While baseball fans cheer at the World Series this month, American Information Systems customers will be fielding fly balls batted by AIS employees. Seven years ago AIS was a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., start-up eager to build customer loyalty for its integrated telephone and computer systems. CEO Jack Namer found baseball to be the ticket.

Today each of AIS's 61 offices has sold customers on a 10-month-season baseball program playing against AIS-employee and other customer teams. The top teams play off in a championship series at the New York Yankees' spring-training field in Fort Lauderdale. AIS, today a $15-million company, picks up the tab for the weekend series. "If they switch vendors, our customers have to turn in their uniforms," says Namer. "They're loyal."