Prosumerism Builds Winner

The New Yorker calls him "The Buffet of Baseball" (SportsFilter has been feeding me the rock!). Sport management academics will be writing a case study about him. He kicked the business of baseball into the 21st century.

He's Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, who used Sabermetrics to build a powerhouse baseball team in a small-market city. It's easily the best business move seen from baseball management since William Hulbert introduced the concept of the pennant race.

Platitudes aside, why is Beane's move so significant? Because he understands what constitutes the most important economic output of baseball: information.

The A's aren't the only business facing squeezed margins that has intelligently leveraged information systems to improve the bottom line. What's interesting in Beane's case, though, is that the tools he is using to revolutionize his industry are being designed by fans. Put another way, consumers are also increasingly becoming producers in a blurring of lines that renowned futurist Alvin Toffler termed "prosumerism."

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