The Savannah Bananas and the business of making baseball fun - The Hustle
The Hustle

The Savannah Bananas and the business of making baseball fun

How the team aspires to be like Disney and 3M.

Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It’s hard to argue with the fact that baseball is boring.

In 2020, the average MLB game lasted over 3 hours, but saw fewer hits than almost any season since 1909. Representative of this struggle was a recent Oakland A’s game that saw just 2,488 fans (the stadium can fit ~57k).

So, perhaps it’s not surprising that one minor league team, with the singular goal of doing the opposite of whatever is normal in baseball, has sold out every game since its founding in 2016…

… starting with making it fun

You can think of the Savannah Bananas as baseball’s Harlem Globetrotters. Games include:

The team views its stadium as an entertainment venue, with “stages” being the parking lot, entrance, concourse, seats, and field. The Bananas’ TikTok has exploded and now has ~3x as many followers (2.7m) as the most popular MLB team.

They’re also led by a business strategist

In his podcast, Bananas founder Jesse Cole explains the team’s mindset for constant innovation. It includes themes like:

The Bananas now have a 15k-person waitlist for tickets. The organization has also been named a top employer in sports.

Want more? Check out ESPN’s feature on the Bananas.

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