Why Albert Pujols Would Fail at Online Business

Being a sports fan is in my blood.  My dad used to take me to Kansas City Royals baseball games and Chiefs football games on a regular basis.  It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

I know more “sophisticated” people find professional sports “silly” or a waste of time.  But for me, watching sports is a stress reliever.  A good way to “check out” for awhile.  Kind of like watching a soap opera.

And the big news yesterday that my St. Louis Cardinals had lost their star, Albert Pujols, to the Los Angeles Angels is proof that the business of professional baseball is about as far from the reality of most business as a soap opera is from real life.

Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $250 million dollar contract with the Angels, after snubbing the Cardinals’ offer of a mere $200 million for the same time period.

In the world of online business, where “relationship marketing” rules, Pujols’ move was a major fail.

When it comes to baseball at least, St. Louisans understand relationship marketing.  Business isn’t really about clever advertising and price wars.

It’s about developing positive relationships with people.  In the appropriate moment then, people will do business with you because they know, like and trust you.

It appeared that the people of St. Louis had such a relationship with Albert Pujols.  We sat through cold and rain, biting wind and blistering heat.  Cheering loudly at his each “at bat.”  We spent hours fashioning handmade signs bearing Pujols’ name and number 5, and effort dragging them into the stadium and positioning them in already-too-small seats.

We paid hundreds of dollars for our kids to have “Pujols 5” jerseys.  A couple of months ago we even unveiled a bronze statue of him that sits just outside the stadium.  We supported the Pujols 5 restaurant, and Pujols’ Down’s Syndrome charity inspired by his own child who carries the diagnosis.

And it appeared that this relationship wasn’t one-sided.  During his 10-plus years in St. Louis, Albert Pujols professed a desire to be a St. Louis Cardinal for life.  He talked about how baseball to him was about the championships – the rings – not the money.

But when it came time to do business with St. Louis again, he turned his back on the relationship and bought based on price alone.  Or maybe not.  Moving to the American League means that when the inevitable day comes that Pujols is no longer the superstar, he can still hang on to his career by a thread and become the illustrious “designated hitter.”

It’s all about the money.  And what’s in it for him.

And I suggest that is a lesson for you in how not to do business.

If you have an online business, or really any small business, you will find that people don’t buy based solely on price and what they get in exchange for their money.

I have paid more at a local store than I could get things for at Amazon.  I have paid more for an information product from an online business (and gotten fewer “bonuses”) because I wanted to buy from a certain affiliate over another.

I have had people ask me if I was an affiliate for a certain product because they wanted to buy from me if I was.  I have had people request my affiliate link when setting up services for their online business.  Not because they could get it cheaper from me.  But because we had a relationship.

More and more in the real world, that’s how business is done.  Based on relationships.  Based on value and service to others.

Maybe Albert Pujols doesn’t understand relationship marketing.  Or maybe in the business of baseball he doesn’t have to care.

Maybe his decision will be good for him and his career.  Maybe not.

In the end, if he decides to go the popular route of becoming an entrepreneur upon his retirement, he better look me up for some coaching if wants to have any hope of running a successful business. . .

JENNIFER HERNDON is a work at home mom with three fabulous kids, ages 3, 4 and 7. She has been enjoying the time freedom and financial benefits of working at home for over 13 years. Jennifer’s passion is empowering others to personal and business success through a positive mindset and consistent action.

Jennifer credits the turn-around in her online business to Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan, the perfect tool for planning a successful life. Here’s your chance to be inspired and guided daily by the world’s greatest business philosopher. Create your future with Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan and start improving your life and your business today!


  1. 1. I love any article that discusses sports and relates the lessons to marketing.
    2. I visited KC-Mo for the first time this summer. Stayed at the luxurious warm (re: no working ac) Hotel Phillips. Brief business trip, never had the “Gates BBQ” people speak of.
    3.Pujols is a hottie.
    4. You’re definitely correct about this being an example of how not to do business – with slight exception. One of the things I don’t always take personally – at least not yet – is an athlete’s decision to leave a city he or she is playing for. (Don’t get me wrong; the minute Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Osi Umenyiora, or Ahmad Bradshaw leave the Giants, I’m probably going to make an effigy.) But the fact remains one has to consider what’s in their best interests in relation to the team and themselves in sports… not always the City. They’ll give what they can and have a place in their heart for their cities, but when it’s time to roll, they’ll roll. Kind of like when your favorite candy or shapewear style is discontinued by a merchant; you love it, they love it, but at the end of the day it’s business and financials first.

    Great explanation of the importance of online marketing and how this type of behavior would play out. As you’ve mentioned, I too have sought out – or been sought out for – affiliate links to support my or someone else’s business. As it stands, what I love about the transparency of some online business relationships is the ability to openly give your link to the supporters, audience members and friends who want it because your relationship is valued.

    Now, I’m going back to the NFL Sunday games to wait for my (fantasy hubby) Cruz to take on the Cowboys!

  2. Love, love, love this “It’s about developing positive relationships with people. In the appropriate moment then, people will do business with you because they know, like and trust you.” You are right on!

  3. Love how you related this to building relationships in business!! It’s sad how sports superstars are so short-sighted (some, not all) and see only the dollar signs. Whether it’s sports or business, no one lasts very long without the support of a loyal fan base. That only comes from nurturing a relationship. Thanks for a great post, Jennifer.

  4. Thanks for this real life example of what its all about in the small business arena, or large business for that matter.

  5. This is wonderful! It’s all about relationships!

  6. Great post! It IS about doing business based on relationships, value and service … not ‘what’s in it for me!’ Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

  7. When it comes to being in business, relationships make the difference between getting customers and turning them in to loyal clients.

  8. What a great illustration of what NOT to do. And your description of WHY people purchase from us is so encouraging….the consistent connection ‘even’ (especially) online creates a connection that folks want to maintain in many areas, not just ‘one’ crazily amazing product that sells itself.

  9. Love this post Jennifer! I completely agree with you…it’s all about the relationship! As you mentioned, I too will buy from specific people even if they are more expensive because it’s all about the relationship. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  10. Great post Jennifer, relationships are so important and this point can’t be stressed enough.

  11. I definitely agree with you that business is based on relationship, value and service to other. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer.

  12. So true, Jennifer. People look to see who you are. They get to know you, see if they can trust you and when the need arises, they will come to you. Completely agree it is all about relationship building. Thanks for sharing! x0x
    The LEARNED Preneur @ NormaDoiron.NET

  13. I believe in service, value and quality, when these three are catered together with strong relationship people will trust and happy to invest in what business has to offer. Thank you so much Jennifer ~ love it! 🙂

  14. I love this article, Jennifer! It’s all about relationship building. People have a better chance of knowing, liking and trusting you as you grow your relationship with them. It’s so important. Thank you. Happy Holidays {hugs}

  15. Great post and thoughts!
    Thanks for sharing,


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