Thursday, July 21, 2016


"I guess the difference is most of you guys have never run anything" - Randy Levine

At first when I read that I wanted to ask Levine if he wanted some cheese with his wine because he was cracking under the pressure of running one of the most popular franchises in the world. I had no sympathy. Then I sat back and thought about it...and he's right. His statement refers to the constant question that has Yankee brass stressed out over. Should the Yankees be trade deadline sellers?

He is right. I have never run a franchise worth billions of dollars. I have never had the pressure of balancing a budget, making money and making fans happy. I wouldn't know where to begin. There are a lot of factors here to consider and I had to dig a little deeper until I realized why this is such a hard decision and why the Yankees have not made up their mind yet despite everyone telling them to hurry up.

The Yankees are more than just a baseball team. They rely on cash flow from sources like WFAN for example. If the Yankees decide to give up and get rid of their stars it could mean that rating would plummet. Part of the allure of this team, especially during the dynasty years are fans tuning in to hear about their favorite players like Andrew Miller for example. If the Yankees get rid of him....will people want to continue to tune in?

There's also CBS Radio to consider (WFAN's parent company). The Yankees are in the third year of a 10 year contract that they signed and CBS pays them millions of dollars each year. If the Yankees throw in the towel, they could lose an astronomical amount of money each year over the span of the contract. The Yankees may be worth billions....but they don't want to throw millions down the drain.

These kinds of losses could force WFAN and CBS to cut their losses in other laying off employees. Think about the talent that is also associated with these groups. Being profitable also means keeping icons like John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the air. Those thrilling Sterling home run calls or victory cries like "Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeee Yankees win!" are iconic. Can you imagine not hearing them? Not to say that losing money would mean Sterling and Waldman would be released BUT we have them now because the Yankees have created this brand that makes money. It's a result of the success their business has achieved.

The Yankees also have Fox, the majority owner of YES Network to consider. For the first time in history the Mets have beat the Yankees in TV ratings, read that HERE. It shows that putting a winning product on the field brings you viewers. It's never easy losing to the Mets both on and off of the field.

All of these platforms have one common denominator: drawing in advertisers. Consumers hate commercials, we are quick to change the channel most of the time but that is the bread in butter for TV and radio. The more sponsors the Yankees have the better and the more profitable they become. Advertisers know that if you aren't listening to a station that they aren't going to make money off of you....and they will find new places to make that money. 

Last but certainly not least are the fans. The Yankees know that if they give up on the season now that season ticket holders will not want to spend their hard earned money on seats. If the Yankees do not believe in their product now, why would next season be any different? It does not inspire people to renew their packages next season.

This isn't as simple as it looks. This isn't a quick transaction like buying a bathing suit at the store. It affects the financial future of the organization. It has long term effects that would cost the Yankees millions up front. It is easier to gamble like this with monopoly money. This is much more complex than we realize and making the wrong decision could damage the Yankees brand.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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