Kim: How the KBO successfully marketed to a bigger, younger audience

From Sung Min Kim at Baseball Prospectus on January 17, 2019:

One of the hot potatoes on the business side of MLB is the shrinking audience among the younger generation. While the league is still doing well on the overall revenue side with a record $10.3 billion take in 2018, baseball could use more fans in their 20s and 30s. According to Nielsen Scarborough Research, only 23 percent of people aged 18-20 are interested in Major League Baseball. That number rises slightly to 25 percent from ages 21-34, but it still lags far behind the National Football League, for whom 41 percent of the same age group answered as such.

The Korea Baseball Organization, on the other hand, has seen a recent growth in overall audience. This is something I covered in my KBO introductory article. As Korea saw success with their national team in international tournaments, more people started to flock to the ballparks. Their annual attendance went from three million to just below six million in a matter of three years. It then rose to eight million in 2016, reaching an all-time high of 8,400,688 in 2017.

Once baseball caught fire as a trendy past time in Korea, many wondered if it would be a short-term phenomena or if the KBO would find a way to monetize it for a long haul. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s been more of a latter. The overall attendance figure slightly decreased in 2018, but looking at the big picture, a 266 percent attendance increase in 12 years is a remarkable success.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 17, 2019. Last Updated: January 17, 2019.