Marketing Audit Paper- PRCL Vancouver
As time goes on our society has begun to accept people for who they are and put less emphasis on race, gender and sexual orientation. The sport market has opened up to the homosexual community even though from a “national survey done by NBC reported 61% of people stated homosexuality should not be accepted yet 86% of people agreed that it is okay for male athletes to participate in sports even if they are openly gay” (Hardy et al, 2007. p138). Although there is still a vast amount of controversy within this topic the sport market has labeled the LGBT market “an untapped goldmine” (Hardy et al, 2007. p138). This trend is apparent with the Pacific Rim Curling League – Vancouver’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) curling league, that went from a few friends in 1980 to a collaboration of 48 teams in 2012.
The Pacific Rim Curling League (PRCL) began as a small curling bonspiel in the early 1980’s for the gay and lesbian community. They congregated at the Thunderbird Sports Centre at UBC on a drop in basis. The success of this league led to the formation of a gay and lesbian curling league in 1983. The Pacific Rim, as it was called, was the first gay and lesbian curling league in Western Canada. In 1993 when the Thunderbird Sports Complex closed its curling arena, the league seemed at a loss. Without a place to practice they would no longer be able to sustain a league. None the less, what seemed like a tragic dead end turned out to be an opportunity for growth when the league moved over to the Vancouver Curling Club that year. With this move, the league was able to grow to 20 teams with a stable program and expansion into the LGBT division. Being partnered with the Vancouver Curling Club gave them benefits along with exposure. After the building of Hillcrest Centre for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the team was able to shift into the facility in 2011. This move led to their most recent expansion to 48 teams as a part of their league.
The Hillcrest Centre is located close to many sporting facilities such as Nat Bailey Stadium, the Vancouver Gymnastics Club, Millennium Sports Centre, and an Olympic Centre. Along with this, a branch of the Vancouver Public Library and an aquatic centre are attachments to the Hillcrest Centre. This makes the Hillcrest Centre a prime location for the PRCL to attract people to their sport and enjoy it from great proximity in their downstairs viewing lounge right next to the ice – this enhances the game form.
The PRCL holds many bonspiels in a varied array, ranging from fun and non-competitive to the more competitive and National Championships. In 2012 the PRCL held the Canadian Gay Curling Championships at the Hillcrest Centre, bringing teams from all over the nation in competition of a lifetime. In tandem with this the PRCL held their annual Pacific Rim Cup. The PRCL holds various bonspiels to achieve trophies donated by generous members or alumni of the club. As mentioned previously, there are many fun events as well as serious events. No matter what the event, the large growth of the league brings together members of the community and their families in an event where they congregate in the lounge at the arena with some burgers and drinks while mingling with other members alike.
Historically the league has consisted mainly of male players but people of all age, gender, and sexual orientation are welcome. Some of the stereotypes around curling are highlighted in the fact that it’s said to be a gentlemen’s sport and it’s precisely what we witness in most of the bonspiels. Although, more than before, woman are starting to become a part of the sport with the majority of them holding positions in the background helping with the setup of events, decorations, and the administrative side of the league. Another proposed reason for this is the level of affluence...