Reimagining Baseball As a Modern Entertainment Brand

We turn to surveys, social media, and search queries to find the dramatic tension


How do you get more people to watch baseball after decades of declining viewership?



From Harry Potter to Lost, successful modern entertainment properties have one things in common: they rely on an unresolved dramatic tension to keep audiences coming back years after years. Baseball already had a long narrative arc. We needed to create the drama.

Our surveys showed that people who had both a favorite team they rooted for and a nemesis team they rooted against watched significantly more games than people who only have a favorite team and no nemesis.

We analyzed a search query dataset to identify top rival teams. We also found that fans of a baseball team were 3x more likely to search for the team’s nemesis than for any other team.



Our research insights directly contributed to the Epic Storytelling strategy that won the MLB business, and to the award-winning Fan Cave project.

With Bill Letson and Baba Shetty