As Shank explains, sports marketing mix refers to a coordinated set of elements that are embraced by sports organizations and sports marketers to meet both their marketing objectives i.e. to drive sales as well as meet the customers needs. Sports marketing mix particularly includes the sports product, promotion, price and distribution. A combination of these elements makes a marketing program of a sports organization. When it comes to sports product, the major goal of a sports organization is to develop products or services that meet the customers demand. Product strategies entail decisions such as branding, packaging, designing among others. This element of the marketing mix also entails the development of new products, maintaining the existing ones as well as retiring the weak products. One the product strategies adopted by Nike was the introduction of clubs that were aimed at the professionals and the highly skilled amateurs. As noted in the news article, skilled amateurs and professionals make less than 10% of the worlds 50 million golfers. This means that Nikes club was going to lose the market of more than 90% of worlds golf market. According to me, this was not the best move; I would recommend that Nike produces clubs that fit for use by the largest proportion of the golf market.
The next element of a marketing mix is the distribution strategy whose major aim is identifying the most efficient way of ensuring that products move from the manufacturer to the consumers. Distribution managers are charged with the role of managing inventory, transportation, warehousing and also selecting the most appropriate distribution channels. In distributing its products, it is evident from the article that Nike distributes its products through retailers. However, the choice of distribution channels ought to carefully be selected to ensure that the product reaches the target market or the consumers. However, as noted from the new article, in the 1980s and 1990s, Nike golf merchandise was particularly being sold at Foot Locker Inc. stores. This is a major mistake since golfers do not shop at these stores but rather at golf course shops and specialty stores. If I were the distribution manager of Nike, I would insist on the need to change the distribution channels of the companys merchandise by using those that the close competitors are also using. If a majority of the golf products are sold at the golf course and stores, the most prudent approach is to use the same outlets to distribute Nikes golf merchandise.
The next element of a sports marketing mix is the promotion strategy that mainly aims at creating public awareness of a companys products or services. The major activities under promotion strategies include advertisements, the use of sports figures to endorse the companys products, personal selling and public relations among others. With regards to Nikes promotion strategy, the company adopted product endorsement by a popular sports figure, Tiger Woods. This is one of the most effective promotion strategies since the target market is likely to be influenced by the popular figure into buying a particular product. In this particular element, I would emphasize on using more sports figures to promote Nikes golf merchandise.
The last element of a sports marketing mix is the pricing strategies. This is regarded as one of the most sensitive and critical issues that sports marketing managers are likely to encounter. Some of the critical decisions related to pricing strategies include pricing technique, pricing objectives, and price adjustments. For the pricing of a product or service be effective, the marketing managers should consider the impact the selected prices will have on the market and whether this is sustainable for the required period. In the case of Nike, the company decided to sell its new Ignite driver and Slingshot iron at $470 and $700-$900 respectively. The pricing strategy selected by Nike matches its target market which is appropriate.
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