Baseball And A Book: The New Tattered Cover Is Catering To Sports Fans
It’s been a big month for sports both in the Southwest and around the world. Last week, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game came to Denver, followed by the Phoenix Suns' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA final. And of course, the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo are finally underway.
And where there are sports, there are businesses looking to profit off the influx of foot traffic. During the All-Star Game, economists projected an economic boost between $50 and $190 million in the city of Denver and surrounding areas.
Bars, restaurants and hotels weren’t the only industries looking to make extra money during the event. Tattered Cover, the beloved Colorado independent bookstore chain, also spent the week catering to baseball fans travelling from across the country.
Back in June, Tattered Cover opened a new location in McGregor Square, a pedestrian shopping area across the street from Coors Field. Colorado Edition’s Alana Schreiber visited just hours before the All-Star Game to catch up with book-reading baseball fans and learn how the business has rebranded since its recent move.
Alana Schreiber: When Rachel Kovacs drove up from Colorado Springs to attend the All-Star game last Tuesday, she made a quick stop.
Rachel Kovacs: I didn’t know there were so many books written about baseball. This is super cool.
Schreiber: She’s wearing a Cubs jersey, but she didn’t come to the All-Star Game just to see her favorite Chicago players take the field. She planned to stop at Tattered Cover.
Kovacs: I love this, I’m on their newsletter and I’ve been hearing about this for a couple of weeks. I’m a Cubs (fan) and avid reader and there’s all these books on the Cubs and I never knew there were that many books written about them at Wrigley Field. So it’s cool.
Schreiber: Outside of the Tattered Cover bookstore were three large tents, filled with books about baseball. There was everything from Negro League encyclopedias to player autobiographies, to children’s books, including a top seller that tells the true story of a former catcher who also served as a World War II spy.
And aside from just offering over 1,000 titles all about America’s pastime, Tattered Cover spent All-Star week hosting panels and book signings from well-known baseball writers. In other words, fully taking advantage of their new location.
Oren Teicher: Baseball fans are readers. Look at all these books.
Schreiber: Oren Teicher is the former CEO of the American Booksellers Association and currently serves on the board for Tattered Cover. But, those are just his official titles.
Teicher: I’m helping the new owners and I’m a fanatic baseball fan so I helped put this collection together.
Schreiber: Tattered Cover planned this relocation before they knew the All-Star game was coming to Denver. Still, the goal was always to dig into the sports fan market.
Teicher: We are the only indie bookstore that we know of in America that’s in the shadow of a major league ballpark. We knew we were going to try to do well with baseball books. And then of course when major league baseball announced they were moving the All-Star Game here, we thought, this is an opportunity to showcase some baseball books. We have 1,000 titles in this collection. We think it’s the largest collection of baseball books.
Schreiber: And assembling this collection actually didn’t seem to be too difficult.
Teicher: Baseball produces more literature than any other sport by far. There are hundreds of new baseball books almost every year. We tried to put together a collection of some books that people knew about, but also give people the chance to discover things. It’s been great. So many fans are coming by saying, “I didn’t know about that book.”
Schreiber: But, as for how successful Tattered Cover has been during the All-Star Game..
Teicher: We’ve done okay. What’s happened is a lot of people have come by and looked at these books and said, “Isn’t this wonderful? But I don’t want to carry these books into the ballpark."
Schreiber: And even now that the All-Star Game is over, the marketing to baseball fans isn’t going anywhere.
Teicher: Once this is over, we’re going to put up a permanent display, not as many as this, but we will have a display in the store. Look, 70 times a year some large crowd of baseball fans will walk by our door, so we are going to try to keep selling baseball books.”