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The Rise of Marucci Sports

In 2002, two former LSU athletes were rehabbing their recent injuries with Jack Marucci back in Baton Rouge the topic of conversation turned towards Marucci’s recent hobby. This hobby eventually led Eduardo Perez of the St. Louis Cardinals to do something no one else had done yet in Major League Baseball history. By taking a different approach to the business and providing a higher quality product to the market, Marucci helped create a whole new ballgame.

Jack Marucci, the Head Athletic Trainer at Louisiana State University first started perfecting the craft of hand-made wooden baseball bats as a hobby, originally making them for his son. As the two former LSU athletes, Kurt Ainsworth and Joe Lawrence, rehabbed, they spoke of what to do after their professional MLB careers. Marucci’s hand crafted bats became that future. By 2003, the focus on detail and quality craftsmanship to ensure every hand crafted bat was a ‘gamer’ brought them into ‘on deck’ circles and into the batter’s box.

Kurt Ainsworth was a former LSU All-American and 1st Round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants. He also played on the Gold Medal winning Olympic team in 2000. Joe Lawrence was a former USA Today high school All-American and played professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays. After 8 years in professional baseball Joe returned to LSU to play football.

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Baseball Fans Sidetracked

While Major League Baseball diehards were tuned into each of their favorite teams’ games during everything from LeBron-athon to World Cup soccer, and especially their all-star game, it wasn’t easy for it to hold the attention of the masses according to W. Scott Bailey in the San Antonio Business Journal.

It was reported that Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, broadcast by FOX, received a 7.5 Nielsen rating which makes it as the least watched Midsummer Classic in history.

My initial thought as we head toward the start of National Football League training camps: is there any sport or off-season activity that would distract NFL fans from their season?

Is baseball officially not America’s Pastime anymore? We’ve long heard that professional baseball television ratings pale compared to the NFL and even the NBA, much of the latter which is broadcast on cable outlets. But a scripted special about where an NBA free agent is going to play next and – soccer?

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Sports Business Weekly Buzz

The Elliptical For The Rich, Tai Chi For The Poor

* Every year, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association releases its state of sports participation in America study. The 64-page document is filled with interesting tidbits that will make you smarter at the office water cooler.

* Of all the fitness machines, the elliptical motion trainer has the highest percentage of participants whose annual household income exceeds $100,000 a year. Forty percent of those who use the elliptical make over $100,000.

Internal Watchdog Criticizes ESPN for Ethical Missteps on LeBron James Coverage

* ESPN’s internal journalism watchdog sharply criticized the cable-sports network for what he said were ethical missteps in its recent broadcast of a TV program devoted to basketball star LeBron James.

* The Walt Disney Co. network two weeks ago aired a one-hour special about James, who used the program to announce that he signed with a new team, the Miami Heat. In an unusual arrangement, James’s sports-marketing company suggested the program to ESPN and brokered an arrangement whereby the show’s advertisers donated money to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a charity James supports.

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Payroll to Results: Successful MLB Teams

Did you ever wonder which teams in Major League Baseball really get the most bang for their buck? Sure the Yankees won the last World Series last year but weren’t they supposed to win when they had the highest payroll in baseball? Each year the Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball…

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Stephen Strasburg’s Social Media Potential

If you don’t know about Stephen Strasburg, let me introduce you. Strasburg is a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals. He was the number one pick in the MLB Draft last year and made his major league debut earlier this week: 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs… and 14 strikeouts! Quite the impressive entry…

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Sportsmanship Reborn for MLB

Sportsmanship was reborn on June 2 and it wasn’t without a lot of labor pains. In one of the most debated and discussed baseball games in years, Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly called a Cleveland Indians’ ground ball to first base with two outs in the ninth inning, safe. A video replay showed otherwise….

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Sports Organizations Enter Political Fray & PR Battle

In the last weeks I’ve thought a lot about a hot button issue that began with a political decision, yet has touched sports organizations from the National Basketball League to Major League Baseball…or should I say that they hit on the topic by no choice of their own. As if the Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070…

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WWTD – What Will Tiger Do?

It’s an exciting time of year for sports. It’s officially opening day for Major League Baseball. The Final Four tips in Indianapolis with storybook character, Butler University, taking on hoops behemoth, Duke in the evening. In the midst of it all will be lots of talk about Sunday’s big National Football League trade of Donovan…

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$ign of the Time$, Part 1

Some call it a sign of the times or the new “Revenue Era” in baseball.  All major sports teams are in search of revenue streams or new ways to maximize current ones.  Without a salary cap, Major League Baseball teams have been thriving with activity. One piece to the new revenue is puzzle has been…

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