Noah Garden is in charge of helping Major League Baseball hit a home run on the Internet. The league manages a Web site, MLB.com, as well as e-commerce stores for each of the leagues 30 baseball teams. The league sells more than 6,000 products from its sites, and has begun offering subscription-based audio broadcasts of games. Garden spoke with Section B Editor Mel Duvall.
What kind of revenue is your site bringing in? Its big, but we havent released any numbers. We certainly have a lot of fans who come to our site directly for news and updates, and were looking for new ways to market to them.
You rose up through marketing and sales to assume your role. Why is that an appropriate route for a vice president of e-commerce? I think that when you come out of the marketing and merchandising end of things, youre comfortable with growing businesses, watching and being responsible for sales. I think its a natural fit. On many sites today, advertising is playing a smaller and smaller role in what everybody does, and so they have to look at traditional revenue streams to make businesses work. I think thats why [many I-managers have come out of marketing] and it has evolved as it has.
Whom do you report to? I report directly to Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advanced Media [a unit created to drive the leagues Internet initiatives]. But I oversee all of the e-commerce initiatives, and I control the spending.