E-Newsletter   |  JANUARY 2018
Join Us for Golf Magazine/Golf.com's Annual Market Outlook Breakfast at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show
You are invited to join Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last for a dynamic presentation that will explore macro trends impacting product and brand marketing, and their implications for the golf industry, at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.
Wednesday January 24th: 
Golf Magazine/Golf.com Insights Breakfast - New Paradigms for Golf Marketing - Jon will again keynote the breakfast. This presentation will cover off on a number of macro trends, including:
  • How behavioral and attitudinal data can be melded towards smarter customer targeting and communications
  • The transformation of golf retail
  • Golfer experience and a vision for the golf facility of tomorrow
  • Content delivery shifts and digital disruption.
Golf Magazine/Golf.com's breakfast will again be held in Room W308A of the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday January 24th, at 7:30AM.  Golf  Magazine/Golf.com will also be sending invitations, and those readers of this newsletter interested in attending, can reach out to Billy Rose at Time, Inc., to confirm attendance, as seating is limited.
We hope to see many of you at the show and invite you to reach out to us via our website or via email for more information on this presentation or to schedule an appointment at the show.
2018 Golf Industry Show

Findings from SLRG and the American Society of Golf Course Architects' benchmark "Golf Facility Market Trend Watch" will be presented at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX on Wednesday, February 7th, as part of the ASGCA's Partner Breakfast.  Jon Last will provide insights from the first of these annual studies measuring trends on contemporary issues impacting golf course facility design, re-design and renovation.  Those interested in attending this presentation should reach out directly to the ASGCA. For more information about the golf industry show, click here. To register for the event, click here.

Results of Winter 2018 SLRG Sports Omnibus Study to Release in February
More than 2,000 U.S. Sports Fans weigh in with  their opinions and attitudes on everything from sports participation, media viewership and contemporary issues including the FBI's investigation into college basketball recruiting, the intersection of sports and politics, player safety and sports gambling to name a few, in the latest Sports and Leisure Research Group fan tracking study. The report will be posted on our web site, this February. You can view results of previous reports, here
Partnering with the Gaming and Sports Industries
SLRG's extensive customized research approach has ad ded value for clients within the Gaming Industry and the broader Sports Industry

In the gaming industry, recent work has included the development of customized, dashboard driven real-time customer satisfaction programs and concept development testing.  We also have completed competitive brand research studies for a variety of resort destinations and convention and visitors bureaus seeking to gain an understanding of their market positioning and points of differentiation relative to their competitive sets.

In professional and collegiate sports, we have worked on behalf of governing bodies, teams, event properties, activating brands and agencies to apply a unique and customized approach to sponsorship efficacy measurement that reveal impact across sponsor awareness, likability, purchase intent and alignment with brand values.

For more information on the gaming industry, click here and for the sports industry, click here. You can also reach out, directly, with any questions on how we can help optimize your marketing effectiveness in the year ahead.

POV:  Does Marketing Research Suffer from a "Crisis of Confidence"?
There's a school of thought within the market research profession, that many have lost confidence in the value and accuracy of research.  I'd redefine the issue more as one of collective indifference, brought about by a number of factors:
  • Clients are overwhelmed by the exponentially increasing abundance of data, commensurate with a lack of resources to fully and succinctly synthesize it.
  • The classic "drunk and lamp post metaphor"...ie research is often utilized solely as a means of support rather than illumination"...When findings challenge the status quo or a preconceived assumption or strategic direction, it is often marginalized or discarded.
  • Related to the above is a laziness or reluctance to question the status quo--particularly in organizations where research or metrics are simply "have to do" mandated items to punch on the checklist, we continue to see a failure to challenge poorly designed and often antiquated historical currency.
  • The rapid, and pervasive adoption of social media provides ubiquitous commentary, reaction and posturing that can often be easily repurposed as a no-cost or low cost surrogate for more representative and rigorously designed formal research.
  • Similarly, greater migration to low cost D-I-Y platforms that are designed by and for technologists, rather than researchers marginalizes the value of research conducted by professional and thoughtful suppliers.  Savvy users of marketing research recognize the need for skilled integration of art and science that encompass sample design, data collection and analysis.  D-I-Y platforms can not replace the skill sets and training required to get these critical elements correct, and can then risk the "garbage in/garbage out" phenomenon of D-I-Y, casting doubt on the entire utility of the discipline.
  • The deleterious impact of incorrect polling and often media driven, convenience sample polls that aim to create provocative, but often misleading content.
  • The trend towards over-simplification and dumbing down for an A.D.D. society--Our upfront "Two minute take-aways" executive summaries, have literally devolved to 20 second take-aways--often one slide of info-graphics, clip art icons and simple bullet points, because that's the limited appetite that overworked, multi-tasking clients have.
  • Fundamental issues in sample/data quality and project scope creep are often brushed aside because more rigorous alternatives would be seen as cost prohibitive or less efficient.
  • The Bigger, Faster, Newer is Better fallacy permeates today's business culture in all but the most traditional verticals. 
To read the full commentary, and learn what can be done to stop this tide of indifference, click here.
In the November Marketing Sports, Jon Last speaks to research driven insights for sports marketers to optimize their digital video content.    Read it here.

The December Media Post: Marketing Sports reveals a framework with which sports marketers can deploy generic strategies to each of two basic fan segments, defined by their motivations.  Click here to read it.
SLRG's Jon Last was again featured among other market research industry leaders in RFL Communications' Annual Predictions Issue, weighing in regarding what the profession should be looking for in 2018. Click here to read Jon's predictions.
SLRG's Last is Honorary President of the University of Georgia's Marketing Research Institute International

Upon completing his 2017 presidential term for the University of Georgia's Marketing Research Institute International, Sports and Leisure Research Group's Jon Last has moved into the immediate Past President/Honorary President Role. Last has served on the association's board of directors for over ten years, and remains Marketing Chair for the fifth consecutive year. 

Earlier in his career, Last served as national President of the Marketing Research Association (MRA-Now Insights Association) during the 2007-2008 term year.
The MRII's mission is to offer global, industry-leading continuing education programs for the practice of market research and insights.  MRII's online, self-paced certification programs have long been recognized and endorsed by all of the leading marketing research associations and have provided foundational training for some 8,000 marketing research practitioners worldwide. Jeffrey Henning, a market research consultant and blogger, will serve as the 2018 president.  For more information on the MRII, click here.
SLRG Opens Nashville Office
On January 8th, Sports and Leisure Research Group's MidWest outpost will open in Nashville, Tennessee at the Fifth Third Center Downtown ( 424 Church St Suite 2000, Nashville, TN 3721), after operating in suburban St. Louis for the past two years.  The new Nashville location will continue to provide the firm with a local footprint/gateway to its clients and engagements in the MidWest and Southern United States. In announcing the office move, SLRG President Jon Last, noted with a smile, "Contrary to popular rumors, the move to Nashville is not directly related to my unwavering passion for the Tennessee Titans football team."
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