Major League Baseball Advanced Media: America’s Pastime Goes Digital Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Major League Baseball has established a unique position in the digital industry as a leading provider of athletic entertainment. Since its inception, BAM never missed a single opportunity and had achieved a substantial growth over a short period of time. With the passage of time, the company branched out and offered its quality and unique contents on numerous platforms for the easy and quick access to its customers. The company acted as a risk taker and first mover in the digital industry, which is the reason of its great success. The company learned lots of things from its risk taking approach and never repeated its mistakes. Now in the current situation presented in the case, BAM and its executives were asked to create an app for the Apple’s iPad which they had launched in 2010. This was an opportunity to come up with something appealing and admiring which created lots of issues for the company on the path of success.

Business Model and Key Drivers of BAM

BAM has a well structured and well maintained business model which is basically a direct sales model because BAM has been selling tickets of baseball events to baseball lovers, offering its licensing content to its partners and generated revenue in the form of subscriptions and downloads of end consumers, merchandising, advertising and sponsorship. The key drivers of the company are its four major revenue sources: ticket sales accounted for 36%, paid content accounted for 31%, merchandising accounted for 20% and advertising and sponsorship accounted for 12%. The key driver of BAM is ticket sales, but at the same time it is the area which is highly exposed to threats and any wrong step can easily destroy the overall efforts and success of BAM. The growing popularity of online content and mobile products is a bigger threat to the ticket sales of the BAM because the willingness to pay for actual stadium experience is decreasing. People are becoming fond of convenience and comfort, therefore they usually prefer digital athletic entertainment industry. The increasing popularity of other sports in the US such as cricket and soccer are affecting the popularity of baseball.

Customer’s Analysis and Value creation

The target customers of the BAM are very diverse and they are targeting baseball lovers of all age groups from 10 years to over 65 years. Moreover, they are targeting both traditional (customers who love to get an experience of the stadium) and modern customers (those who are highly tech savvy and are not willing to pay for actual stadium experience) which results in a strong and diverse customer base. BAM has a number of channels through which they are creating value for their customers. The most popular and valuable channels include: ongoing television rights (national and local), MLB cable television network,,, MLB branded products and through sponsorship of great events. At the same time, BAM is also creating value for baseball as BAM is widely recognized as a baseball brand therefore their products are all the time supporting and advertising baseball.

The paid content model of the BAM is very solid and can be sustainable in the long run. Both Business-to-consumers (B2C) revenues and B2B economies are important for them, however; Business-to-consumers revenues economy is highly important as compared to business to business because consumers are the key assets of any business and the success of every sort of business is totally dependent on customers. Business-to-customers revenues are comparatively more profitable than business-to-business because in business-to-business contracts the seller needs to set a wholesale price whereas in B2C there is a possibility of high profit margins.

BAM Product Portfolio

BAM’s current product portfolio is comprised of tickets of baseball events, access to good players across the world, an app for iPhone, MLB downloadable content on different platforms, interactive television applications for baseball and MLB branded products like hats and jerseys. The iPad product fits in the existing product line-up of the company because they already have a popular app called At Bat for iPhone. People trust in BAM and at the same time they have positive thoughts and appreciation for Apple Inc. The app of BAM for iPhone has been found successful, therefore the opportunity of creating an app for iPad will further enhance its brand image and profitability.................................

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