Tagged: Moneyball

Streetwise IR

“We’ve got 25 analysts. What new thing can we say to change investors’ minds?”

So lamented the IRO of a large household name this week. If everybody knows the same thing everywhere, how can you distinguish yourself? Tone of voice? Outfit? Teeth-whitening?

We live in the Age of When. It’s not what you know, but when you know it. For instance, Elmore Leonard died yesterday. I read nearly every book he wrote and my bookshelves before Kindle gave me one-finger page-turning were packed with the paper pulp Leonard crafted so artfully, redefining snappy street dialogue in fiction. You should read one if time permits. Cuba Libre is a favorite.

Word first went in a Tweet from his publisher that Leonard had died – which then spread around to media outlets and a New York Times alert that landed in my email spam folder.

WHEN has replaced WHAT. It’s a lesson for IR. If you set a goal to change your shareholder base by incorporating more value money, you’ll succeed if it precedes a crushing collapse in business fundamentals that routs growth holders, followed by a focus on cost controls and core drivers. (more…)

A Blueprint for Modern IR Strategy

There are old guys around a table watching video.

No. They’re not IR professionals. But stay with me for two minutes.

One says, “He’s got a good swing.”

“He’s got the build of a hitter,” adds another.

“Been playing ball his whole life,” a third guy says.

In last year’s Brad Pitt movie, Moneyball, baseball scouts size up players with the right look because that’s the way it’s always been done.

The movie tells how Billy Beane at the Oakland A’s stood that idea on its head and transformed baseball with data-analytics. What wins games? Runners on base. By any means. For the rest of that story, see the movie.

The rest of our story here is a radical IR proposal. For the past 20 years, the investor-relations profession has relied on our industry’s version of “the build of a good hitter.” You do certain things because that’s the way it’s always been done.

What if there’s more to it? As data-analytics has transformed baseball, internet search, how grocery-store shelves are stocked, and the way advertisements connect people and products, it should also transform IR. (more…)

Moneyball in Your Shares

We missed part of the Super Bowl tromping snowshod through a chamber-of-commerce snapshot 3,000 feet above Denver. We’ve tallied 20 inches of grade-A, premium Rockies powder the past five days.

Speaking of grade A, have you seen the movie Moneyball? If not, rent it. For story, cast, script, direction and acting, we don’t think better has been done in years. We were riveted.

“Moneyball” is a term writer Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, Blindside) coined to describe the application of statistics to baseball-team construction. Pressed to deliver returns economically, Billy Beane, manager of the Oakland Athletics, turned to proprietary data analytics, aided by a young gun from Harvard with a degree in economics. It changed baseball.

Before Beane, who’d heard of OBP or OBA? – on-base percentage or on-base average. Baseball teams bought players on how they looked, how they swung, their runs batted in, their average, even if they had a good-looking girlfriend (sign of confidence). Classic old-school fundamentals. (more…)