Sports Marketing: the Basics

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Question 1: Major revenue sources for professional leagues or teams: a) overall challenges b) unique challenges a) Unpredictability: You never know if fans will come to a game and how much (concessions and merchandise) they will consume. There is also unpredictability in companies’ willingness to broadcast, license, or sponsor sporting events. Success: Although not required, a winning product is critical for generating revenue from fans; gate, concession, and merchandising, and companies; broadcasting, sponsorship, and licensing revenue. Marketing: all revenue sources are dependent on marketing’s 4 Ps; delivering a quality product at a reasonable price to fans by way of promotion. Internal aspects: What a sports entity does must fit with organizational objectives, and fan culture, including seeking generating specific revenues. External aspects: All major revenue streams are dependent on the ability to adapt to the ever-changing world. b) Gate revenues: There are many franchises that sell out even when performance is poor, while franchises struggle in attendance even when at the top of the standings. How can a great team have poor attendance and vice-versa? Broadcasting: With the increase in new technology and decline of traditional mediums, how can entities ensure that fans will use traditional media mediums. Merchandising: with increase in black market items, how to deal with counterfeiting. Concessions: How to offer traditional staples in a health conscious format? Internet: How to shift a non-tech fan to use new technologies? Naming Rights: Fans often feel a disconnect because stadiums are named after non-related companies. How do you get fans to connect teams and companies without giving the impression of selling out to corporate interests? Question 2: a) key learnings from guest speakers b) key learnings from case assignments a) Montreal Impact, John Di Terlizzi: The need to use relationship marketing to build brand awareness for the Impact team, the MLS, and the sport. In a city where media is committed to NHL, media coverage must be selected to appeal to the widest range of fans. The strategy communicates three main pillars; sharing and expanding the brand through a fan database (tell the story), building buzz around the Impact, MLS, and soccer (spin the story), and sell tickets (sell the story). Telling the story involves promoting Soccer; a sport that is relatively uncovered in Montreal. Spinning the story involves building relationships with ticket purchasers, season ticket holders, and businesses through social media to communicate with fans and build buzz. Selling the story involves monetizing relationships with fans through ticket sales, broadcast rights, and partnerships with Montreal bars and pubs as Montreal Impact partners. Montreal Alouettes, Ray Lalonde: Although for the past 15 years, the Montreal Alouettes have been one of the most successful teams in the CFL, profitability has been low; breaking even only 1 time. The team relies on revenue streams; ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships, licensed products, to cover expenses; marketing, promotions, and player salaries. Stadium attendance is at a low given the increase in accessible television broadcasts in high-definition; saving consumers the hassle of traffic, lineups, and expensive prices. The organization needs to find a way to increase in stadium fan experience, enticing them to attend games. Monetizing fan relationships are of particular value, providing the organization with higher revenues. New focus on social media is a potential tool for the organization to use. Tampa Bay Rays, Darcy Raymond: The Rays use a business model that focuses on what surrounds the product; marketing, fan experience, off-field experiences, as well as ticket sales, sponsorship, advertising, and broadcast rights as revenue streams. The Rays rely on creating fan experience, ensuring that the on-field experiences are complimented by off-field experiences. The Rays use...
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