Changing the Game : a Pre-Study to Marketing Planning in a Local Squash Club; MBA-thesis in marketing
Abstract: Aim: The purpose was to perform a pre-study to marketing planning for a local squash club in Sweden that had difficulties with membership growth and development. This pre-study would provide the squash club with valuable information and a starting point when creating its first marketing plan. Method: The chosen research approach included theoretical and empirical studies. Empirical data was collected by triangulation, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. A semi-structured interview and two surveys using on-line questionnaires were conducted, analyzed and presented. The discussed theory including key definitions, models and concepts was related to the empirical data findings and reflected on. Results & Conclusions: A small non-profit squash club with scarce resources and slim organization has to implement a customer centered mindset and work smarter instead of harder.It is important for the club to carefully match market opportunities with its objectives and capabilities.Engaging in marketing planning and the development of a marketing plan will enable the club to find new creative ways to offer a unique squash experience that will result in a positive membership development. Recommendations: The squash club should strive to develop key strategic partnerships that can compliment its strengths and help reduce its weaknesses.An own club website would improve internal and external communication significantly and decrease the club management’s administrative workload.It would be advisable for the club to perform annual online customer satisfaction surveys to monitor and measure own performance and detect key changes in the marketplace. Contribution: This pre-study could be a good opportunity for the squash club’s management team to engage in marketing planning and develop its first marketing plan. Perhaps this study could also benefit other small sports clubs with similar challenges and give them ideas and new tools for future development, such as using on-line surveys. Suggested future research: It would be interesting to perform a comparison among the four racket sports: tennis, badminton, table-tennis and squash and the reasons behind young people choosing to play one sport over the others.The result would help racket clubs to better understand how they should position themselves in the market place to attract young people to their particular sport.
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