The Stadium Model of Entrepreneurship: How to Think Like a Sports Franchise to Unlock More Profit From Your Business

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Professional sports teams have the best business model no one ever talks about.

That’s what Vincent Pugliese from Membership Freedom shared, drawing parallels between running a successful business and how sports franchises operate.

Vincent helps people build successful membership sites and communities around topics they care about.

He previously shared his freelance-to-freedom story of going from making $30k a year to earning $30k in a single day through freelancing.

In this episode, Vincent explains the “Stadium Model of Entrepreneurship.” This model draws inspiration from how sports franchises operate, offering various levels of access and products to their audience.


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Round 1: The Stadium Model of Entrepreneurship

Vincent believes that sports has the greatest business model that nobody talks about.

During his 20+ years of being a professional sports photographer, he learned that sports have the greatest business model because they focus on building a stadium, not a one-off sale.

The Seattle Seahawks play football—they don’t try to be all things to all people.

And they play in Lumen Field in Downtown Seattle. They don’t go to Tacoma to play soccer, Walla Walla to play tennis, or Spokane to try to play baseball.

That’s what most solopreneurs do. They try to do too many things in too many ways, and they never become known for anything. 

But Seattle Seahawks took that one core thing they do and created multiple offerings and pricing tiers.


  • free content (blog, podcast, or listening to the game on the radio
  • the cheapest nosebleed seats
  • more expensive tickets
  • luxury boxes
  • private events
  • merchandise and concessions

All of these income streams—from free to luxury—are based around one game, in one stadium. And at every level, a certain percentage of the audience would be willing to pay way more for a different/better/more exclusive experience.

This idea is explored in more depth in Perry Marshall’s book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing.

Round 2: Donate a Business Idea

“Instead of thinking about just college, [think about] what are you interested in doing?”

Too many people reach their 20s without a clue about investing, saving for a home, managing money wisely, etc.

We see a huge gap in the market for this type of education.

If there was a way to educate and engrave those important personal finance habits and skills while kids are still 14–18 years old, it could change their future prospects and financial well-being.

This business could take many forms, from online courses and workshops to in-person coaching, or any number of other content/training delivery mechanisms.

The key is to get parents involved and make the learning engaging and relevant to teenagers.

Round 3: The Triple Threat

Here are Vincent’s top tips in the final round:

Marketing Tactic

Long-form social media posts. While most people are drawn to short-form videos and memes, Vincent has found success creating more in-depth written posts. This helps stop the scroll, get people thinking, and position yourself as an expert voice.

Favorite Tool

Not a digital tool, but the mindset around “Don’t Break the Chain” and dedicating consistent time each day to the two most important tasks in his business: content creation and relationship-building. This involves committing to a daily habit and marking it off on a calendar.

Book Recommendation

Your Music and People by Derek Sivers. Though not a “business” book per se, this book about the music industry has some innovative and unconventional marketing ideas that all entrepreneurs can apply.

Final Thoughts

Creating this type of model won’t happen overnight, but it’s a powerful mental framework for long-term business growth.

And I’d argue it’s much easier to add new revenue streams and delivery mechanisms when you have focus and commitment in your niche, rather than constantly chasing the next shiny object or business idea.

Episode Links

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

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