E-Newsletter   |  JANUARY 2019
Join Us for our Annual Market Outlook Breakfast at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show; Presented by GOLF, Golf.com and the ASGCA

You are invited to join Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last for a dynamic presentation that will explore macro trends impacting golf brand and, travel marketing, and their implications for the golf industry, at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.
Wednesday January 23rd: Annual Market Insights Breakfast  Presented by SLRG, GOLF, GOLF.com and The ASGCA

Jon will keynote the breakfast, which will again cover the latest macro trends, and multi-constituent perspectives shaping the year ahead.  These will include: 
  • Golfer perspectives on participation, product technology innovation and consumer confidence 
  • A forward look at expected retail spending and demand across product categories and golf related travel
  • The vantage point of golf facility operators, owners and golf course architects as they continue to reshape the overall golfer experience 
This year's breakfast will be held in Room  W106  of the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday January 23rd, at 7:30AM.  Golf Magazine/Golf.com and the ASGCA will also be sending invitations.  Readers of this newsletter interested in attending,  should email an RSVP to  chris@sportsandleisureresearch.com  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  email for more information on this presentation or to schedule an appointment at the show.
Tuesday January 22nd: Optimizing Golfers' Satisfaction Through Data Driven Insights: 

Leveraging the most recent research and decades of industry studies, Sports and Leisure Research Group Founder and President Jon Last provides a blue print for optimizing the golfer experience through the efficient and ongoing solicitation of customer feedback.   This session, offered as part of the PGA Show's Education Program, will enable attendees to get a pulse on current consumer needs as well as best practices for efficiently harnessing behavioral and attitudinal data for competitive advantage.  The presentation will draw from best practices throughout the hospitality industry as well as at top performing golf facilities.  Additional information and registration for the PGA Merchandise Show Education series can be found at   http://www.pgashow.com

2019 ASGCA Golf Facility Market Trend Watch Webinar Set for January 17th

Findings from SLRG and the American Society of Golf Course Architects' all new 2019 "Golf Facility Market Trend Watch" will be presented as part of an ASGCA webinar to be held on January 17th at 4:00pm ET.  Jon Last will provide insights from the second 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. 

Results of Winter 2019 SLRG Golf and Sports Omnibus Study to Release in February

More than 2,000 U.S. Sports Fans once again weigh in with their opinions and attitudes on everything from sports participation, media viewership and contemporary/macro economic issues and their impact on consumer and leisure spending, in the latest Sports and Leisure Research Group fan tracking studies. These reports will be posted on our web site, this February. You can view results of previous reports, HERE

Finding a Balance Between Serving Core and Opportunity Customer Segments

Over the last several months of 2018, multiple SLRG event property clients sought our assistance as each continued to look for ways in which to broaden the appeal of their offerings to a wider enthusiast audience.  It's easy and appropriate for a property to focus on its core audience in seeking out enhanced amenities, onsite activations, technology value add and communications programs that further leverage the central values and participation drivers that make their offerings special.  But as sports properties seek to grow their appeal, we've noticed a continued increase in attention to those outside of the current core audience. While it is foolish to assume that a simple "build it and they will come" approach is enough to retain the most avid fans, our research has often shown that a focus on providing access to the event itself, often reinforces those essential emotional drivers that bring about participation consideration.  The challenge is tougher when reaching beyond this group to those with a tertiary or limited interest in the central activity.  The typical response by properties, of late, particularly those focused on Millenial and Gen Z audiences has been to go the route of developing social spaces or components, that emphasize interactivity, entertainment or food and beverage and are less dependent upon the central sporting event taking place.  But at what point does such a response fail to deliver a meaningful ROI?  How does a property find the right balance between creating an environment that is wider in appeal, without watering down the experience that core fans are seeking?  These are the most important considerations that must be evaluated through research across multiple constituents.

Casino Resorts Must Look to Find Unique Points of Differentiation Amidst Increasingly Saturated Markets 

Even before this year's SCOTUS ruling opened the floodgates on legalized sports gambling, we've seen a proliferation of casino property development and redevelopment across the country.  Yet, both anecdotal and formal observation have left us largely underwhelmed with the efforts of many casino properties to effectively create unique selling propositions to prospective guests. This, of course, excludes some of the really innovative and progressive tactics that have been deployed by the gaming industry towards best customers.  In those circumstances, we've often used the industry as best practice examples of effectively fusing behavioral and attitudinal data for relationship marketing.  However, general consumer marketing has often evoked what we previously labeled in the cruise industry as a "sea of sameness" in advertising.   You know the obligatory beauty shot of the ship at sea equates to the sweeping image of a bustling, neon lit casino floor, images of smiling young and diverse couples enjoying sumptuous meals, maybe a night club shot. What do these images say about a property?  Fun? Elegance?  Trendiness? Escape?  The chance to win?  All are legitimate and research proven drivers of a positive experience.  But they fail to differentiate one property from another.  Amidst the expanding local choices for gaming related entertainment, it behooves these properties to dive deep into what truly can (or ideally does) set themselves apart from the proliferation of competition.  We've been fortunate enough to have a front row seat to this process for multiple casino properties.  Innovative research can uncover both emotional and physical attributes that make a venue appealing to existing guests as well as those which repel other potential visitors.  Towards this end, SLRG's extensive customized research approach has added value for clients within the Gaming Industry  just as it has for the broader Sports Industry  You can also reach out HERE , directly, with any questions on how we can help optimize your marketing effectiveness in the year ahead.

In the December Media Post, SLRG's Jon Last shares a unique researcher's perspective on the double edged sword of technology innovation in sporting goods marketing. One of the prime elements of sporting goods product development and marketing is the aspirational promise of technology innovation.  The science and engineering become the rationale for the desired [...] READ MORE
The lead item on the November 13, Marketing Insider offers perspective on finding an appropriate balance between simplified data visualization and comprehensive research analysis.  Sports marketing analysts are in a bit of a predicament. We pride ourselves on an ability to dive deeply into data and find nuance beyond basic descriptive statistics. But at the [...] READ MORE
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 201 9.
CLICK HERE to read Jon's predictions.


Morning Drive segment on The Golf Channel, featured First Tee VP Jeff York highlighting some of the findings from recent research conducted in partnership with SLRG.  You can watch the segment, HERE:
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