A Sport Marketing Plan for New York Red Bulls Soccer Club

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A Sport Marketing Plan for New York Red Bulls Soccer Club

Executive Summary

Sports marketing is the process of implementing and designing activities for the production, pricing, promotion and distribution of sports products in satisfying consumers desires and needs as well as to the objectives of the company (Masterman, 2004). Sports marketing apply marketing concepts to sports services and products, and markets non-sports products by associating them with the sport. Therefore, sports marketing have two important features. First, it applies general marketing practices to services and products related to sports. Secondly, it markets other industrial and consumer products or services through sport. 

A sports marketer identifies the wants and needs that require to be satisfied by the process of exchange. Shilbury, Westerbeek, Quick, & Funk (2009) identify the exchange process as the action of attaining a desired need from one person by giving out something in return. A sports consumer through his/ her membership fee gains an avenue for competition, physical activity, social interaction, health and fitness as well as entertainment. A sports market mix will be used by this organization while addressing promotion mix of pricing, advertising, sales promotions and public relations. The marketing plan will explain its issues using an implementation strategy. The thesis is in this study is to examine marketing roles using a strategic perspective that highlights ways by which marketing backs the growth and development of New York Red Bulls soccer club.

Introduction

Masterman (2004) defines strategic sports marketing as practice of planning, controlling and implementing marketing efforts to satisfy consumer wants and needs as well as in achieving the organization goals. Supovitz (2005) states that the most critical phase is the planning phase that starts with understanding the consumers in sports through identification of consumer wants and needs and in market research. Succeeding is marketing selection that keeps the internal and external contingencies in mind followed by marketing mix also referred to us four Ps which is integrated and developed to attain the consumer’s needs.  The second phase is implementation where decisions like; when to execute plans, who to execute and how to address the executed plans. Control phase is the third and the last where evaluation is undertaken to determine the effectiveness of executed plans.

Contingency Model

A contingency model utilizes a system perspective which assumes that companies do not operate in isolation but through an interaction system (Masterman, 2004). Even if New York Red Bulls organization will depend on its environment for success and existence, it will also play important roles in shaping events that are on its outside. Sports marketing are made unique and complicated by the complex relationship an organization has with the public like businesses, government, fans, teams and others. These environments that affect New York Red Bulls sports organizations can be separated in to external contingencies and internal contingencies.

Internal Contingencies

Internal contingencies are factors that are controllable from an organization perspective while external contingencies are factors that are beyond the control of an organization. Both external and internal factors are perceived to be beyond control but not the sports marketer influence. As the manager of this New York Red Bulls soccer club, it is my duty to ensure that the marketing strategies are in alignment with the comprehensive organization purpose. This will be achieved by thoroughly examining the organization’s mission, culture, visions and objectives. The internal and external contingencies should therefore complement each other. They are created by top management instead of sport marketers and the more an organization is market oriented, the more its functions becomes involved initially in development and decisions refinement regarding this type of contingencies. 

Vision and Mission

The mission of New York Red Bulls soccer team is to make soccer better through passion, science, and relentless innovation pursuit. It will offer unparalleled education and support to the youth soccer community. The vision and mission will help the New York Red Bulls soccer club to have a challenging and fun environment which will give the players an opportunity to learn. The club will prepare students to be responsible citizens who will contribute positively to the society. The club will employ coaches who will be role models and teachers to the students in this club. Another objective of the club is to achieve gender proactive and equity regarding affirmative action intent in recruitment and retention of soccer students and hiring of soccer staff and coaches. 

Organizational Objectives and Marketing Goals

The objectives of the New York Red Bulls club root from the vision and mission is converting them into performance targets that will be achieved within a specified timeframe. These objectives will define both our strategic and financial direction. Our financial objectives will specify the clubs performance in terms of profits and revenues which will help in the long-term survival of this organization. These financial objectives may include, improved investment returns, growth in revenues and increase in profit margins. On the other hand, strategic objectives will relate to the performance and organization direction in the competitive world by enhancing customer relations, increasing market share and superior customer service. 

Organizational strategies

These strategies are the means by which New York Red Bulls club will achieve its marketing and organizational objectives. The organizational strategy works on ‘how’ and acts as a game plan for this soccer organization. Generally there are four levels of development of strategies in the organization; functional strategy, business strategy, corporate strategy and operational strategy. Business strategies will aim on gaining advantage over our competitors within soccer industry while corporate strategies will be the overall game plan of the club. On the other hand, each functional area of New York Red Bulls will have its own functional strategies which will be supported by operational strategies. Within the organizational functional areas like sales and marketing there will be formation of operational strategies like ticket sales, pricing, promotion, and product strategies. 

External Contingencies

Masterman (2004) defines external contingencies as external forces in an organization affecting its strategic marketing process and may include; technology, competition, demographics, political, physical environment, legal and regulatory environment, cultural and social trends and the economy. External contingencies of New York Red Bulls culb will be measured using environmental scanning.

Competition

Ratten (2016) stated on his work that assessing the marketing environment competitive forces is one among the critical components in the process of strategic sports marketing. In our club, this will be achieved by learning who is the competitors of today and those of tomorrow. Understanding our competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is one of our goal as this will help the club to learn how these strategies will affect our plan. The organization will monitor the industrial competition using Porters competitive model. These forces include; intensity of competition, buyers bargaining powers, threat of product substitutes, suppliers bargaining powers and new entrants threats.

Technology

Ratten (2016) explained technology as the most raid changing environmental influence with new technologies daily in the market affecting sports marketing. Some of the technological advances have a direct impact on sports marketers’ tasks while others aid in developing new sports products. In New York red bulls’ sports marketing, the most growing technologies are internet sites and mobile apps which will assist in stadium signage, advertising and distributing sorts’ products. According to Shilbury, Westerbeek, Quick, and Funk (2009), internet is the recent and digital way of broadcasting new soccer events to our fans whereby we have player tracker that reminds the subscriber when their favorite player enters the field. In additional to game covering and provision of information, internet acts as the most popular venue of purchasing tickets.

Political, Legal and Regulatory Environment

Government legislation is another external contingency which will alter the red bulls economic infrastructure through legislative changes. During professional sports, politicians may either encourage or discourage stadium tax issues passage. Sports officials like judges, league commissioners and sports arbitrary are continuously confronted with legal challenges arising while they are in the field. Every year, the sports licensed money ads up to billions of dollars forming a common legal issue of trademark violation. Setting of sports guidelines and enactment of law is done by a regulatory agency or body of red bulls. It is the organization focus to create an understanding and balance of the individuals we serve.

Sports Consumer Behaviors

Shilbury, Westerbeek, Quick, & Funk (2009) state that the study of sport consumer behavior focuses on understanding sport consumption activities by utilizing theories from psychology, marketing, communication and sociology. This context covers a wide range of environmental, personal and psychological factors that influence red bulls’ sports consuming behaviors by increasing its responsiveness to the literature of sport marketing. According to Kahle & Riley (2004), the study of human behaviors is of significance by understanding the consumers of sport, and implementing an interdisciplinary approach for marketers. Sport consumer behavior research is used by sport marketers to determine where to position the marketing mix. Sports sociologists have an interest in determining ways in which group interactions shape the experience of sport through spectators or physical participation.

The principle of psychology in red bulls club will explain that every individual is different from the other giving each a unique personality, capabilities and interests, life experiences, different attitudes, different perceptions and different beliefs and values. Kahle and Riley also explained that psychological inputs are internal to the consumer and are set of feelings and beliefs that are alleged in relative to outcomes given by a particular service or product. Psychological inputs will act as intrinsic motivator that creates and consumes the desire to seek out a positive experience of sport consumption. Generally, consumption motives in the club will be a reflection of the desire of satisfying internal needs or achieving intangible benefits through acquisition.

Kahle and Riley (2004) identify discrete motives for both participants and spectators. The authors examined eight motives for spectators: self-esteem, entertainment, eustress, escape, family, aesthetic, group affiliation and economic (gambling). (Beech & Chadwick, 2007) examined similar achievement motives, physical attraction, aesthetic, physical skills of players, family, social interaction and acquisition of knowledge. Ratten (2016) examined the spectator desire for; aesthetic, flow, fantasy, vicarious, camaraderie, physical attraction, performance evaluation and celebrity attraction. In this organization, the five psychological motives of socialization, esteem, performance, excitement and diversion.

Marketing Mix

Beech & Chadwick, (2007) explained that marketing mix is the third component of marketing strategy. It will include the unique blend of price, promotion, product/programs, publics, places and production strategies that are designed to yield equally satisfying exchanges with the target market. To acquire a successful marketing mix in red bulls club will not be by chance. It is a representation of fundamental strategies that will be designed by a manager in realizing success. 

The core of the soccer club is its programs or products and there lacks any substitute of a quality product. The other Ps cannot be tackled without identifying a program/product which will assist in meeting public wants, needs and preferences. The public is the second P who is the potential user of the identified program or product which is targeted and informed to the program’s benefit. However, our products are flexible and able to fit in the ever changing preferences of the public. 

The third P is place of distribution strategies which ensure that programs and products are available and assessable. In our implementation plan, we target schools to be the places where we are targeting to form our targeted community programs. Pricing strategies is the fourth P which states that prices are the most flexible, manipulated and visible among the marketing mix components. It involves what a participant gives up for him or her to obtain an entrance to learn the soccer techniques. While pricing, there should be a link between price and value, and this concept should always be in mind while marketing. Pricing will have an integral role in this organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

Supovitz (2005) examined production strategies involves to the capability of the organization to keep up with the demand of a service, product or program. The soccer club will increase its physical space because production, supply and demand are crucial in marketing strategies. Promotion strategies is the last P in the marketing mix and entails various marketing interventions and efforts that will stimulate the interest of consumers in signing on and awareness of the product. Promotional strategies in the club will include sales promotion, advertising, personal selling and public relations strategies. It brings a mutual satisfied exchange with target markets by educating, informing, persuading and reminding consumers regarding the benefits of daily physical exercise. 

The Strategic Sport-Marketing Planning Process

 The strategic marketing plan will contain details on the products the company plans to offer, the target market and ways in which products influence the target market and the means of communicating to customers on the availability of products. Strategic sport marketing process is divided in to three stages. Stage one involves identification of marketing opportunities that is illustrated in step 1, 2, 3, and 4. Stage two involves strategy determination that will be illustrated in step 5 and 6. Stage three will involve strategy implementation, evaluation and adjustment that are illustrated in step 7 and step 8.

 The first step is to perform analyses for the external environments which are the forces that drive competition in the red bulls club and the public to be served. This will be followed by an analysis of the internal sporting organization that will help in identifying the organizations’ goals, objectives, and mission as well as assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) (Beech & Chadwick, 2007). The third step in this process will involve an examination of marketing intelligence data that relates to the present product range. As a  manager, I will then determine specific marketing objectives and mission for the prearranged plan period.

After the specific objectives and mission, the core marketing strategy will be determined using marketing mix variables, selecting and identifying the desired competitive position that will relate to acknowledged sustainable competitive advantage. Tactics should then be established that will assist in objectives achievement as well as formulate benchmarks that will give the degree of progress. The seventh step will involve the coordination and implementation of service and marketing mix while the last step will contain Control marketing function (evaluation, feedback)

Conclusion

Sports marketing will apply marketing concepts to sports services and products, and markets non-sports products by associating them with the sport. Three phases will be used during the process of red bulls sports marketing plan. These phases include the analysis or planning phase, implementation phase, and the control phase. Sports marketing process will help to examine marketing roles in New York red bulls using a strategic perspective that highlights ways by which marketing backs the growth and development of soccer.

References

Beech, J. & Chadwick, S. (2007). The marketing of sport. Harlow, England: Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Kahle, L. & Riley, C. (2004). Sports marketing and the psychology of marketing communication. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Masterman, G. (2004). Strategic sports event management. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Ratten, V. (2016). The dynamics of sport marketing. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 34(2), 162-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/mip-07-2015-0131

Robinson, M. (2010). Sport club management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Shilbury, Westerbeek, Quick, & Funk,. (2009). SPORT MANAGEMENT SERIES (3rd ed.). 83 Alexander Street: Allen & Unwin.

Supovitz, F. (2005). The sports event management and marketing playbook. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons.

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