Strategic Sport Marketing

Submit a 3,500-word strategic marketing report for a sport
organization of your choice.
The purpose of this assignment is for you to develop a marketing
strategy for your chosen sport organization. It is designed for you
to demonstrate your ability to apply marketing principles and
techniques to areas of practice. It gives you a chance to synthesize
core-marketing concepts, apply theory to practice and develop
your report writing skills.
You have scope to choose any sport organization that you wish.
However, the aim is to identify a key objective/challenge faced by a
sport organization and develop a marketing strategy that seeks to
address this objective. This could be, for example, the need to:
• increase commercial revenues at a professional football
• stimulate sales of corporate hospitality packages at a
major sport venue;
• encourage sport participation for a National Governing
• maintain profits at a local gym;
• drive sales of a new sport product;
• generate matchday income at a struggling rugby club;
• improve return on investment for the sponsors of a
domestic sport league; or
• raise brand awareness in an overseas market.
In Week 5 you will be asked to submit a brief outline (100–150
words) for your report that identifies the sport organization you
have chosen and sets out the strategic objective. This will allow for
some formative feedback on the choice of case to help guide you
with the final report, which will take place during the live session in
Week 5.
This assignment is practical in focus and requires that you consider
the key themes that have been covered in the module and develop
them within your marketing strategy. For example, the key aspects
that should be incorporated into your marketing strategy are:
• Assessing your organization’s situational and external
environment using marketing tools such as VMOST,
• Setting out the objective of the marketing/brand strategy
and demonstrating why it is an important issue for your
sport organization;
• Evaluating customer segments and identifying the
appropriate target market(s);
• Using the marketing mix, promotional mix and service
marketing variables to develop effective and integrated
marketing initiatives; and
• Identifying ways to measure how well your objectives
have been met.
Below is an indicative guideline for structuring the report:
• Title page
• Executive summary (including key recommendations)
• Introduction
• An assessment of the organization
• An assessment of the external environment
• An analysis of potential customer segments
• Your objectives
• Your target market(s)
• Your brand/marketing initiatives
• Your measurement and control mechanisms
This assignment gives you an opportunity to apply the principles of
sport marketing (and marketing in general) to a real organizational
challenge. It is up to you to choose the sport organization you wish
to focus on.
To help you visualize the task ahead, please find two examples of
reports submitted in previous years, one for Welsh Netball and the
other for Chelsea FC Women.
Here you can find answers to some of the most commonly asked
questions about this assignment.
Q: Which sport organization should I choose?
A: This can be a difficult aspect of this assignment so you need to
think carefully. It is important to identify a sports organization in
which you can clearly think about a potential marketing challenge
for which you can formulate and develop a strategy. This does not
necessarily mean you have to choose a high profile organization.
Q: Do I need to be specific about my objectives?
A: Absolutely. You should set out your strategic objectives and the
issues they are designed to address.
Q: How should I plan out my report?
A: The best way to organize your report is to use a marketing
planning framework. There are numerous planning frameworks
available, some of which are quite generic and others which are
tailored to specific marketing scenarios. In this module we
recommend two frameworks. The first is Shilbury, et al.’s
(2014) Strategic Sport Marketing Planning Process, which is
structured along the same lines as our nine-week module and can
be found in one of the core module texts. The second is PR
Smith’s SOSTAC® planning model, which is potentially more
appropriate for a digital or brand awareness strategy. You should
choose the framework you feel most comfortable working with.
Q: How can I access information about my chosen
A: Unless you work for the organization, there is a limit to the
available information that you can draw on to understand its
internal situation. However, if you analyze as much of the available
material as possible, it will help to build a better understanding of
the current strategy of your organization. Potential sources of
information include the organization’s website, as well as annual
reports, press releases, news and industry publications and online
newspapers. Financial information for UK registered companies
with a turnover of more that £2.5m can be retrieved from
Companies House for a small fee (£1 per report). Collating multiple
sources of information should allow you to make valid assumptions
about your organization.
Q: Can I contact my chosen organization?
A: It is absolutely fine to try to contact the organization you
choose, but you need to remember that if you do so there are
ethical issues associated with this. For example, you need to
ensure that you have informed consent and you need to ensure
anonymity and confidentiality. One of the ways of doing this is to
assure the organization that any information will only be used for
this coursework assignment. Don’t worry if you get no response –
this has often happened in the past.
Q: How do I estimate budgets and costs?
A: You do not need to undertake a financial audit of your
organization or provide a detailed breakdown of your proposed
budget. However, your work should be based on evidence and
rationale – your internal analysis should make clear that the
organization has the capabilities and financial resources to
undertake the initiatives you are proposing.
Q: How can I find the market data I need?
A: The data you require is likely to come from several different
sources, depending on the scope of your organization and its
strategic aims. You can make use of databases such as the UK
Data Service, London Datastore, or Sport England’s ‘Know Your
Audience’ to help define your markets. Additionally, you can draw
on market intelligence reports from market research agencies such
as Mintel and marketing knowledge portals such as the World
Advertising Research Centre (WARC). In most of our weekly
sessions, you will also find a range of industry reports that cover
aspects of digital sport consumption, fan behavior, social media
usage, and more.
All of this data can by used to better understand patterns of social
consumption or behavior, identify new target groups, or help build
target profiles for your strategic initiatives.
Q: How do I develop my marketing and brand communications
initiatives ?
A: The more creative part of the assignment is where you are
required to develop some initiatives that form part of your
marketing strategy. These initiatives clearly need to be aligned to
your target market(s) but also try to be realistic about the internal
resources of the organization and how this would impact on the
marketing strategy. You should be as innovative as possible, within
the parameters of your strategic aims. For inspiration, browse
some marketing agency websites to see what kind of campaigns
they are creating. You could begin by exploring the Week 7
marketing campaign resources which are available here.
Q: Do I need to include measurement and control
A: Your chosen planning framework will offer some guidance on the
types of measurement and control mechanisms available to you –
the choices you make should be based on your objectives. This
need only take up a small section of your report.
Q: Do I need to include academic literature?
A: Yes. Planning frameworks, tools and selected theories should be
used to underpin your strategy. For example, you might draw on
academic research to understand and segment your target
market(s). However, your report should look to apply these tools
and theories, not describe them.
Q: Should I reference my sources?
A: Yes. However, as this is a business report, you are not required
to use standard Harvard referencing, but rather a bespoke numeric
reference system, the details of which you will find here. The
numeric reference system should be applied to all sources,
including the academic literature discussed above.
Q: Can I include visual material?
A: Absolutely. You should include graphs, charts and diagrams,
along with any frameworks you develop. You may also use
example images, as long as they are relevant to your discussion.
The words in visual material do not normally count towards your
word limit, but this should not be an excuse to turn large chunks of
text into visuals. Please be sensible about this.
Q: How will the report be marked?
A: You can find the standard marking criteria in Section 5 of this
book. For this assignment, I am looking for a coherent report with
clearly defined objectives, adherence to your chosen planning
framework, appropriate application of theories and tools, an
integrated marketing/brand strategy, innovative marketing tactics
and a plan for measuring the success of your initiatives.
Q: What about COVID-19?
A: The advent of COVID-19 has impacted on many areas of society
and this is evident in both the sport and marketing industries. The
rapid emergence of the pandemic, combined with ongoing
uncertainty around its nature, means that the long-term effects are
not well understood. This presents both a challenge and an
opportunity for students, or indeed anyone, endeavouring to write
a sport marketing report. On the one hand, many of the
assumptions we take for granted are currently being challenged,
including people’s ability to attend live sport events. On the other
hand, the rapidly changing circumstances have necessitated new
ways to connect and engage with sport fans. As sport marketers,
you should address the present circumstances and be prescient
about the future of your sport organization. With that said, the view
you take in respect of future outcomes will not detriment your
report, and you will not be penalized for any changes that take
place as a result of the pandemic, either during the report writing or
after it has been submitted.
Remember, everyone is taking something of a guess when it
comes to COVID-19 – your job is to demonstrate that you can take
an educated one.

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