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Moneyball for Marketing
Who’s the best baseball player of all time?
That depends who’s asking – and what stats you’re looking at.
There’s little doubt Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt is one of the all-time greats. And as major league teams look toward Sunday’s draft, there’s a compelling case to be made that he’s the greatest draft pick of all time.
Schmidt was selected by the Phillies as the 30th pick in the second round of the 1971 MLB draft. Schmidt went on to do something nearly unheard of today – play his entire 18-year career with the same team. During that time, he put up impressive stats, the most impressive perhaps being his 106.9 wins above replacement.
WAR measures a player’s value in all parts of the game — batting, fielding, baserunning and pitching. It’s used to show how many wins a player produces for his team over the average replacement level player at that position.
That value, combined with the fact that he remained in Philly for his whole career, puts Schmidt in an elite category.
Of the 70,000 players who’ve been drafted over the years, no one had a greater impact on the team that selected him than Mike Schmidt.
When it comes to drafting players, sports teams are looking for a return on their investment. They want players who will perform during games and fill seats. Next-level stats allow managers and scouts to better quantify that return.
Better Stats are a Business Game Changer
WAR dates back as far as 1982, but has only recently become a more widely recognized statistic. It’s part of a broad trend to integrate next-level stats and data analytics into front office decision making.
But it’s not just MLB clubhouses embracing big data. According to a study by McKinsey, organizations with a data-driven approach are 23 times more likely to gain customers, 6 times as likely to keep their new customers and 19 times as likely to be profitable.
Advanced marketing analytics are a key part of that equation.
Stats like impressions and ad equivalency are like home runs or E.R.A. in baseball – useful, but ubiquitous. Communications pros today are turning to Moneyball metrics like marketing funnel velocity and customer lifetime value to invigorate their work.