole experiment. I’d love to not have to stay in different hotels every day and have a “home base” to come back to night after night. Plus, my little 60 pound lap dog needs a safe place to stay – I don’t want to be separated from her.
The overhead seems low, just production and scheduling being the large costs. The talent (me, my dog, and the crew) would be pretty cheap; while the settings would essentially be free – it is nothing more than a show that advertises each MLB club and the MLB as a whole. Look at the popularity of HGTV, the Travel Channel, and other networks (Food Channel, CNN, etc.). All of those networks do “reality-based” shows that are dedicated to travel and living a new way in the technology-era. Surely sponsorship would be easy to incorporate, too. The tiny house can have logos and have its own Instagram to track its whereabouts – and have fans take their picture in front.
As for the ability to keep this a long-running show, it should be possible to not only get the base 30 episodes (one for each club), but continue that into additional seasons/specials. The playoffs offer a completely new experience – doing a “near-live” episode before one game in each of the series for a mini-episode that takes a look at each stadium in “playoff mode” would be a good way to keep the brand in recognition into the off-season. This mini-episode could then be placed strategically during breaks, rain-delays, or on the numerous networks’ pre-game shows (TBS and Fox) to showcase MLB’s original content.
A second season is still viable because most, if not all, cities have more than enough to fit multiple hours-worth of content showcasing their attractions. Plus, if performing well (meeting/exceeding expectations), maybe local celebrities or current/former players would also like to become involved. Think of it like This Week In Baseball meets Travel Channel. (Post/sell this to a streaming service at the end of the season and you have even more revenue, or at least the ability to co-produce to spread the costs/risk.)
So, Mr. Manfred (and the MLB marketing and PR departments), what do you think? Do you want to produce my dream?