Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on Saturday (September 15th – October 15th) and 18-month old La Vida Baseball (LVB) will celebrate amidst record growth and new partnerships. More than 6 million English-preferred Latino’s (dominating the male 18-45 demo) read La Vida Baseball’s Latino focused baseball storytelling each month and the company’s video content generates more than 1.2 million views/month across digital platforms (think: lifestyle and culture content); MLB.com, Bleacher Report and Apple News have all syndicated their work. JohnWallStreet spoke with TeamWorks Media co-founder and CEO Jay Sharman about their target market, country pride vs. team pride and the 13 revenue streams of a digital media publisher.
JWS: English-preferred Latinos in the U.S. often choose to watch soccer in Spanish. How did TeamWorks Media identify that there was a need to deliver original baseball content in English to the Latino audience?
Jay: We looked at the marketplace and the amount of content available did not align with the statistics as to how many U.S. Latinos consume sports media in English-preferred; especially the younger demographic. There was a lot of sports content translated into Spanish, but we didn’t find any original baseball content with a Latino voice.
JWS: It would seem as if you could replicate this model with other sports. Are there plans to introduce a digital media outlet for English-preferred basketball fans?
Jay: 1 in 4 Americans are Latino, so statistically speaking it’s likely there’s a significant audience for most sports. What makes baseball unique though, is the participants. Just under 33% of Major League Baseball players are Latino. There’s just not nearly as many playing in the NBA. What we’ve also found is that country pride tops team loyalty in many cases (think: a Puerto Rican St. Louis Cardinals fans that still roots for Javy Baez); that’s a phenomenon unique to baseball. So, no we do not have any plans for horizontal expansion.
Howie Long-Short: La Vida Baseball is owned and produced by TeamWorks Media, a privately held entity.
I asked Jay to explain how La Vida Baseball generates its revenue?
Jay: We’re relatively consistent with any digital media publisher. Marketing partnerships will generate the lion’s share of our revenue, but sponsorships, revenue-sharing deals, licensing deals and events contribute; there are 13 different potential revenue streams. We’ve also created La Vida Baseball Studios as there are several brands, including MLB, that have talked to us about creating content for them; content as a service.
Editor Note: After the call, I asked Jay if he would detail the 13 potential revenue streams. You’ll notice that 3rd party platform revenues are grouped together under #5. LVB does not paywall content (#7).
- Marketing Partnerships – Custom, integrated content solutions (ex – branded video series, native content)
- Sponsorships – ROS
- Content Studio – Consulting, content creation, events for orgs/brands/media companies for their Latino baseball audience needs.
- Content Licensing – both existing content as well as commissioned content for networks/digital companies.
- Third Party Platform Revenue
- YouTube advertising
- Twitter advertising
- Facebook advertising
- Podcasting network advertising
- Content partnership revenue (content runs on media company’s platforms and LVB gets split of revenue earned)
- Events – Range from sponsor-driven, celebrity private event to potential destination baseball guided trips (Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, etc…)
- Memberships (others may choose subscription model – this tends to be an either/or – not a both)
Fan Marino: Major League Baseball (which works in partnership with LVB) is on pace to draw 2.6 million fewer fans in ’18 than it did in ’17. Toronto and Miami have experienced the steepest YoY declines (-10,000 fans/game), but the Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Texas are all having bad years at the gate too (all down 4,000+ fans per game). While most of the league has taken a step back, there are 10 teams on pace to outdraw last season’s attendance totals; the Brewers, Yankees and Phillies are all drawing upwards of 4,000 more fans/game this season than last.
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