In Francona: the Red Sox Years, Terry Francona relates his experience with the Red Sox organization. Previews of the book indicated that the Red Sox ownership view the Red Sox as a business that should be run at a profit. While it is appropriate for the Red Sox to be thought of as a business, it is important to recognize that as a sports organization, the Red Sox should also be concerned with the competitive element of winning and the impact it has on the fan base.
Let’s compare the approach of the Red Sox organization with the New England Patriots organization. Clearly, the Kraft organization is concerned with being profitable. However, they have not sacrificed the competitive element. The Patriots have been very successful competitively under the Kraft organization. The Patriots have had one of the most winning records in NFL history. They have achieved the goals of profitability and winning simultaneously.
The “take away” is that although sports organizations are a business, they are distinct in that their mission should include the spirit of athletic competition and winning. The fans are the sport organization’s customers and they should be viewed with a customer service mentality.
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