Prior to Game One of the World Series on Wednesday, Major League Baseball issued a “news flash” (yes, actual title) to the front offices of the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. The release was distributed to the respective media tribes and included the following notice:
“Law enforcement officials will be aggressively enforcing vendor permit requirements during the World Series in order to protect consumers from purchasing substandard products.”
The news flash encouraged fans to exclusively purchase merchandise from MLB.com and authorized retailers (i.e., inside the stadium). They also urged fans to look for the official MLB hologram on all products before purchasing from “questionable sources”.
In short, Major League Baseball wants money and they want all of it. They understand that the market for non-sanctioned merchandise is expanding exponentially. Now, competition in the marketplace is a good thing for consumers because prices typically drop. At the very least, non-sanctioned MLB products provide alternatives for fans, which is also beneficial. But as you can probably guess, MLB isn’t dropping their prices and they sure as hell don’t want to encourage market competition.
Unless you’re an established business with a high volume of sales and disposable income to pursue MLB licensing, your products will probably never have the aforementioned MLB hologram. Thus, the battle between street vendors and corporate bullies continues. No surprises.
But if you happen to be in the exclusive club of selling officially-licensed MLB memorabilia, you best flaunt it. And flaunt they did on Wednesday evening before the Cardinals and Rangers took the field for Game One. Take, for instance, the gentleman below who might want to think about revising that résumé.
From the MLB notice…to the spelling/grammar errors…to the fact that this guy looks like a character from “Star Wars”, the amount of fail in the photo above is astounding.
(World Series coverage on The Score brought to you by Matt Sebek and Josh Bacott from JoeSportsFan.com. They hail from St. Louis, but do not have tattoos, mullet or Firebird convertibles. Promise.)