Marketing remains one of the enduring components of organizational development. No organization, profit or non-profit, is spared from competition for resources. This makes the application of marketing concepts and methods invaluable to each of them.
This situation makes it imperative for Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club to develop a marketing plan that takes advantage of the technological opportunities that currently exist because marketing is evolutionary in nature (Ferrell & Hartline, 2008). Potential fans and sponsors live in a radically different world compared to a decade ago. Many things have changed to the extent that traditional marketing methods alone cannot guarantee favorable responses from target audiences.
E-marketing relates to the use of modern technologies and media available in the digital age to attract and retain potential fans and sponsors for the purpose of generating profit (Levinson, Levinson, & Levinson, 2007). This report examines the e-marketing strategies available to Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club and the best ways to apply them in order to grow its fan base and to attract potential sponsors.
Overview of Club and its Website
Red Deer, Alberta is the hometown of the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club. The club plays in the Western Hockey League (WHL) in the junior ice hockey category. As part of its e-marketing strategy, it runs a website whose address is www.reddeerrebels.com.
The website has a number of interactive features. It has a very active theme reminiscent of the high adrenaline sport that ice hockey is. It provides background information of the team, its players, standings, Red Deer Club Rebels Hockey Club news, and other league news. It also has links for fans. It includes a number of social media widgets, with Twitter and Facebook being the most prominent ones.
The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club is one of the many clubs that play in the various hockey leagues in Canada. These leagues form a special a part of the Canadian sports fraternity. The three major hockey leagues in Canada are the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league. These leagues form the Canadian Hockey Association, which is an umbrella organization for Hockey in Canada.
There are up to sixty hockey teams that form part of the Canadian Hockey Association. The Rebels are not having a very good season this year. In the most recent game they played on 13 April against Tigers, they managed to win the match by a slim margin to secure their position in the playoffs and in the process literally “avoiding elimination” (Kerr, 2011). The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club remains popular with many Hockey fans.
It is desirable to undertake a SWOT analysis to determine the strategic position of the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club.
SWOT Analysis Table
StrengthsGreat history and a Strong brand
The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club has a great history within the Canadian Hockey leagues, with some important league wins especially in the early years of the twenty first century. This has enhanced its brand image, which will make it easier for the club to introduce new products to the market (Yadin, 2001).
Strong fan base
A very strong fan base supports the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club. This means that the club can leverage on it to grow the fan base further.
Good sponsorship deal
So far, the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club has had some of the best sponsorship deals in the league. This places it in good comparative standing.
As a junior league, player turnover remains a key factor that weakens the club. Young players have a high degree of mobility.
The funds available for the development of the club remain low limiting growth prospects.
OpportunitiesMassive goodwill from many fans
The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club has a lot of respect from its fans, the Canadian sporting fraternity, and the nation at large.
Eager sponsors from the corporate world
Sponsors are interested in sponsoring highly visible and well performing clubs. The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club fits this description. This Makes the club an attractive sponsorship beneficiary
ThreatsPersistent lack of winning
It has been some time since the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club won a major title. If this continues, it may affect the future support the club gets from sponsors and fans.
Lack of competitive advantage before sponsors
The lack of competitive advantage that lacks of titles bring about threatens the future stability of the club. Sponsors may find winning team as more desirable.