San Francisco Giants

Even in baseball, winning isn't everything

April 2, 2010: 7:00 AM ET

In at least one major-league ballpark, technology will play a bigger role in boosting sales

San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer (left) talks with USA Today's Jon Swartz, Fortune's Jon Fortt and KNTV's Scott McGrew. Photo: KNTV and Jon Fortt.

Quick: What makes a baseball team a great business? If you said winning, you've only got part of the picture. Teams make money when lots of people consistently turn out or tune in to watch them – whether they win or not.

Of course, Larry Baer wants to win, too. But as president of the San Francisco Giants, he's got a franchise to run. On the field, the Giants are just decent these days – last season they won 54% of their games – but the balance sheet is a different matter. From a financial standpoint the Giants are among the best, with 10-year attendance figures in the upper echelon of Major League Baseball – just behind the Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals. More

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