Marketing Strategies In Sports


Tremendous changes have taken place in many competitive positions in various sports and this is a consequence of media’s ability to portray and show these sporting competitions throughout the world. The contribution of television is immense in the emergence of restructured competitions that are new. Because of changes in environmental conditions, sport managers have been forced to develop novel marketing strategies with regard to their sports and

Marketing Strategies In Sports

this has led to creation and development of the department of sport marketing .As a result of these, many marketing specialists have been employed in various sporting organizations. Indeed marketing has assumed a significant role in sporting organizations than management functions because it is and it will always remain to be the principal means through which clubs within the various sports can compete when off field. For example, large firms have the option of pursuing acquisition strategies to enables them build their market share or they are interested, they can also engage in diversification or product development

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Planning process in sport-marketing

Planning for sport marketing involves the following steps;

  1. Analyzing external environment, the public that will be served by a given sporting event and forces that drive completion in the industry.
  2. Analyzing sporting organizations and clubs internally in order to determine their objectives, missions and goals and their SWOT.
  3. Examination of marketing intelligence data and how it relates to the existing range products.
  4. Determination of specific mission of marketing and time –bound specific objectives
  5. Determination of the main marketing strategies using a mix of marketing variables. Identification and selection of better competitive positions relative to identified competitive advantages that are sustainable.
  6. Establishment of tactical means of achieving the objectives and formulation of benchmarks that will be used to measure progress

Sport competition environment                  

  1. External forces

There are various environmental factors that require consideration and they are forces that have an indirect effect on the organization. These include the social trends, technology, demographic trends, political forces, economic climate, and government legislations. Sporting clubs have to monitor each of the above forces. For example, government legislations can change the economic base of a sporting industry by means of legislative changes. In addition, technology has the ability of changing business operation to sporting organizations. For example, mobile phones e-mail and internet has changed the way organizations including sporting organizations communicate with officials, members, coaches, and players. Technology has become a vital source of information to fans. Technology has also

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played a big role in the marketing mix especially promotion mix. Political forces that affect sport include government polies that directly affect the sporting activity. In most instances, when a new government comes into power, it often formulates new policies that may affect sports either on a positive way or in a negative way. Social and demographic trends affect sports especially why, when and how the communities communicate with the sport marketers. For example, we cannot assume that sport consumers in societies that are diversified have the same response on given marketing strategies or that they will, all respond the same in a given sport.

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  1. Industry competition

Sport organizations have to monitor the industry in which they compete. Forces that managers have to review in the examination of competition and attractiveness of the industry include;

  1. Competition intensity between firms that exist within the industry.
  2.  Buyers’ bargaining power
  3.  Products substitute threats
  4. Suppliers bargaining power
  5. New entrants threats

Industry’s attractiveness is measured by how profitable it is. Winning games and viability are outcomes that are important and are the primary measure of determining the attractiveness of a given sporting organization. For example, in English premier league, the number of teams and their location in respect to market helps to determine the market attractiveness of a given club in terms of its viability. In addition, other factors that determine the attractiveness of the sporting industry include the economic base where these sporting clubs or activities are situated, professional sports existing in the market and other leisure or recreation pursuits that compete for disposable income.

  1. Competition intensity

Competition intensity is the first force with the sporting industry. For example, in cases of football premier leagues, number of teams and where they are located provide the first indicators of how the sporting event is intense in terms of competition. Competition is sporting clubs is further increased when sporting codes that are also seeking members, sponsors and spectators are also present. In any codes, though the number of teams is large in the market, the numbers of exit barriers have remained high. However, club loyalty, emotion and tradition in most cases override economic inadequacies that some of this clubs experience and this explains why it is difficult to achieve a favorable geographic balance among teams that compete in these leagues.

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  1. Buyers’ bargaining power

Consumers or sport buyers are finite relative to team numbers and their location in a given market and this affect completion intensity of clubs with regard to how they are able to attract sponsors, spectators, and members. Sponsorship, attendance, and membership revenues are the core source of all incomes that sporting clubs are able to generate. Customers have an ability to make price go down and demand that services offered to them have to be of high quality. In cases where there are many teams located in one market, there is always exacerbation of consumer leverage, though in some leagues, sport consumers have minimal leverage because club membership have standardized price to all teams members in the league and attendance cost is  same to all games. However, the financial powered of clubs lies in their bargaining power and how they are able to convince sponsors who are seeking to select lucrative club benefits. The bargaining power of sponsors tend to strengthen if the number of clubs in a given market increases.

  • Product substitute threats

Product sustainability is a major force and it involves provision of recreation and other leisure activities that offer similar benefits like those provided when one participate in sporting activities. This is the greatest force that provide the greatest competitive challenge to sporting leagues. In the name of entertainment, various products have the greatest potential of attracting consumer’s money that is normally spent in leisure pursuits. Some of these activities may include other sporting activities, theatres, videos and movies. Strength of the above substitutes is determined by the cost incurred on each one of them. If these substitute products have a lower cost both psychologically and financially, then there is a high probability that consumers will switch and therefore the initial sporting activity becomes susceptible under all scope to substitution. This potentially erodes profits and major clubs in such circumstances can only be served finally by brand loyalty. This also explains why in such circumstances club’s psychological association is important than any economic considerations.

  1. Suppliers’ bargaining power

In any industry, suppliers have an ability of exerting their bargaining power on the concerned industrial participants by either reducing or raising qualities of services and goods purchased. For the successive operation of clubs, the main required supplies are players. No marketer can claim exclusive control on the supply of players and in fact, this is the only area where marketers cannot control product quality. Players bargaining power can erode the profit of an industry because of their higher salary demand, which in some cases is extremely higher than the cost used to procure them. And because some clubs have unquenchable thirst to win championships and premiership, they accept the demands of this players and this partially explain why salary gaps is used to regulate sport economy.

  1. New entrant threats

New clubs or rival leagues have an ability of reducing the profit of sporting industry and in some instances the market share of the already established clubs and leagues.

  1. Publics

The external environment of sporting activities is also affected by the publics that the sport serves. These include other clubs, government agencies, the league commissioner, other leagues, members, supporters, media, and sponsors.

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Organization internal capabilities

Sporting clubs can only be able to understand the significance of internal synergies and competence of clubs by analysis the opportunities and any threats that may be present in any competition sport environment.

  1. SWOT analysis

It is an important basis of understanding clubs’ or organizational internal capabilities. It helps sport managers to match the strength and weakness of their clubs with the available opportunities in the industry and threats that can ensue. SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used by sport managers in the assessment of the internal capabilities of their clubs. Sporting clubs aims to utilize their strength and the available opportunities to gain and maintain a large market share compared to the competitors, through such means as:

  • Lower pricing policy
  • Motivation of employee by offering proper remuneration and attractive allowances
  • Increase in the units of outputs to meet customer needs.
  • To improve product packaging and promotion services.
  • Cash discounts and after-sales services will be offered to customers with good record of accomplishment.
  1. Objectives goals and Mission

Now that internal capabilities have been established, it is now necessary to state in clear terms the organization mission objectives and principal goals. Mission statement in sporting clubs provides direction, define, and clarify its

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meaning and the reason why it exist. Sporting organizational goals are broad aims that the sporting club or organization is striving to achieve. Example of sporting aims in sport organization includes:

  • Build and providing strong network and support services
  • Provide opportunities where coaches can be developed to elite status by providing accreditation programs that are well- structured and continuous learning opportunities.
  • Provision of programs to develop talents
  • Development of cohesive sport systems with clear leadership and direction
  • Support sporting activities at grassroots level
  • Brand enhancement to promote commercial opportunities
  • Improve effectiveness of marketing strategies that will ensure continued and sustained revenue
  • Development of strategic financial management systems that will provide improved commercial outcomes.
  • Event management
  • Quality research
  • Improve communication and information technology systems
  • Carry out risk management assessment across the sporting organization
  • Promotion of internal relationships

Sporting objectives have to be SMART that is Specific to a given issue, should be Measurable and Achievable. They should also be Realistic and Time bound.

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