Understanding professionalization in sport organizations – A case study of the ACT Brumbies.

The other day a new paper that I published with my PhD Student, Stirling Sharpe and colleague, Anthony Beaton about professionalization of sport organizations came out in the Journal of Global Sport Management. We used the ACT Brumbies Super Rugby Club as our case. The abstract of the article is below and can be accessed here. The full title of our paper is Considering Ongoing Professionalization in Sport Organizations: A Case Study of the ACT Brumbies Super Rugby Club.

The increasing commercialism of sport has been accompanied by pressure for sport organizations to become (more) professional. The kitchen table or boardroom approaches that may be ingrained in accepted values within organizations are being challenged by contemporary business principles of sport organization governance. While considerable work has been conducted under the banner of the professionalization of sport, there has been limited research addressing the ongoing  professionalization of organizations which have already moved away from being volunteer based and are operating in a business-like manner. This research provides a case study of the ACT Brumbies rugby union club in Australia addressing this issue with interviews conducted within three key stakeholder groups of this organization: Board members, operations staff, and players. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of twelve stakeholders. Results indicated that the ongoing professionalization process had differing impacts on operations for various employees

Twitter Lecture topics for 27 August 2013 #SPM2122

As many of my readers know, I actively use twitter in my university classroom teaching. In particular, I use it most in my Sport Marketing unit (tagged #spm2122). Twice during the semester, a lecture is replaced by an online discussion on Twitter. The focus of the online lecture is the content from the four weeks prior.  Here are the four topics that will be discussed in a QandA fashion on the 27th of August 2013 that starts at 12:30PM Perth time.

 

Live Tweet topics for 27 August 2013 that starts at 1230 (12:30 PM) Perth time.

The topics will all be listed below with relevant links, but the questions will remain secret until the live chat.

The rationale for this classroom assessment item is:

-To uncover whether the use of social media can be used to foster student engagement in university classroom settings

-To analyse whether a micro-blogging service could enhance:

-the co-creation of unit content,

-enable real-world examples to be brought into the classroom, and

-foster engagement with unit materials

SPM2122 has two textbooks that are used. They are:

Shilbury, D., Quick, S., & Westerbeek, H. (2009) Strategic sport marketing (3rd ed.). Sydney: Allen &

Unwin. See: http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741756265

Smith, A. C. T. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. Sydney: Elsevier. See:

http://www.elsevier.com/books/introduction-to-sport-marketing/smith/978-0-7506-8685-3

All questions will come from unit (course) materials that were discussed in seminars from week 1 to week 4. Please review the relevant chapters from our reading list, which was:

Week 1 please read Chapters 1 and 2 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 2 please read Chapters 1 & 2 from the Smith text

Week 3 please read Chapter 3 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 4 please read Chapter 4 from the Shilbury et al text

 

Topic 1:

The Smith textbook outlines two streams of sport marking, which is unique to the sports industry. “Sport marketing is the application of marketing concepts to sport products and services, and the marketing of non-sport products through an association to sport. Sport marketing therefore has two key features. First, it is the application of general marketing practices to sport-related products and services. Second, it is the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through sport. Like any form of marketing, sport marketing seeks to fulfil the needs and wants of consumers. It achieves this by providing sport services and sport-related products to consumers. However, sport marketing is unlike conventional marketing in that it also has the ability to encourage the consumption of non-sport products and services by association” (Smith, 2008, p. 3). In our online discussion, we will discuss both of these concepts and apply them to sport marketing using social media.

You may be asked to give examples about:
-Marketing of sport on social media
-Marketing through sport on social media using a sport team’s account

 

Topic 2:

Smith (2008) suggests that “the idea of branding is closely linked with positioning. A brand is like an identifying badge, often reinforced by a name or a logo that helps consumers recognise a product or an organisation. A brand becomes linked with consumers’ opinions and perceptions of a sport product and organisation” (p. 115). In week 2, we discussed positioning strategies of various brands.

In the discussion of this topic, you will be asked to give examples of brand attributes “(aspects of the brand that are defining, unique and special to each organisation)” (Smith, p. 118) of several sporting teams. On page 118 of the Smith text, there is an interactive case that might help you in preparing for this topic.

You may be asked to give examples of:
-Unique elements of your favourite sports team
-Distinctive partnerships between a company and an athlete
-Unique elements of a sport company (shoes, bats, media, etc.)

Topic 3:

In week four, we discussed three ways in which sport organisations can collect data. These were: General market data, individual consumer’s data, and competitors and/or participants’ data.

General market data include all the information which relates to the broad environment in which the sport operates. Individual consumer’s data concerns their attitudes and behaviours related to a specific sport product or service. A third source of information for sporting organisations relates to competitors and their participants. It is critical that sporting organisations not only be aware of who their competitors are but also know the consumers of a rival’s products or services (adapted from Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 65).

In our discussion on this topic, we will tweet about the different methods that contemporary sport organisations use to collect data and use new media examples

You may be asked to give examples about:
-How sport teams can incentivise consumers to fill in all items in a form
-The tactics sports organisations use to accurately data mine

 

Topic 4:

The Big 5 Sport Motives represent  a comprehensive view of major psychological inputs that represent core benefits consumer receive from engaging in sport consumption (adapted from Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 49). Various research (Beaton et al., 2007; James et al., 2006) has found that there are “five main psychological benefits that sport consumers desire from a sport experience” (Shilbury et al, 2009, p. 48). These are: Social interaction, performance, excitement, esteem, and diversion.

In our discussion of this topic, we will discuss how sport marketers use the Big 5 sport motives in an attempt to persuade individuals to consume a sporting experience.

You may be asked to give examples about:
-Ads that feature one or more of the Big 5 sport motives to entice consumers to attend a sporting match
-Ads that use the Big 5 sport motives to entice viewership of an event
-Ads using the Big 5 sport motives in an attempt to get people to participate in sport

A multi-stage exploration of social media strategy in professional sport: The case of the New Zealand Breakers

This post is a copy/paste of an accepted 20-minute presentation that I co-authored with Katherine Bruffy of Unitec and Michael Naylor or AUT that will be presented at the 2013 SMAANZ conference in Dunedin, New Zealand.

A MULTI-STAGE EXPLORATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY IN PROFESSIONAL SPORT: THE CASE OF THE NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS

Katherine Bruffy (Unitec)

Olan Scott (ECU)

Michael Naylor (AUT)

PROPOSED STREAM:  MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION (20 min. oral presentation)

KEY WORDS:  SOCIAL MEDIA, PROFESSIONAL SPORT

Social media has transformed the way in which sport organisations and consumers can connect. Historically, communication between sport organisation and consumer has been through the traditional/mass media (e.g., newspaper, television) which situates media organizations as gatekeepers to, and editors of content (Arsenault & Castells, 2008). Further, communication has typically been one-way, thereby disconnecting the consumer from sport organisations (Mahan & McDaniel, 2006). With the proliferation of social media sites, consumers and sport organisations have a new platform for interaction.  Both iterative communication and gatekeeper bypass are possible (Mean, Kassing, & Sanderson, 2010).

Social media is therefore an increasingly important tool for sport organizations to communicate with various stakeholders (Scott, Bradshaw, & Larkin, 2013) and the fit of social media within wider strategic processes in sport is of interest. Various social media sites are now widely used to communicate promotional offers, news, and as a public relations tool (Hambrick, 2010; Lowe & Laffey, 2011).  While Instagram, Youtube and other social media sites are gaining traction, Facebook and Twitter remain the focus for most sport organizations in attempts to engage fans.

A four stage, twelve month project was conceived and has commenced focusing on the New Zealand Breakers (NZB) social media strategy for the 2013-2014 season:

  1. Reconnaissance
  2. Strategy Formulation
  3. Strategy Implementation & Content Analysis
  4. Strategy Evaluation & Fan Feedback

The four stages sit within a mixed method, action research framework in which the implementation and evaluation of the strategy are the result of collaboration between the research team and the sport organisation.  The project has been designed to explore, inform and evaluate the NZB’s social media strategies.  The social media of interest are Twitter and Facebook.

Stage one (June/July 2013) is a reconnaissance intended to synthesise past NZB social media activity, the activity of other sport organisations in New Zealand and around the world as well as relevant scholarly and practitioner literature.  During stage two (August, 2013), the reconnaissance stage findings will be used to inform the 2013-2014 season strategy.  For the duration of the season (stage three; October to April 2014) the strategy will be implemented and monitored.  Finally, the fourth stage (May, 2014) represents an evaluation in which data will be gathered from fans, sponsors and Breakers marketing staff through a questionnaire and interviews.  The focus at this stage will be evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy implementation.

We propose to review stage one and two as well as progress to date through stage three at the 2013 SMAANZ conference.

Live Tweet topics for 27 March 2012 that starts at 1230 (12:30 PM) Perth time. #SPM2122

Live Tweet topics for 27 March 2012 that starts at 1230 (12:30 PM) Perth time.

The topics will all be listed below with relevant links, but the questions will remain secret until the live chat.

The rationale for this classroom assessment item is twofold:

1. To uncover whether the use of social media can be used to foster student engagement in university classroom settings

2. To analyse whether a micro-blogging service could enhance:

  1. -the co-creation of unit content,
  2. -enable real-world examples to be brought into the classroom, and
  3. -foster engagement with unit materials

SPM2122 has two textbooks that are used. They are:

Shilbury, D., Quick, S., & Westerbeek, H. (2009) Strategic sport marketing (3rd ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

See: http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741756265

Smith, A. C. T. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. Sydney: Elsevier.

See: http://www.elsevier.com/books/introduction-to-sport-marketing/smith/978-0-7506-8685-3

All questions will come from unit (course) materials that were discussed in seminars from week 1 to week 4. Please review the relevant chapters from our reading list, which was:

Week 1 please read Chapters 1 and 2 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 2 please read Chapters 1 & 2 from the Smith text

Week 3 please read Chapter 3 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 4 please read Chapter 4 from the Shilbury et al text

Topic 1:

Chapter 1 of the Shilbury et al. text outlines seven components of the marketing mix (the 7 Ps). The “seven component strategies of the marketing mix [are] composed of the traditional 4Ps of marketing plus the 3Ps of service—process, people and physical evidence (Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 6).

Please review these and be prepared to discuss and apply the 7 Ps to contemporary sport marketing examples.

Topic 2:
Smith (2008) discusses  nine unique characteristics of the competitive sport product. “Sport is business, but it is a special form of business. The key is to understand the special features of sport and their relevance to meeting the needs of sport consumers” (Smith, p. 21).

Smith describes the special features of sport and emphases how those factors make sport appealing to consumers, but would normally be considered unattractive in most products. These features are important for sport marketers to understand because of the need to balance the potential to dissatisfy sport consumers by overemphasising marketing and commercial gain, against the attraction of keeping the unique characteristics of sport alive for them.

In this topic’s discuss, we will outline how sport marketers can use the nine special features of sport in an attempt to foster emotion in the sporting exeperience.

Topic 3:

In week four, we discussed three ways in which sport organisations can collect data. These were: General market data, individual consumers data, and competitors and/or participants’ data.

General market data include all the information which relates to the broad environment in which the sport operates. Individual consumers data concerns their attitudes and behaviours related to a specific sport product or service. A third source of information for sporting organisations relates to competitors and their participants. It is critical that sporting organisations not only be aware of who their competitors are but also know the consumers of a rival’s products or services (adapted from Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 65).

In our discussion on this topic, we will tweet about the different methods that contemporary sport organisations use to collect data and use new media examples

Topic 4:

Smith (2008) suggests that “The idea of branding is closely linked with positioning. A brand is like an identifying badge, often reinforced by a name or a logo that helps consumers recognise a product or an organisation. A brand becomes linked with consumers’ opinions and perceptions of a sport product and organisation” (p. 115). In week 2, we discussed positioning strategies of various brands.

In the discussion of this topic, you will be asked to give examples of brand attributes “(aspects of the brand that are defining, unique and special to each organisation)” (Smith, p. 118) of several sporting teams. On page 118 of the Smith text, there is an interactive case that might help you in preparing for this topic.

Live Tweet topics for 27 August 2012

Live Tweet topics for 27 August 2012 that starts at 1430 (2:30 PM) Perth time.

On 28 March 2012, I conducted a full lecture online using Twitter. It forms part of an assessment item for my first year unit Sport Marketing (unit code #SPM2122) in the Bachelor of Sport, Recreation, and Leisure. #SPM2122 is doing it again in semester two.

The topics will all be listed below with relevant links, but the questions will remain undisclosed until the live chat.

 

Topic 1:

The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games were touted to be the “social games.” However, the IOC enforced Rule 40 (see: http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Publications/General/01/25/29/32/rule-40-guidelines_Neutral.pdf), which prevented athletes, teams, coaches, and others from using social media to discuss non-Olympic sponsors and/or advertisers. See here for another perspective on social media and the Olympics http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/173610/the-social-olympics-the-effect-on-london-2012.html)

 

Topic 2:

On 14 August 2012, the AFL announced that Gilette became the league’s official sponsor of the trade week. Gilette currently sponsors the Grand Final sprint and has a history of sponsorship of the AFL (See: http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/144503/default.aspx)

Further, Carlton Draught currently sponsors the substitute player, who is called the Carlton Draught Sub (See: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13962098/afls-alcohol-own-goal/ and http://www.afl.com.au/tabid/208/default.aspx?newsid=138681)

 

Topic 3:

At the beginning of August, A-League club Sydney FC announced its new major sponsor: Webjet (See: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/sydneyfc/news-display/Sydney-FC-and-Webjet-Agree-Major-Partnership/48392 and http://sportsbusinessinsider.com.au/news/category/sponsorship-and-marketing/sydney-fc-ceo-pignata-secures-webjet-as-main-sponsor-for-two-years/ and http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/news/1115100/sydney-fc-announces-webjet-deal)

 

Topic 4:

Nike has undergone considerable change in the way it markets itself and how it spends marketing dollars. Nike Digital Sport was lauched at the Nike headquarters in 2010, where devices and technologies are created that allow users to track their sporting prowess. Further, Nike Digital also aims to collect as much personal data on Nike users as it can (See: http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/13/nike-digital-marketing/)

In August 2012, adidas announced the creation of a social media shoe (See: http://www.sportsnetworker.com/2012/08/13/adidas-social-media-shoe-ready-for-tweeps/ and http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/08/adidas-unveils-social-media-shoe-for-tweeps/), which the company plans to mass produce in 2016.

 

Topic 5:

Nike has recently started to sponsor UFC fighters: Anderson Silva is sponsored by Nike Brasil (other fighters have national Nike sponsorships) and USA fighter Jon Jones has a global Nike deal, which is the first for Nike and UFC sponsorship. (See: http://www.mmamania.com/2011/8/3/2341775/just-did-it-ufc-middleweight-champion-anderson-silva-lands-nike and http://mmajunkie.com/news/30111/malki-kawa-deal-with-nike-for-ufc-champ-jon-jones-opens-door-for-every-other-fighter.mma and http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/8/8/3228539/nike-ufc-jon-jones-global-sponsorship-deal-mma-news).