Minor League Baseball: Exploring the Growing Interest in Outsourced Sport Marketing, pp. 139-149

Willie Burden
Ming Li

A limited amount of literature has examined the outsourcing of sport marketing operations and media rights from the perspectives of large NCAA Division I institutions or the service providers (Li & Burden, 2002). Even less attention has been given to the perspectives of professional sport organizations. This essay focuses on the nature of outsourcing from the viewpoint of minor league baseball (MiLB) organizations, to discern any similarities or differences in outsourcing decisions among the three classifications commonly referred to as AAA (Triple-A), AA (Double-A), and A (Single-A); as well as between MiLB and previous studies concerning elite intercollegiate athletics programs. Approximately 41% of MiLB teams outsource at least part of their marketing operations with Class A clubs the most likely to outsource. Decision drivers include the client’s utilization of external expertise, enhancement of marketing operations, and financial advantages. The keys to a successful outsourcing program include a well-developed strategic plan by the outsourcing organization as well as the development of a cooperative partnership.