9 min 21 sec

Ex-Baseball Players Hit Home Run With Baseball Bat Subscriptions

Two former baseball players create a bat rental service, serving thousands of customers across the country.
High Profit Reselling Sports Subscription

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What It's About

Two old friends take a swing at leveling the playing field for financially strapped baseball players.

Business Model
Skills Required
Power of Observation & Resourcefulness
Profit Potential

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.

Fun Fact

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

Episode 493

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!


  • 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!


Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Earn 50,000 travel rewards points (enough for 2 round-trip plane tickets or $625 in travel credit). You'll also earn 2x points on all travel and dining spend, with zero foreign transaction fees.

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Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

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Quote of the Day
"If you're going to launch something that hasn't really been tested by anyone else, first prove the model, and then test and retest before committing to a direction."
—Oscar Llarena #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau