The Indianapolis Colts present strategy and structure has been a model of consistency over the better part of the last decade. With an outstanding winning percentage of 71.8%, (115-45) one might be baffled at how a small market team could sustain such an advantage over the rest of the competition (Frenette).
Strategically, the Colts are like any other mainstream organization outside of the sporting world. They thrive on the ability to develop young talent through a learning-curve process; where top level executives (management) establish what the organization is looking for through an evaluation process. The process is then filtered down to managers (coaches) who are able to exploit employees (players) strengths that would have otherwise gone un-noticed and fill their systematic needs. As a result, the end consumers (fans) and sponsors are able to make themselves or their company synonymous with a winner. The key to this formula is not just one part but a combination of complex factors that facilitate the end result, winning football games. SWOT Analysis
An important strength that was stated above is the ability to find talent. This lies directly in the hands of the team president Bill Polian. In a league where so much emphasis is put on the individual, Polian focuses more on team cohesion, character, and fitting into a specific system. Startling as it may be, the Colts Super Bowl team featured 15 (out of 22) starters who were drafted by this man. His first pick came in 1998 (Peyton Manning) when the Colts owner Jim Irsay gave up a third round pick to the Carolina Panthers in order to acquire Polian’s services (Frenette). Instead of signing high priced free agents like most other teams are tempted to do because of the short-term benefits, he is more inclined to be more economical and tap hidden resources. Then, if you develop within the system Polian will likely reward a player’s effort financially. Even with all of the success the team has had, it is even more remarkable to find it ranked 29th in team salaries for the 2010 season (NFL Salaries 2010). These abilities of Polian, provide the organization with a distinctive competence because it is unique and has been unmatched by rivals.
Another strength that should not go unnoticed is the seamless organizational changes the Colts have been able to make. For example their coach Jim Caldwell, who is entering his second season as head coach, was an assistant coach for seven years in a number of positions before taking over for Tony Dungy (). This recent trend has been happening at all stages of the organization, from players all the way up through ownership. By giving ownership, coaches, and/or players time to mold the next person into line; the chances of failure are reduced, and the brand can continue to thrive. This would qualify as a core competence because it is an essential part of their strategy and resides in the staff and knowledge based.
The last strength would be where the Colts play home games, Lucas Oil Stadium. It features a retractable roof, seating capacity of 63,000, two enormous high definition television screens, 137 suites, and a grand view of the Indianapolis skyline (Lucas Oil Stadium). So far for the 2010 season, the stadium has been filled to an average capacity of 67,072 (2010 Football Attendance). The playing surface is composed of a synthetic turf, which is very much like grass but does not require detailed attention on a daily basis and is more cost-effective. By only having to invest 100 million of out the 725 million it cost to build, the Colts were able to minimize their level of capital exposure and still maintain a consistent winning attitude (Lucas Oil Stadium).
Like any other organization, the Colts have their own internal troubles. Sometimes it is hard to fathom a weakness within such a successful organization? Well, there are a wide...
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