Sports & Leisure Research Group
Conference Report: Women's Golf and Sports Related Travel

Women: Actions to Grow Golf Facility Profitability

At this year's PGA Fall Expo, SLRG President Jon Last joined EWGA CEO Pam Swensen for a lively presentation on the steps that golf facility operators can take towards building profitability through compelling offerings to women. The full presentation includes numerous research findings from a variety of industry and SLRG research. Download a copy


Last Addresses Global Travel Outlook Forum

Citing a variety of SLRG research sources, Jon Last joined the Chicago Sports Commission's Sam Stark, North Carolina Department of Commerce's Marlise Taylor, and Ipsos Canada's Luc Durand to address challenges and opportunities abound in marketing sports related travel. Attendees assembled in Chicago on October 26th got an early look at some ground breaking new research on the golf traveler's decision making process, drawn from a study conducted by SLRG for the Sports Illustrated Golf Group. Destination and travel marketers interested in learning more about this study, are encouraged to reach out directly to us. Contact us

POV: Literally Through The Eyes Of The Customer

I was interested to see that the season premiere of this year's "Undercover Boss" featured Mitch Modell, the CEO of one of our local sporting goods retail chains. In promoting the show, Mr. Modell made a number of appearances on area media to discuss the experience and what he had learned. In reflecting on it all, he observed that being put on the front lines (in disguise for those who haven't seen the show) of his retail operations, transformed the way he looks at his business and gave him a new sense of appreciation for the integral role that his sales associates play in shaping the customer experience. This sounds a lot like what we learn for clients when immersing ourselves in retail ethnography and other observational research. Read more

Recent SLRG Research Of Interest:

SLRG Brand Perception Research Demonstrates the Gaps Between Target Markets and "Raving Fans"

Whether looking at resort destinations, sporting goods or other products and services, brand perception research is an often deployed tool used to blindly evaluate how consumers perceive and view a client brand relative to its competitors. But many marketers often leave insights on the table by looking only at a limited target audience. By surveying just your own customers, one fails to understand the reasons behind brand rejection of others. If you look only at a representative sample of a defined target market, you may get muted results when it comes time to look at what separates the full market from your staunchest advocates. At Sports and Leisure Research Group, we begin any brand perception work with a thoughtful client briefing regarding the objectives of the research. For those projects, where the utility of the study is to help identify key strengths and weaknesses of a brand, there's often a significant amount of learning that can be uncovered by looking at very distinct audiences of loyalists and rejectors. Such is the approach, we recently took with two client projects in the sporting goods and travel categories. In each case, by assuring that our sample frame provided for sufficient responses from both populations, our analysis enabled us to examine key perceptual gaps between fans and detractors. This subsequently led to key recommendations on those message points that most needed amplification for each audience. Contact us to learn more about how we can deploy a similar approach for your research. Contact us

Reasons for "The Break-Up"

A leading destination/facility management company recently partnered with SLRG to better understand the impact of infrastructure and amenities enhancements on guest loyalty. Specifically, our client sought to uncover key drivers of those who were lapsing in their decision to choose client properties, with a particular eye towards the evolving nature of those attributes and non-tangible benefits that mattered most to this group. Choosing a qualitative approach to gain insight into how the brand and its properties is perceived, SLRG's research team was able to quickly and thoroughly assess and identify some of the key themes driving attrition. The final reporting included extensive verbatim comments to illustrate each of the major findings, and then synthesized the key take-aways through a succinct chart that identified related guest expectations, realities and recommended actions to address each of the unmet needs. Sports and Leisure Research Group works with a variety of destinations, private clubs, properties and sporting venues to objectively assess and identify their ability to deliver on guest expectations unique selling propositions and maximize the impact of their product offerings and marketing communications. Contact us to learn more

When Custom Research Is Cost Prohibitive, Client Looks To Best Practices And Comparables

SLRG President Jon Last, when describing research options, often draws a transportation analogy between skate boards and Rolls Royce's....Both get you from one point to another, just with a very different comfort level. The skate board approach was more reflective of a recent SLRG client who was looking to assess the potential for a new service offering. While the research team identified an optimal approach that deployed multiple phases of qualitative and quantitative concept testing and price elasticity research, such a methodology was clearly beyond the budget and time realities of this particular client. So, SLRG deployed its resources in library science, database integration and secondary research to identify comparable information that could aid the client in creating a series of strategic scenarios built off of the information uncovered by SLRG. Such an efficient approach, raised additional questions to ultimately be answered by a primary research effort, but in the interim, the client now went into their business planning with a base level sense of expectations and opportunities. Let us know if we can take a similar approach towards identifying your informational needs. Contact us


Golf, Inc., Fall 2012:

What We Need to Make Player Development Programs Work: SLRG President Jon Last's opinion piece in the Fall Golf, Inc., examines what could be the real underlying issue behind stagnant golf participation growth. While meaningful programs have been developed, the missing link may be in enhancing implementation with an approach more reflective of how successful CPG firms and franchisors roll out their channel marketing. READ MORE

Research Business Daily Report:

In September, RBDR's Bob Lederer spoke with SLRG President Jon Last on the rightful place for D-I-Y research and how, when deployed properly, such an approach can free up client company budgets for more insightful and consultative marketing research. WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW

November PGA Magazine:

SLRG research is cited throughout the cover story on PGA of America's "Connecting with Her", an important Golf 2.0 initiative aimed at creating a more welcoming golf experience for women. Read about our findings related to effective golf retail merchandising. READ MORE

Media Post's Marketing Sports:

Jon Last's monthly POVs on trends impacting sports marketing remain among the most highly read and re-tweeted regular features on Media Post's Marketing: Sports.

OCTOBER: The October posting speaks to how football has uniquely differentiated itself on its way towards becoming the most popular sport in America. What are the promoters of pigskin doing right?

SEPTEMBER: To be successful in building a brand, marketers of sports properties need to do more than just hitch themselves to a singular star. The September posting, examines this phenomenon from a number of perspectives.

AUGUST: Measuring return on investment of sports marketing activation remains a hot topic in these still fiscally uncertain times. This August Media post speaks declaratively to what does and does not make sense.

These pieces as well as previous columns and other SLRG media coverage can be found in the "Last Word" section of our website. Jon's columns post regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. You can receive immediate notifications by following him on Twitter

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Jon Last, 445 Hamilton Avenue; Suite 1102, White Plains, NY 10601