"Smart Ball" follows Major League Baseball's history as a sport,
a domestic monopoly, a neocolonial power, and an international
business. MLB's challenge has been to market its popular mythology
as the national pastime with pastoral, populist roots while
addressing the management challenges of competing with other sports
and diversions in a burgeoning global economy.
Baseball researcher Robert F. Lewis II argues that MLB for years
abused its legal insulation and monopoly status through arrogant
treatment of its fans and players and static management of its
business. As its privileged position eroded eroded in the face of
increased competition from other sports and union resistance, it
awakened to its perilous predicament and began aggressively
courting athletes and fans at home and abroad.
Using a detailed marketing analysis and applying the principles
of a "smart power" model, the author assesses MLB's progression as
a global business brand that continues to appeal to a consumer's
sense of an idyllic past in the midst of a fast-paced, and often
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