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Transcript

Economic Advances of Major League Baseball and Athlete Migration from Latin America

The Globalization
of "America's Pastime"

The Globalization of "America's Pastime"

Table of Contents

1. The Global Spread of Baseball

2. Major League Baseball's Global Strategy

3. Globalization in Talent Scouting

4. Future Challenges of "Global Baseball"

The Global Spread of Baseball

1

American Origins

First professional club

Cincinnati Reds

Foundation of the National League

Consisted of 8 teams

American League promoted to a Major League

Boston Americans (AL) defeat Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)

First World Series

The roots of professional Baseball lie within the United States of America.

1869

1876

1901

1903

  • Baseball first introduced by wealthy Cubans after being educated in the USA
  • Used as a site of resistance in the fight against Spanish oppucation

Baseball in

the Caribbean

1868

Habana Base Ball Club

  • First professional baseball clubs and championships in the 1870s.

Ten Years War

  • First Cuban liberation war between 1868 and 1878.
  • Many Cubans fled to neighboring countries.

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Baseball in

the Caribbean

1868

Habana Base Ball Club

  • Cuban refugees introduced baseball in places such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela
  • Americans brought baseball to Panama during their occupation of the Canal Zone

The spread of Baseball in the Caribbean mirrored the detachment from Spanish occupation and the growing American influence within the region.

Commodo ex eam. His putant aeterno interesset at.

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Baseball in East Asia

  • Baseball first introduced in Japan by the end of the 19th century
  • Spread by American teachers and Japanese students who returned from the United States
  • Development of baseball culture and professional structures in Japan

  • Japanese influence in East Asia rose after wars against China (1894 - 95) and Russia (1904 - 05)
  • Introduction of baseball in Korea after education reforms in the 1890s, with a growing importance of the sport after Japanese occupation in 1905
  • Similar process in Taiwan - Baseball introduced in high schools and colleges during Taiwan's time as a part of the Japanese empire

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Active Approach to spread Baseball around the world

Spalding's World Tour

25%

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Spalding took two teams on a trip in 1888 and 1889 to play exhibiton matches in:

  • Australia
  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • France
  • United Kingdom

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Major Baseball Markets

North America

MLB

Latin America

Netherlands,

Italy

KBO

Japan

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Major League Baseball's Global Strategy

2

" “We look at two distinct areas. One is fan engagement. That is, when we’re playing, do we have fans coming to the game, demand for tickets? We have a lot of games available on broadcast in Europe. MLB.TV is available as well. The more engagement we have on those platforms, the better it is. We’re looking for that engagement."


“The second path is the player-development path. I don’t think people realize we have 20 players from Europe under contract with Major League organizations. We'd like to see that number grow. Obviously when you have a European player making his mark in the Major Leagues, it drives interest among the people in that country and it’s really important for us. I’d hope to see growth in both those areas.” "

Rob Manfred

MLB Commissioner,

on the London Series 2019

Fan Engagement

  1. Fan Engagement through further distribution of the "product" of Major League Baseball - aka the play on the field
  2. Promotion of Baseball as a sport in new markets under the banner of Major League Baseball

Player development

VS

More to come in Chapter 3

  • Founded in 1989

MLB International

"MLB International was designed to generate revenue for MLB franchise owners by selling broadcast rights, securing sponsorships, and staging events abroad."

(Nagel et al. 2010)

Economic dimension
of globalisation

Blue Jays and Rangers face off on 1st of April

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Mets and Cubs open the 2000 season in Tokyo

2001

Tokyo, Japan

Opening Day game between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres

Monterrey, Mexico

2000

Red Sox and Yankees play a three-game series in the Olympic Stadium

London, UK

Stating games outside of the United States and Canada can often be seen as key events in spreading Baseball around the globe.

2019

Bringing the game to new markets

1999

Strategy 1

Broadcasting MLB games in new and emerging markets

Strategy 2

Strategy 3

The main strategies of globalizing Baseball

Global Sales of Licensed MLB Merchandise

Developing baseball in new and emerging markets

~ 215

21

Countries and territories where MLB games are broadcast

of the 30 MLB franchises have games broadcast in Spanish

121 million

2002

Live minutes watched by MLB.tv users on Opening Day 2021

Start of MLB.tv, MLB's own mobile broadcasting service

Major League Baseball has chosen different ways, by:

Global Broadcasting of MLB Games

  • Broadcasting games in markets with rising foreign players
  • Increasing Streaming possibilities
  • Opening up to different ethnical groups within the US

Through its subfirm Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP), the MLB signs agreements for the sale of licensed MLB merchandise.

Sale of MLB Merchandise

Global Baseball Festivals

MLB has tried to especially appeal to children by staging Baseball festivals and "Pitch, Hit and Run" competitions, with a focus being set on developed countries.

  • International Baseball Tournament initiated by Major League Baseball in which national teams compete against each other
  • First edition held in 2006, every four years since 2009
  • 16 participating teams, final knock-out phase always held in the United States
  • Early problems to acquire players for national teams due to overlap with MLB Spring Training

World Baseball Classic

Globalization in Talent Scouting

3

Percentage of players born outside the US on Opening Day rosters in 2022

275 players from 21 countries outside of the US were either on the Opening Day roster or on the Inactive List due to injuries. The number is the highest number ever tied with 2018.

Major League Baseball has seen an increase in foreign born talent over the last years

Fan Engagement

  1. Fan Engagement through further distribution of the "product" of Major League Baseball - aka the play on the field
  2. Promotion of Baseball as a sport in new markets under the banner of Major League Baseball

Player development

VS

More to come in Chapter 3

How does talent enter the MLB system?

High School/College

Draft

Teams can pick players out of a pool in a set order

Once drafted, a team has exclusive negotiation rights with that players

Negotiations

If the negotiation is succesful, the player will join a Minor League affiliate of the MLB team

Farm System

The process of becoming a big league talent in MLB is similar to the ones in the NBA or NFL for US-american children.

01

02

03

04

Regulated system with draft slots and high levels of athlete protection

With no rules or similar system set up by Major League Baseball, signing international talent followed a free-market-approach.

The Process of signing International Talent in Latin America

  1. Talent is spotted by a scout representing a Major League Baseball team
  2. Scouted talent is sometimes signed to pre-contracts and enter "Baseball academies" to sharpen their skills
  3. Talent is signed by the MLB team and enters their Minor League system

Problem: The lack of regulations and protection provided by the draft system opens up potential for malpractices.

Signing players to keep them from signing elsewhere, only to release them later

Baseball academies only focus on producing talent while neglecting the needs of its players

Children are scouted at increasingly younger ages

Young players are restricted from access to agents while lacking necessary negotiation skills

An injury can lead to a player being kicked out of the academy

When released, children often re-enter poverty, sometimes without education

Malpractices in the talent scouting process in Latin America

"The specific analyses of international human rights of, and labour protects for, children negatively affected by MLB's hunt for Latino baseball talent demonstrate that MLB does not operate in conformity with international human rights and labour standards on the treatment of children."

- Marcano/Fidler 1999

International Bonus Pool

Since 2012, each MLB franchise has a fixed amount of International Bonus Pool money which can be spent on signing international talent. Bonus pool money is also a tradable asset between the franchises.

However, clubs could still go over their spending cap, with many of the malpractices named earlier still occuring.

International Draft

VS

In the 2022 CBA negotiations, the implementation of a 20-round talent draft with hard money slots for international talent was discussed.

While it would prevent many of the malpractices occuring today, there has been some resistance to the proposed format, as it might restrict players from optaining important bonuses.

How to challenge/solve these problems?

Future Challenges for Global Baseball

4

  • Baseball has developed from America's pastime to a (at least in most parts of the planet) globalized sport

  • Globalization of baseball by Major League Baseball mostly as a symbiosis between cultural, social, and economic dimensions (with a heavy focus on the latter)

Key points to take away from this presentation

  • Baseball's top tier is becoming a more international business with an increasing number of players (and fans) born outside the United States
  • The Globalization of the sport also has some negative aspects, especially in the exploitation of Latin American talent.

6.8 %

Decline in children (ages 8-17) playing baseball between 2008 and 2021

500 - 2500$

have to be paid for fees only to participate in travel baseball

Baseball faces declining numbers of young children playing the sport within the US.


Is focussing on the international market the right decision of Major League Baseball when the major part of its players still is born within the United States?
How can the situation be improved in the US?

Discussion Points

In Japan,

players can ask their team to post them in a transfer system, where they can be picked up by MLB teams.

$6,262,600

can be spent by 8 teams in the 2022 signing period

MLB has embraced its' international portfolio of players, as seen by the recent developments of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Shohei Ohtani.


How can MLB ensure a constant stream of International Talent while also protecting the rights of young players in developing countries?

Discussion Points

References

Bloyce, D. (2004). The globalization of baseball?: A figurational analysis. University of

Leicester.

Browne, I. (2019, June 29). Manfred 'thrilled' for MLB to be in London. MLB.com. Retrieved
August 7, 2022, from https://www.mlb.com/news/rob-manfred-discusses-london-series

Gonzalez, A., & Rivera, M. (2022, March 10). 'Something needs to be done': Why an MLB international draft is such a big deal. ESPN. Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33463929/needs-done-why-mlb-international-draft-such-big-deal

Major League Baseball. (2022). MLB: MLB Youth Academy. MLB.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://www.mlb.com/mlb-youth-academy

Major League Baseball. (2022, April 8). Opening day rosters feature 275 internationally-born players. MLB.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://www.mlb.com/press-release/press-release-opening-day-rosters-feature-275-internationally-born-players

Marcano, A., Fidler, D. (1999). The Globalization of Baseball: Major League Baseball and the Mistreatment of Latin American Talent. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 6(2), 511–577.

Nagel, M., Brown, M., Rascher, D., McEvoy, C. (2010, October 12). Major League Baseball
and globalization: The World Baseball Classic. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25808/1/MPRA_paper_25808.pdf

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