It's hard to believe that another year is almost behind us.  Some may say that this reflection is part and parcel of getting older.  I prefer to look at it as recognition that when you immerse yourself in a body of work that is invigorating and intellectually stimulating, the time passes quickly.  Couple that with the opportunity to travel to great places and interact with a diverse and thoughtful group of clients and
colleagues, and again I find myself not wanting to slow the pace at all.  At the heart of what I've always defined as necessary qualities to be an exceptional researcher, is an insatiable appetite for knowledge, a continuous wanderlust for observing the world around you and a burn ing desire to make good sense of it.  
201 6 was certainly a year replete with a number of trul y interesting and challenging engagements on behalf of many of you reading this.  SLRG researchers had the privilege  to work on studies  across each of the major competitive team sports, in both the professional and collegiate spaces.  Our travel, media and leisure projects afforded us the opportunity to derive insights for a number of unique and disparate properties, destinations and brands.  And, of course our extensive work in the golf vertical provided even more layers of learning around multiple aspects of both the supply and demand side of an industry that continues to evolve and transform itself, while still holding dear to the values and traditions that make it so special. 
We look back at a 2016 that saw us build 
and manage research communities, dive deeply into  the ways in which technology and digital platforms integrate themselves into the sports and leisure pursuits we love and better understand how consumers make key decisions about how to spend their highly valued dollars and available free time.  We've assessed and processed the interaction of fan and participant behaviors, attitudes and perceptions and sorted through the anecdotes and conjecture that can often cloud the pragmatic reality that well designed and meticulously executed research will yield.  To our clients, the SLRG team, our colleagues and business partners, I extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for enabling us to take this journey together.

As w e move into our tenth year of business, we rem ain  stea dfastly committed to making our clients smarter and to arming them with fact-based insights for decision-making.  We are relentless in evolving our practice in ways that create cost efficiencies for clients, yet still provide fresh, cutting edge and often provocative findings that can inspire action.  As a custom shop, we remain nimble and open to new ways of collecting, processing and interpreting information, while simultaneously recognizing that at the end of the day, impactful marketing research ultimately comes down to a rigorous and diligent focus on finding and engaging the right sample frame with well constructed and designed means of data collection and then making the extra effort in analyzing and interpreting what the data reveals. Holding true to these high standards remains a key tenet of our firm's philosophy and that has and will not waver in the year ahead.
We'll again kick-off the new year with the release of fresh research that will shine a light on golfer
behaviors and separate the myths from  re alities.  In the broader sports marketing space, we'll o nce again deliver a new wave of our ongoing sports o mni bus study.  We'll look forward to welcoming golf industry partners and friends to the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show at our annual research 
breakfast sponsored by Sports Illustrated Golf Group.  Mark your breakfast calendars for Wednesday January 25. Look for more details and an invitation to this event, at the start of the new year.
At the risk of being repetitive, let me again take brief pause to thank each of you for being a part of what makes our jobs so special and invigorating.  I remain humbled and grateful for your friendship, trust and support.  May the year ahead afford us the opportunity to serve you with additional insights as we sort through a business and cultural climate where evolution and change are the only constants.  I wish each of you all of the blessings of the holidays and a healthy, prosperous and joyful 2017.
Warmest Regards,

Wish I Had This When I Was A Kid  - Huge Potential For Ivy League Sports Marketing
In the "election day" edition of Media Post's Marketing Sports, SLRG President Jon Last opines about why a concerted effort to market Ivy League sports should reap strong return for activating brands.  Read it here.

Golf Business Canada: Golfers 2.0
SLRG President Jon Last's closing keynote on November 19, 2016 provided insights into the state of the golfer as customer and the potential impact and opportunity for delegates at the Canadian National Golf Course Owners Association conference. Read it here.

Big Data's Impact on MR: Synergy vs. Substitute
In his November 29, 2016 posting to their blog, incoming Marketing Research Institute International (MRII) President, Jon Last comments on the ways in which big data and traditional marketing research should work together. Read it here.

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