The Phillies signing of Bryce Harper to a 13 year, 330 million-dollar contract is the largest in MLB history. Not only did they add the number one available free agent this offseason, they change the perception of Philadelphia. These are the three areas that this signing does for the city of brotherly love:
1. It makes us a tourist attraction year-round. The Sixers and Eagles already captivate the fall and winter. Tourism and Hospitality is a large part of the revenue stream with our world class convention and hotel business. Harper’s signing will propel the Phillies into the national spotlight, and we will have more appearances on ESPN Baseball Tonight and Game of the Week. Every time a team appears on a prime time telecast that is free advertisement. A shot of our skyline, a view of Independence Hall or an overhead view of the stadium drives interest in coming to visit Philly. Social Media impressions and Nielsen ratings will trend higher because people will watch to see if Harper is worth the money.
2. It shows the Phillies are committed to winning now. They could have settled for the let wait for the next prospect from the farm system to be the guy. We may have to wait 2 years for that player to develop. Harper makes us legitimate now to challenge for the National League East.
3. The third positive from the signing is it gives other outstanding athletes a reason to consider Philadelphia. Winning and Stars go hand in hand. Did you notice all the love shown to Harper by Ben Simmons and Carson Wentz after he signed? They want other stars in town. This creates marketing opportunities and endorsement deals that they can partner on. Harper did his part as he signed by asking Le’Veon Bell and Mike Trout to consider signing with the Eagles and Phillies respectively. How cool would that be?
My next post will look at the sport betting impact of Harper signing and the fluctuation of odds if you are considering making a future bet on the Phillies or him.