July 09, 2008
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Stars and Stripes caps and how they were a great idea that was falling victim to some poor execution.
One of the reasons I felt that way was because Major League Baseball had yet to divulge how much money from each hat was going to the Welcome Back Veterans charity named in the effort.
Was it a nominal amount and were we picking up the whole tab by paying the $3 extra per hat?
Or was it something really designed to raise real money to help those who serve our country and was MLB kicking back part of its profits, too?
Since a few of us (ie: Paul Lukas at Uniwatch and me) wanted to make sure MLB wasn't disguising a merchandising effort as a charity drive, we dug a little deeper and asked some questions. Before posting anything, I called MLB and gave a spokesperson a chance to find out the appropriate information and become a little more transparent. Lukas did the same and we were both promised the information when the spokesperson found it.
Now it's more than two weeks later and still neither of us have heard anything.
Meanwhile, the hats — which were worn by teams last weekend — have become a sales success.
"A source at MLB.com checked in yesterday with the following info about the star-spangled caps: 'Just Sunday and Monday, they sold almost $250,000 worth of these hats JUST on the mlb.com online store. That doesn't count sales at the game, sales at stores, or sales at other online sites. They have been the top-selling items all weekend. Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Phillies were the top four, in that order. They are far and away the best-selling item we had last week and one of the hottest-selling items this year.'
All very nice, what with 'a portion of the proceeds' going to charity. Still waiting to hear what the portion is and what portion, if any, MLB is pocketing."
I'm not exactly sure why MLB is being so secretive here, but after thousands of fans have embraced this cause with their own money and good intentions, I think it's about time they become a little more clear about the money being raised and contributed. Believe me, I have no problem posting a nice press release saying that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been collected for our vets.
All the league has to do is send me the info.