Posted by: katieaoreilly | April 12, 2015

Is it worth it? Let me work it…out

texting mlb

Week two blog response to exercise 11.1 in Qualitative Research Methods

Worthiness and rigor: Two words that cause me anxiety every time I try to research something. There comes a point in every project when, after countless hours of work, you suddenly realize, “Dear lord, none of this means anything!” Hoping to avoid that moment in my final project, I’m going to try to answer Missy Elliot’s age-old question before I begin. Is it worth it?

As my dear classmates know by now, I plan on studying the ways in which Major League Baseball (MLB) is branded to appeal to millenials. Considering the study’s target audience is primarily MLB itself, diving into specific strategies for bringing a new generation of fans to the game is an issue worth investigating. I am yet to identify a specific theory to work from, but there would certainly be a practical application for the league, which is currently faced with a primary viewer demographic aging in real time. If this study can narrow down the true emotional and physical draw of MLB to those who already love the sport, they could apply it to a marketing strategy to entice new viewers with the same experiences.

Naturally, the “worthiness” of this study depends in part upon whether or not one is a fan of baseball or not, otherwise it may not seem very interesting. However, if Baiomy can study resort hotel restaurant menus for a living, I think I’m in the clear. As I mentioned already, MLB’s primary demographic is aging rapidly, and the league is losing popularity to other professional sports like football and basketball. I am hoping to provide new information about my generation using my position as a millennial baseball fan, my personal experience trying to convince others to love the game as I do, and my observations of millennial fans in the ballpark as well as interviews with others my age, especially those with no interest in the sport. In combination with the market research MLB conducts already, I believe my research can provide a deep qualitative analysis of the attitudes of my generation toward major league baseball.

Admittedly, it’s hard to think of a day at the ballpark as “rigorous,” but there are a number of factors that complicate my work. First off, the nearest major league team is in Seattle, and the cost of travel and tickets is a barrier to spending sufficient time in the field. Because of this, I will need to find a way to conduct some of my research outside of the ballpark. This can be achieved by interviewing (in person or online) others who self-identify as a Mariners fan or a non-fan. Gathering information from millenials is the first step in identifying where the disconnect lies, and more time at the park may (hopefully) be needed later in the process, as I attempt to identify solutions rather than causes of millennial apathy toward MLB.

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