What It's About
Two old friends take a swing at leveling the playing field for financially strapped baseball players.
Words of Wisdom
For anyone looking to start their side hustle, Oscar and Erik recommend testing and retesting everything you do. Start small and prove the model before you invest large amounts of money or time into it. They were able to make their larger investment because they had confidence.
Oscar's Bat Club USA co-founder, Erik Rico, played four years for the Toronto Blue Jays before moving back to Miami to work for the University of Miami health system and coach baseball.
Notes from Chris
For Oscar Llarena and Erik Rico, baseball has always been a part of their lives. The two best friends, who have known each other since they were five years old, grew up playing the sport together in Miami. Oscar played through high school, and Erik was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. When the pair decided to hang up their cleats, they wanted a way to stay part of the sport that didn’t involve getting on the field or waking up with a sore shoulder. So, when Erik moved back home to Florida, he decided to set up his own baseball academy. Although the kids he coached were great athletes, he often found they were playing at a disadvantage. Because they didn’t come from an affluent area, they were often intimidated by teams that did. When the other teams showed up with the newest bats, the shiniest cleats and freshly pressed uniforms, it intimidated many of the players. As Erik observed, this meant many of them felt they were behind before the first ball had been thrown. Sitting down to catch up one day, Erik came to Oscar with this problem. He felt there had to be a way to make the sport more accessible, and help all children have the best possible experience in the sport, regardless of their family’s income. They explored lots of options and finally came up with one that worked: what if they started a subscription program where people could rent bats for the time they needed them? People did it for cars and bikes and electrical goods, so they could try it for baseball equipment as well! It would allow them to bring the upfront payment of $300 to $500 for a new bat down to an affordable monthly payment. They called it Bat Club USA. Targeting baseball players directly and word-of-mouth sales were paramount to the early success of their service, and the combination of these marketing techniques has lead to Bat Club USA earning a recurring $50,000 per month. Going forward, these designated hitters want to look at how they can expand this model by breaking into other sports and provide the same solution for other types of equipment. But, for now, they’re happy making the sport they love as accessible to as many kids as possible. You could say that they really hit it out of the park!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Bat Club USA: Looking to cut costs funding your little slugger's game? Slide on over to Oscar and Erik's website!
- Shopify: Oscar and Erik used Shopify to set up their store for Bat Club USA, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- High School Junior Earns $10,000 Selling Autographed Baseballs: A Maryland high-school student parlays his love of baseball into a lucrative sports memorabilia side hustle
- All-American Hits Home Run With Baseball Apparel Hustle: After first learning Adobe Photoshop to forge his report card, a Hawaiian baseball enthusiast creates an apparel line that goes on to earn millions of dollars
- A Visit to the Ballpark Inspires a Unique Fashion Item: A couple decides to go into manufacturing novelty baseball sweaters after receiving a lot of attention about them at a baseball game
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work! Yours in the revolution,
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To infinity and beyond,