King has helped Cleveland Indians score with analytical approach to baseball business

From Jason Brill at Inside Business Magazine on May 2, 2014:

Alex King is a baseball geek.

He’s into on-base plus slugging percentage, wins over replacement and runs created.

So the Cleveland Indians vice president of marketing and brand management was excited to be a presenter at the Society for American Baseball Research’s 2013 Analytics Conference. A sort of Comic-Con for America’s pastime, the annual event draws devotees of Billy Beane’s Moneyball philosophies about stats and data predicting on-field performance.

Yet King had drawn a daunting spot in the conference lineup: following Bill James, one of the creators of sabermetrics. “He’s a legend,” King says. “He’s such a huge presence in that conference.”

King, who joined the Indians in 2011 after five years with Procter & Gamble, discussed the team’s data-driven approach to its promotional schedules as a way to maximize revenue and ticket sales.

In partnership with ThinkVine, a Cincinnati software company, the Indians studied its 2007 though 2012 seasons, looking at team performance, attendance, weather, regional economics and other factors to find out how to best deploy promotions such as dollar dog nights, giveaways or fireworks nights. In 2007, the team nearly made it to the World Series then had several rebuilding seasons.

“We had a lot of natural variations,” King says. “Variation in the data matters because you are able to look at the impact that the variation had on sales.”

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Related link: For more information on the annual SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Originally published: May 2, 2014. Last Updated: May 2, 2014.