A “Giant” Success for San Francisco

It happened. The San Francisco Giants clinched the World Series for the third time in five years. A miracle? Perhaps, but also astounding is the economic impact its local baseball team has brought to the city.

The even-numbered years were the golden years, as the Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. San Francisco experienced a drought of national sports championships until the Giants took reign, consequently bringing in larger crowds for local businesses.

In 2010, the city embraced the worldwide brand recognition of San Francisco as a new sports hotspot. Advertising costs during home games skyrocketed, and local tourism was at an all time high. From hotel and other sales taxes, the city felt the economic boon of winning its first World Series since 1954. According to Staci Slaughter, the Giants spokeswoman, sales at the ballpark store were about 150 percent higher than normal.

San Francisco Giants 2014 World Series victory parade

The exposure of the 2010 title also caught the attention of Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle, to choose San Francisco as the host city of America’s Cup – the sailing event of the year. To everyone’s surprise, this baseball fame was not a one-time event, as the city geared up for yet another wave of Giants fans in 2012.

The San Francisco Giants “swept” the Detroit Tigers to take the 2012 title – and during the two days the city hosted the World Series games, baseball fans added about $17.3 million into the local economy. Local restaurants were better prepared for the massive crowds, and the city embraced the incoming visitors with open arms. Although the numbers aren’t in for the 2014 winning season, it is expected that San Francisco was successful in bringing in record-breaking revenue.

Hosting World Series games is bound to bring in large profits, but it is still important to consider the costs associated with such an event. There is a parade put on by the winning city to celebrate the World Series title, and this is no cheap affair. For the 2012 celebration parade, the Giants dished out approximately $1 million for the set up, and the city itself paid $225,000 for security and transportation costs. Because of the excitement of the parade, attendance at local schools dropped 20 percent, resulting in a loss of $150,000 from the state (educational funding). This does not begin to cover the costs of damage to the city from rowdy crowds, or the cost of a large portion of its labor force on “sick leave” to watch the game; however, in San Francisco’s case, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs.


The San Francisco Giants parade turnout.

In addition to the crowd-drawing holiday season, San Francisco has persistently accumulated profits during “Orange October,” a phenomena that will hopefully continue throughout the Giants legacy. The baseball team is also riding their wave of success, as plans for a new enticing neighborhood near the ballpark is in the works. The $1.6 billion “Mission Rock” project would bring in thousands of new jobs, and another outlet for retail stores and restaurants to expand.

Copy of Park_Full

Design plans for “Mission Rock.”

The Giants have put San Francisco on the map as a sports celebrated city, and the profits provide evidence for this success. Just a tip – because of increasing costs, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for fans to start booking their hotel rooms for 2016.

Taylor Swift VS. Spotify

Spotify has been in a long battle with the music industry over its controversial streaming business model. While the music industry has undergone a lot of change in the last decade it still hasn’t fully adjusted to the change, leaving the industry in somewhat of a standoff. Spotify, currently the leading streaming company, has been at the forefront of this stand off as they work to introduce the music industry to a new revenue model. Over the last several years Spotify has been making strides toward acceptance as they have worked to educate artists about their site and have steadily increased the royalties they pay out. This acceptance however hit a major hiccup 2 weeks ago, when Taylor Swift pulled her entire collection of music off the site.

On the subject Taylor stated, “I think there should be an inherent value placed on art. I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify.”
Taylor has been vocal about her distaste of streaming services as she feels streaming sites are part of the reason album sales are shrinking. Though Taylor has voiced a negative opinion about streaming as a whole she has left her collection on both Beats Music and Rhapsody. Before pulling her collection off Spotify, Taylor had asked the site to make her content only available to paying users which Spotify responded was against their policy. Taylor also asked for her content to only be available outside the United States but this again was against Spotify’s policy. The two sites that still have Taylor’s content are sites that require a paid membership.

“With Beats Music and Rhapsody you have to pay for a premium package in order to access my albums. And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created.” – Taylor swift

While Taylor has made a very public separation from streaming, the real question is whether or not this will affect the Spotify. In response to the ordeal Spotify’s founder Daniel Ek released an open letter to the singer explaining why she made the wrong decision in pulling her music.

In the essay, “2 Billion and Counting” Daniel Ek wrote- “Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work.”- Daniel Ek
This letter makes a very important argument, which is Spotify makes money where it didn’t exist by combating illegal downloading. In the same letter the founder explains that Taylor was on track to make 6 million this year had she left her collection on Spotify. Further than the 6 million the number was on track to increase significantly every year as the site grows. Daniel Ek made it clear in the essay that Spotify is not against artists; rather they are working very hard to make sure artists are properly compensated.

“Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music,” he said. “We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you.” –Daniel EK
The Spotify battle is long over as it is a matter of educating both the public and those in the music industry on the business model of streaming. Spotify’s response to Taylor shows that the site is willing to fight back against artists to make streaming successful. While Taylors move to take down her music got a lot of buzz it, also got a lot of people stepping up to defend Spotify.  If Spotify is able to continue its efforts to educate artist on the benefits of streaming, it may have a fighting chance.  Spotify has proven that they can handle even one to the biggest pop stars dismissing their site. Though the future is not clear, it looks like the streaming site is here to stay.

Facebook In The Workplace


Facebook wants to enter the workplace and in a big way. In the next year Facebook hopes to launch a new side to its site that would allow colleagues to collaborate on projects, share documents and function as an in office communicator. In Facebook’s London headquarters the company says they have been developing the program for a long time.
The site would feature a very similar design to the existing personal site, but would strictly be for inner office collaboration. User’s personal profiles will have no connection to the work profiles. The site would feature similar news feed and group functions, allowing users to post content for the entire company as well as preform smaller team work. While much of what the site will feature is still speculation many have wondered how Facebook for work will rival preexisting office applications.
Forbes contributor Erika Morphy states- “that Salesforce Chatter is already a popular service used by thousands of Salesforce.com users. Slack has also become a popular collaboration service that’s challenging Atlassian’s HipChat and Campfire, with its clean interface for chatting with colleagues or sharing documents and links.”
Further than just communication sites alone there has been speculation about Facebooks profile feature and how it could function in a very similar way to LinkedIn. If users are able to create a public business profile that moves with them from organization to organization as a user changes jobs the site could function as an online resume tool.
While there are many existing office communicator application out there already, there is speculation that Facebooks well-known name will lead it to success. Many offices have had to ban Facebook across the country as their employees are too addicted to the site. Facebook in the office could prove to be very popular among employees leading many companies to switch communicators. More so then popularity the familiar interface would mean little transition time for companies as the majority of employees are already accustomed with how the site works. The counter to this argument being that most employees have no say over their company’s communication systems as it is often a decision made in IT departments. With Facebook at work the site will only be available to employees if the company as a whole signs up for the service.
Facebook also faces another issue, privacy; can it get companies to trust the site? In today’s corporate structure much of what happens within the walls of a company is top secret. Posting and collaborating on sensitive documents on the internet would be worrisome to many.
Facebook has many issues that it must look at to become successful in this office space, however if done right it has the possibility to change the game. Facebook at work is currently in the testing phase at a select few organizations across the country. Though it is still unclear when Facebook will officially launch the site, it is definitely something to watch for.