Every year around this time, I call my friend Tony Funderberg at the Gateway Grizzlies--the minor league baseball team from Illinois. Tony's the general manager.
You see, in a time when ballpark food isn't all that creative, Tony is what I call an innovator. He's the guy who has brought us the Krispy Kreme burger and the deep fried slider and this year, he's coming out with "Baseball's Best Soft Pretzel."
It's probably the healthiest of the three. It's a SuperPretzel marinated in Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce served with a slice of mozzarella cheese severed with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing.
But it's not the dish itself that innovative. It's the fact that Tony sold the rights to the product.
Instead of just selling the thing, he got J&J Snack Foods, which makes the SuperPretzel and Frank's Red Hot, which makes the sauce, to give him the products for free. And they'll pay him an additional sponsorship fee for ballpark signage and a wrapper that will come with the pretzel with both logos on it.
That makes the $3.50 the team charges the fan for the pretzel pure profit. Now that's smart and if other teams are watching, they should be doing it too.
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