The primary competitor for the new indoor softball and baseball facility would be the Suffolk County Police Athletic League, which is a long established and traditional facility. They offer a wide variety of sports, including baseball, softball, football or basketball. This particular facility is mostly focused on receiving adult and skilled members, which will join the club's team and participate to competitions. In other words, they are only limitedly interested in attracting and training inexperienced members, but they look for those individuals who would add value to their already existent team. Another major competitor would be the South Bay Battlecats, but they only admit members between the ages of 9 and 22, basically closing the door to baseball and softball to all those older than 22.
Then, there are some educational institutions, such as the Dowling College or the Stony Brook University, which offer baseball and/or softball training to their pupils. However, the downside of this is they only accept the pupils in their own schools, preventing as such skilled children from numerous schools from forming teams and practicing together. In addition, these institutions do not differentiate the children based on skills, but include them all in the same team; then, they do not encourage performance but only offer sports training as a curricular activity.
Also, there exist within the Suffolk County some institutions which offer sports training to children. The most renowned one is softball club Commack South Little League. The main disadvantage of these institutions is that they only train the children up to a certain age, after which they let them go in order to train other young children.
Based on the competitor analysis, the future success of the new baseball and softball facility would be ensured by its acceptance of all skilled or unskilled individuals. Then, it would create a friendly and pleasant environment, without any pressure of winning competitions, which would make the members feel at ease. Also, since it would accept all interested individuals, it would allow players to form teams based on skills rather than situational criteria.
Other major decisions that must be made by the marketing team revolve around the product, promotion, place and price decisions. These could be organized into the following:
The services offered by the sports club are those of training all individuals into baseball and softball
The club offers complementary products, such as sports equipments
They also offer additional services, such as a coffee shop or wireless internet connection
The staff will deliver products and services which meet the highest standards of quality
For the period immediate to the opening of the baseball and softball club, the organization will implement a penetration pricing strategy to form a customer base
Then, they will implement a variable pricing strategy, in the meaning that the retail price to the final consumer will be established based on all costs of the club's
The activities will be performed indoors, which will have the benefit of continuous operations, regardless of meteorological conditions
For the future, the club could open an outdoor stadium and could also send coaches to schools in order to train or recruit skilled children for performance
The location chosen will be in a highly populated area where it can easily be accessed; it should be near the means of public transportation
If such a demand arises and several members wish to be picked from a certain place and taken to the club, the organization could ensure their transportation for an additional fee
Given the intense competition, the sports club will have to develop and implement a strong advertising campaign, focused on the core benefits offered by the new softball and baseball facility
Advertisements will be aired during prime time television and radio programs website will also be developed and will contain information on the company and the services offered; potential members could sign in online; for the future, it would be possible for the club to sell sports equipments online
Street fliers and banners will also be an integrant part of the promotional campaign
Club founders will appear on local television channels to present the company's products and services to the population; they will also grant interviews to the regional newspapers and magazine.
The main barrier to entry would be posed by the already existent sports facilities in the Suffolk County. In this order of ideas, the citizens of Suffolk could feel reticent to the opening of a new club that would offer similar services to those that are already offered by other clubs. In order to overcome this preconception, the managers at the new facility would emphasize that whereas they do to an extent offer similar services, they offer them at superior quality and at an even more comprehensive level. Then, in order to capture the interest of the community and attract new members, the company would have to invest significantly in marketing and promotional strategies, which require an increased need for financial resources. Most of these resources will derive from the personal economies of the three founders and if these do not suffice, a bank loan will be contracted. Since it is a rather small company, it is not publicly traded and therefore has limited possibilities of attracting additional funds.
Another way in which the indoor baseball and softball facility could capture the interest of the consumers is given by the incorporation of technological advancements into the sports services. In this particular sense, the coaches would be supported by technological appliances which measure the required number of exercises and the intensity of the workout necessary to reach a desired performance. Such an application was recently developed by Precor, an international leader in the industry of manufacturing fitness equipments. The technological changes would basically support the organization in offering qualitatively superior products and services. However, the sports club would have to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements, which would in the end increase their operating costs, reflected then in the final retail price to the end consumer.
Changes in government regulations could also impact the sports center, but the actual impact depends on the type of change implemented. For instance, if stricter rules are enforced in regard to recycling, the facility would have to collect and recycle all plastic water containers, which would also increase their costs and would consume more time. Changes in the economy could also impact the organization; take for instance the case of the falling dollar. Given that the sports club imports their equipments from foreign countries, the devaluation of the national currency would imply more expensive equipments. Finally, changes in the industry would have the largest impact upon the company as it would be obliged to develop and adapt to the new requirements of the customers and to the new strategies implemented by the competition.
5. Operational Plan
Once the market research has been conducted and the core competencies that would ensure the organizations success in Suffolk have been identified, the company officials have to find the most suitable location for the baseball and softball facility. This should be in the Suffolk's town of Brookhaven. The town is a desirable location for numerous reasons, including:
It is located in the center of the Suffolk County
It has the largest number of affiliated towns and villages in its subordination, as compared to other Suffolk regions
It has a population of nearly 500,000 inhabitants
It has a long tradition in practicing sports, mainly baseball, soccer, fastpitch and softball
It offers a wide palette of potential customers
Brookhaven hosts a large number of sports and recreational clubs which will present the new center with increased the competition, but they are also unable to properly serve the entire population of the town and the affiliated regions.
Then, a location within the town has to be identified. Most companies desire to open their stores within the center of the town as to offer a sense of trust, security and an easy access. But even so, for the sports club, the central location of the baseball and softball facility is not the best choice, moreover since a central location generates increased costs. However not right down in the center, the sports club would be located in its vicinity, where the rental costs are lower and the access is still rather easy.
Once the location has been set, company officials have to commence their activities adherent to pre-opening. These include the legal measures that must be made in order to gain the necessary licenses from the Brookhaven's city hall. Then, the selection and recruitment processes will commence. It is vital in this stage for the organization to hire the best coaches in Brookhaven. To achieve this, they could request the services of specialized local recruitment agencies. In addition, they should offer the employees wages superior to those offered by competing firms.
Then, they would launch the promotional campaign in order to inform the population of the core benefits offered by the new baseball and…