Mike Palumbo join us on the Upper Hand Sports Pod to talk about his work as the Director of Business Development for Philadelphia Baseball Training. PBT is experiencing massive growth with even bigger plans for 2019! Additionally, Mike handles the customer experience at Philadelphia Baseball Training and coaches for the program.
You can read an overview of the interview with Mike Palumbo or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q. I understand that Philly Baseball Training was started in 2014 with one travel team and one indoor clinic, and you have seen tremendous growth over the past four years. Now you guys are supporting multiple travel teams, have instructions at all levels, and do rentals for teams. Can you tell us a couple of your keys to success and business growth?
A. Yeah. Well, I think we talk about all the time-what can we do to keep growing? I think it starts with good people and committed people. My bosses, for example, one named Joe Lake who I worked with a company called The Baseball Factory for 10 years, played baseball Division 1 at James Madison, and my other boss Andrew McDonnell who worked for another company called All-Star Baseball Academy played Division 1 baseball as well. So they had tons of experience in the baseball world before they started this company.
And so I think it starts with them. They’re very knowledgeable and they work unbelievably hard, you know, not only nine to almost nine o’clock at night most days but on weekends as well. So I think it’s going to people and also a big part of it is knowing your market which they both did coming into this. They kind of understood where the travel baseball industry was headed, so they had a good idea of what we needed to do to be successful there.
Q. Yeah, absolutely. You said that it all starts with good committed people. After reading about Philly Baseball Training from your website, you talk a lot about team culture and specifically building and recruiting your players based on team culture. Can you explain to our listeners what team culture means to Philly Baseball Training?
A. Yeah. So, the culture that we are at least trying to create is one of players who are going to work. We’re going to work extremely hard to try and reach their goals. Playing baseball in the Northeast is a little bit of a challenge, especially in the winter months, because you can’t practice outside like a lot of places in the country. So you almost develop kind of, I guess, a gritty ballplayer, you know, someone who’s willing to take that extra step and work really hard at it. So, you know, that’s a big part of our culture and the one thing that we certainly try to look for is the player who kinda has been overlooked in a sense. You know, someone who maybe hasn’t gotten the type of recognition that they think they should get and we’re willing to absolutely give that guy a fair chance at getting what type of recognition he should be getting. So that’s a big part of it.
Q. And you mentioned being in the Northeast, certainly tough with the weather. We kinda get some of that here in Indianapolis as well. So I mean that’s obviously a challenge but what other challenges do you face on whether it was in starting Philly Baseball Training or even currently?
A. Well, the travel baseball world has really exploded I would say in the last few years. I mean you’re seeing travel teams pop up left and right, like crazy. It feels like everyone wants to start to travel team now. So that’s a big thing-that you’re almost (and it’s kinda difficult) but you’re almost playing free agency in a sense with a lot of players and you’re like “hey, well, you should, you know, you should play for us as opposed to this other team or this other team”. And then you kinda look back and you say, well, you know, this is almost has a free agency feel to it anymore. So we are constantly competing with what seems like again thousands or even hundreds of travel teams.
So that’s a big piece of it and just trying to offer the best product that we can offer but also as a startup. It’s getting your name out there. That’s a huge piece of it for us is getting your name out there. But again, when you’re playing that game with free agencies, you know your 14 year old kid or 15 year old kid you want to go to with the “popular team.” So we’re, we’re trying to become, you know, not just the popular team but also in the best team that we can be. So those are those are big challenges and other teams have already established themselves, big names. You know, the Arsenal and in New Jersey where Mike Trout played a few years ago, Mid Atlantic Show and Canes for example. I mean those are some of the really big travel ball organization. So you’re in a sense competing with them. It’s tough but that’s what we’re here to do.