Sixty-two percent of youths who are affiliated with Rocky Sports Team (RST) participated in various sports that were organized last year. Currently, 3,000 youths are between the ages of 5 and 18, this age bracket being the primary target for RST. 70 percent of those who participated are from the metro area, and the remaining ones are from the suburbs. This can be attributed to the fact that the suburbs have strong youth sport and ample financial support that existed way before RST started. The late start among the children in the metro area, especially the girls, has for long denied the youth an opportunity to participate in various sporting activities. Due to the increased awareness carried out by the RST, the metro area youths have responded positively. The children in the metro area should be given an opportunity to start in sports and education regardless of their gender, race, age, community, age, or income. Hence, the RST program makes sure that it incorporates all the youths in its sporting activities without any discrimination.
Sport refers to all the activities where an individual is involved in active participation. Sports marketing, on the other hand, relates to a collection of physical activities. It can be termed as a full array of commercial undertakings that surround particular sports. Sports marketing can be segmented into sports production, sports performance, and sports promotion. The sports performance includes all the elements that are related to sports speciation and participation. These may include sports education, amateur and professional sports, non-profit sports, and memberships-based sports. Sports production involves all those products that are required in order for sports performance to be produced. Sports promotion includes all the services and products that are related to promotion of sports. The present paper analyzes how sports marketing impacts different sports stakeholders.
Description of the Product and Its Entities
Economically, the term sports product refers to the sports goods or services. It is offered to the participants so that their need for the game can be satisfied. The parties to sports may include but are not limited to the viewers, spectators, sponsors, or the active participants themselves (Blakey, 2011). The sports product has several unique features that make it different from the products in other fields of activity. The sports organizations compete against each other and work together at the same time in order to achieve sports products and services. It is based on the fact that no sports organization or team can survive alone but in competition. For game to take place, such teams or organizations must collaborate so that they can organize an event together. The sports product is subjective and cannot be measured. The experiences of the stakeholders in the sporting activities are entirely subjective. It, therefore, becomes tough for them to measure the impact that the event had on the individuals. Also, the product cannot be predicted and lacks uniformity. Every event has different results and experiences. Again, the primary focus in sports is to expand the sports product unlike in other areas where the focus is on the product itself (Pedersen & Thibault, 2014). Due to these differences, the organizers of the competition cannot be able to control or predict the outcomes of the event. However, they can be able to focus on the performance of the players and improve the quality of the game being played. Sports marketing specialists usually have no control over sports product or service content or even their extensions. Therefore, it becomes hard to carry out research on participants’ expectations of helping to develop a product that would satisfy them. (Blakey, 2011).
The Marketplace and the Various Segments
The Rocky Sports Team targets the youths in the community. It offers its unique experience to the children by providing them with enjoyable sports. All the young people with a range of 5 to 18 years are encouraged to participate in the available sports within the team (Baker & Esherick, 2013). Rocky Sports Team does not, however, require the participants to have a previous experience, athletic ability, or any skill level. It believes that everyone can play (Baker & Esherick, 2013). The depth, breadth, and the overall quality of experience is what the Rocky Sports Team strives for in its market. Based on the demographic changes, it works hard to ensure that it reduces the cost of managing the participants. It collaborates with the guardians and parents in order to ensure that their youths have the required experience.
Rocky Sports Team exists for making sure that the youths have the most memorable experience in sports. It provides social skills and a valuable team for the increasing members of the community of private, public, and those who school at home. It offers an opportunity for the youths to be actively involved in the sporting activities throughout the year. Beginning as early as at the kindergarten level, the RST provides recreational facilities which simultaneously improve the participants’ health, athletic skills, and fitness.
RST also targets former sportsmen and sportswomen for coaching and bringing in new insights into the team because they are people who understand the sports industry better. Their engagement with the participants brings about enthusiasm for the latter (Smith & Stewart, 2015).
SWOT Analysis for the Idea
The strengths of the team include the internet, sponsorship base, program reputation, and facilities relationship. Rocky Sports Team has developed loyal and stable sponsors who have been sourced both from private and corporate sectors. The program reputation has helped the sports team to be the desirable choice for youths who want to be engaged in sport-related activities. Most of the participants send their child to participate in the program (Pedersen & Thibault, 2014). Through a facilities relationship, RST has been able to access athletics facilities which include baseball fields, gyms, football, soccer and softball fields. The internet has been a significant technological solution. It has helped the sports team to be able to register its members, communicate with them, and deliver information to the stakeholders. It has enabled the team to get and provide information at a reduced cost (Baker & Esherick, 2013).
Weaknesses of the team include the lack of training for officials and coaches, facilities, education, capital requirements, and self-challenges. The team continues to improve the way it manages its financial resources, but more funds are needed so that it can maintain a high quality of the experience being offered and also able to plan for the future demands. The fundraising strategy in place helps the team to seek for more funds that it uses while running some of its activities. There is a great need for facilities for the team since what is available is not able to cater for the demand. With the current demand for the RST program, this poses one of the greatest challenges to the team. The available funds are also insufficient to support a convenient and flexible practice schedule. The education and training needs for officials and coaches are necessary so that the team can have the best participants who understand Rocky’s philosophy, appropriate behavior, potential liability issues, and their responsibilities as participants. Staff challenges have also been witnessed in the Rocky Sports Team due to pressures that the staff experiences due to workload. There have also been challenges in addressing issues concerning the program and dealing with parents (Pedersen & Thibault, 2014).
There are opportunities that Rocky Sports Team has in the marketplace, though it competes with other players in the community for participants. It has ensured that it continues to offer meaningful and objective experience to its participants. The team has also ensured that it continues to tell the community that it serves about its existence. The well-informed community supports the team and ensures that the facilities required are readily available. The team has also identified a geographical service area that it has concentrated in. The Rocky Sports Team continues to attract the attention of the communities that its work and its decision on what location to target the participants have significantly impacted its success. It has managed its growth strategy so that it can be able to strengthen its program (Pedersen & Thibault, 2014).
There is a threat about the willingness by the public to continue providing their facilities for use by Rocky Sports Team. There is no precise ramification for this challenge in the near future, therefore posing a significant threat to the team. The availability of alternative programs has also negatively affected the RST. There has been an increasing impact of other programs, and this has posed a great challenge to the Rocky Sports Team’s market. The team has also been continually faced with liability and legal issues in its efforts to facilitate the experience for its participants that include health and safety issues, physical and verbal abuse.
Product Positioning Using Price and Level of Excitement, Price, and Level of Performance in Comparison with Other Sports Products in the Market
The sports product for RST includes baseball, gym, football, and softball. The team offers these games interchangeably as a form of creating its extensions.
Price and level of excitement
The strategy for pricing the tickets, sponsorship, and concessions are favorable and affordable for the participants
Other sports products in the market
Some do not necessarily require pricing strategies to be put in place for them to operate successively
Price and level of performance
Good performance is usually achieved through teamwork
Other sports products in the market
It does not necessarily require teamwork for good performance to be realized
Strategy for Pricing of Tickets, Concession, and Sponsorships
The main reason for pricing in sports by Rocky Sports Team is the participants’ acquisition and retention. One of its primary goals is to draw the members closer to the RST program and make sure that they remain loyal to the team. This makes it necessary to develop a dynamic pricing strategy that will help the team to meet its targets and goals. In determining the price for tickets, the RST understands that the participants and the public are not looking for transactions but for the experience. The team, therefore, improves on its value so that the members can keep on coming. Through its dynamic pricing, RST ensures that it does not charge more for everything but charges what is right for the good thing. Charging the right thing boosts the RST program (Baker & Esherick, 2013).
Getting the right amount is driven by the need for profit. Two concession stands are found at the entrances of the pitch. This is the place where the spectators and other parties of the event purchase their snacks and fast food. They are run by RST, and the profit realized is used to run the activities of the team. The prices of the products offered are determined through a good, better, and the best strategy. This refers to a pricing style where the same food is priced differently on different menus. Mostly, the best option is highly rated and has several other meals or snacks on top of the main meal. For the better, only a few additions are made to the first meal and are, therefore, moderately priced. This makes them affordable for everyone depending on one’s taste and the amount of money they want to spend (Pedersen & Thibault, 2014).
The RST uses the cost per reach strategy to price for its sponsors. Through this approach, the marketing executives evaluate the number of people that the author or the media such as radio, print, and TV can influence by using the data from the sponsorship agency or the internal sources. Those that can change a big number of people are highly priced. When pricing for the tickets, sponsorship, and concessions, RST does it critically with an aim of improving the experience for its participants.
Promotions that Will be Used to Create Awareness and Increase the Value of the Experience
Examples of advertisements that RST uses to create awareness and enhance the value of the lessons include “Are you a sports fan? If so, do not consider yourself to be alone. Rocky Sports Team is one of the most performing and fastest growing sports teams in our generation. Living without an experience within it leaves you without what is needed in sporting activities. Join them today and have a lifelong experience in sports” Another include, “Two out of seven youths risk complications that are related to heart diseases that result from obesity, and thirty percent of the youths risk being obese. Your child’s health depends on what RST offers. They help the youths keep fit and free themselves from diseases. Their experience is the best towards an active and healthy child in the future” (Masteralexis, Barr & Hums,2015).
How and Where Advertising Will Take Place
Advertisement of sports products for RST takes place through various platforms that include the magazines, newspaper, advertisement, radio, TV, direct mail, and outdoor advertising. The sponsors pay most of these advertising. This helps ensure that there is increased consumption of the sports products, and that all the targeted stakeholders are reached. Through branding and using billboards at various points along the busy roads, it helps create awareness to the motorists about the existence of the team’s products. The assumption is that when they see and hear about them in the media, they will want to know more about it. (Masteralexis, Barr & Hums,2015).
The Personal Selling Strategies
The RST uses the personal selling strategies through its staff. The staff members are taught and trained so that they can have the necessary skills to engage with the participants and general public. The workers offer the sports product at personal levels with the members and the public either through face-to-face meetings or the telephone conversation. This requires the staff to be familiar with the entire product that RST is offering. They try to convince the potential participants about the importance of joining RST. Due to its availability and ability to provide a variety of sports products, the potential participants are easily convinced, and most of them adhere to the team. The staff target especially the metro area youths because the latter are the majorities who have not yet joined sports. In the suburban areas, the staff try to convince even those that are affiliated with other teams that RST offers the best experience for its participants. Personal selling is important because it makes it possible for the staff to get an immediate response from the potential participants and the public in general (Mullin, Hardy & Sutton, 2014).
How Promotions Will Reach Various Segments
The RST reaches its various stakeholders through different channels. For the youths who are between the age of twelve and eighteen years, social media such as Facebook and Twitter are used to reach them. RST has opened accounts and added features that are attractive to the youths. This gives them a platform where they can invite even their friends. The interaction between the youths and the RST via the social media has also been enhanced through encouraging them to send comments and suggestions about the products being offered. For the guardians and the parents, the promotions reach them through local television and radios. The RST advises the parents and guardians about the importance of sports for their youths and also convinces them to engage them in the experience. One of the messages that convince the parents and guardians to participate in the program is that “sports help the youth to be physically fit, healthy, brighter, and younger”. For the youths who are below 12 years and are in school, the RST approaches their teachers so that they can sell their ideas to them because it would be easier for the teachers to convince the youths to join the RST. Using these approaches for promotion, the RST is able to reach a huge number of potential participants.
Season-Long In-Game Promotions for Halftimes and Time-Outs
During the halftimes of the football events, the RST takes the opportunity to promote its products to the participants, viewers, spectators, and the sponsors. The main idea is to let all the stakeholders understand the RST program and get to know its various products. During the halftime, the RST also gives its sponsors an opportunity to advertise and promote their products and services. The sponsors are an integral part of the RST and support the team with their finances so there is the need for recognizing them.
The contest that the game promotion was used for was between the RST juniors and the Lakers Sports Club. It was a competition match for the Elegant Regional Cup that is organized yearly for the best youths aged under eighteen. The promotional message for the RST was “The RST honors the junior’s team for their outstanding performance in the last matches and expects the same results in the current event. The team is the pride of the entire RST”. This message motivated the RST members and made them work hard so that they could win the cup (Ingram, et al. 2015).
Public Relations Strategies to Be Used
The participants and the community always prefer media news stories to paid advertising. They perceive the former to be more credible. Therefore, the RST has got a favorable media coverage used to reach the targeted audience. While using the media, the RST is assured that the public will have more interest in it. However, this method is more expensive when compared with the traditional advertising because a lot of time and labor is required to generate the media interest. The team also uses news releases that help it in delivering messages that the media cannot perform. They are brief and direct to the point. Ordinarily, they do not exceed two pages. The sensational message cannot be delivered through the media, but news releases are the best medium for passing any form of message to the public. In a news release, there is always a preference for factual information delivered precisely.
Rocky Sports Team ensures that it creates more sporting activities within the community that it operates in. Its primary objective is to ensure that the youths within the metro area enjoy sports to the same extent as those that live in the suburbs. To achieve this, it has developed a program that addresses the need for sports among youths and gives participants the necessary experience. RST uses various promotion and advertising strategies to reach its targeted market, and it has established connections with sponsors to support its activities.