Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Focus on Customer Experience from Day One

Sports are a unique blend of the timeless and modern. Core attributes of sport such as  maximum performance and competition  have been present since people started running, throwing, and lifting. Sports have been modernized through technological innovations that enhance the core product and provide new sources of value.

An example of how sports marketing has brought innovation (defined simply as new value) to core sport attributes is a collaboration between Dick's Sporting Goods and IMG Academy. The two firms have partnered to develop the Day One app. The online resource helps athletes playing baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis train for their all important Day One. The app includes resources in the areas of skills, strength, nutrition, mental, and speed. Instructional information is given based on how many weeks until your Day One, and weekly progress is recorded as users complete training activities.

Evolving from Selling Products to Experiences
The Dick's Sporting Goods Day One app is a good example of how sports marketers have adapted to the needs of customers. In Chapter One of Sports Marketing, a historical overview of sports marketing recounts how the industry has developed. Sports marketing has evolved over the past century, moving through four distinct periods:

  • Monopoly Era (1900-1950)
  • Television Era (1950-1990)
  • Highlight Era (1990-2010)
  • Experience Era (Today)

Today, customers not only seek to have their needs and wants met through the products and services they use, they often desire a consumption experience that adds value. In the case of the Day One app, Dick's Sporting Goods has created an ongoing experience for athletes preparing for an upcoming season or event.  Elements of the user experience include education, motivation, and accountability. Dick's is serving as a resource to their customers by going beyond selling products needed to compete. The Day One app can better equip athletes with the intangible characteristics crucial to success on the field.

Help Customers Be Untouchable
Marketing is a process for enabling people to meet their needs. Yes, it involves figuring out how to sell a product or service to maximize profits, too. But without the former mindset in place a firm will fail at the latter. Dick's Sporting Goods understands- its aim is to make athletes untouchable from Day One. It also realized that it needed a trusted resource to help deliver on this promise. IMG Academy has a storied reputation for developing athletes, so the partnership to create the Day One app is a great fit. Through the Day One app and initiatives like its PACE concussion education program, Dick's Sporting Goods is building brand associations as an essential partner for athletes' success.