Monday, November 30, 2015

PLUSH TOY CASE STUDY # 5 – Hit a Home Run

Little League Baseball is an international organization that is on a mission to develop, supervise, and encourage the participation of youth in the games of baseball and softball.  Their program assist communities improve qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork, and physical well-being in its players and volunteers.  The words Character, Courage, and Loyalty are branded on every baseball uniform and in the hearts and minds of some of baseball’s biggest fans. 

There are lots of non-profit organizations today with important missions but let’s face it there is no shortage of good causes.  Little League Baseball decided in the early 1980’s they needed to improve the connection with fans new and old.  They drew on deep of relationships with the world’s best brand experts.  Disney was selected because its founder, Walt Disney, had served on the Little League Foundation board of trustees for nine years.

  Dugout is the official mascot of Little League baseball was created by artists at Disney Consumer Products, who considered him a cross between a gopher and a beaver. Dugout was introduced by Disney’s Sport Goofy at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1985.  Every year since introduction, the antics of the Little League’s lovable mascot has brought smiles and laughter to a generation of Little League players and spectators, on and off the field, as well as on television. 

Whether or not you are a baseball fan or not I think you will agree that for the last 50 years baseball is synonymous American culture.  I can remember growing up and thinking there is something special about friends cheering as you hit the ball or parents bringing the team snack after the game.  It’s funny how we grow up, experiencing something special; however, not really knowing how special it is to you turn-over a printed tag on a toy 30 years later.

I trust in God.  I love my country and will respect its laws.  I will play fair and strive to win.  But win or lose I will always do my best.” – Little League Pledge.

I am confident that growing an organization and raising a family with the mission of “Building Character” is all part of a journey started on the Little League fields.  Like many who play the game, most will not make it to the World Series.  Rest assured the lessons learned, memories created, and lives touched will be no less valuable.  Building an entertaining character is only the beginning of value creation.