E-Newsletter   |  JANUARY 2020
Golf in the year 2020 is actually here, and you are cordially invited to join Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last for two unique presentations at The 2020 PGA Merchandise Show and 2020 Golf Industry Show, respectively. Each will take a look back and a look forward at trends and developments impacting the industry, with particular focus on their impacts on golf brand, travel and facility marketing, and their implications.  Join us in Orlando, Florida for either or both of these presentations.
Join Us for our Annual Market Outlook Breakfast at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show; Presented by GOLF, Golf.com and the ASGCA
Wednesday January 22nd: Annual Market Insights Breakfast  Presented by SLRG, GOLF, GOLF.com and The ASGCA - Our annual trends breakfast will again cover the latest macro developments, golfer attitudes and behaviors 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 W102  of the Orange County Convention Center on  Wednesday January 22nd, 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 our  website or via  email for more information on this presentation or to schedule an appointment at the show.

Tuesday January 28th:  Market TrendWatch at The ASGCA Winter Meeting at the Golf Industry Show:
As part of this year's Golf Industry Show, the American Society of Golf Course Architects  will host its first Winter Meeting Jan. 28 at the Orange County Convention Center from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., a perfect add-on for anyone attending the 2020 Golf Industry Show. The one-day seminar, "Tradition and Innovation - Where the Golf Industry is and Where it is Going," is open to members of ASGCA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Golf Course Builders Association of America, United State Golf Association, golf course owners and managers, and industry vendors and suppliers.
Tapping into brand new research with golf course architects, superintendents and facility management Sports and Leisure Research Group Founder and President Jon Last will provide an update on trends in facility operations culled from this third wave of the annual Market Trendwatch study.  Additional information about the ASGCA winter meeting can be found at  http://www.asgca.org.  Registration information for the Golf Industry show can be found at https://www.golfindustryshow.com/registration


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

We all know the adage that you only get one opportunity to make a first impression.  This is even more true today as various sports and destination properties seek to evolve their identities and put their best foot forward with alternate uniforms, packaging and brand imagery.  We've been involved in a number of these transformations, as sound research is often at the heart of objectively evaluating and assessing the resonance of potential iterations.  But testing alternatives is a carefully crafted bouillabaisse of art and research science.

Ideally each potential concept is exposed in a natural environment, reflective of the competitive set.  For potential new product packaging, we often create multiple virtual in store facings that feature one of the potential concepts alongside its competitive products.  It's imperative to not reveal the test brand, or risk disposition bias, so these tests typically require large sample sizes, so that each iteration and combination can be exposed to projectable and identical audiences.  In addition to testing for wantedness, likability and perceived value, respondents are then taken through a variety of brand essence statements and asked to align each with a particular brand, to see if a particular package concept best evokes the desired positioning.  The analytical fun part is when we then look at variations across each of the test cells, to see if there is a clear "winner."  Whether you are looking at a new uniform set, package design, marketing collateral or logos, these "multi-variate" tests are a great way to inform brand decision making.  We can do the same for you.  CONTACT US.

One of the more prevalent and interesting modalities that we deploy at SLRG is helping marketers evaluate the impact of their advertising in moving brand perceptions. Brand or agency typically have a series of goals or objectives spelled out in a creative brief prior to the launch of a campaign, and we are often called upon to measure this against target consumers.  Because no one likes to call the baby ugly, we typically advocate that testing is done in a brand blind fashion at the height of a campaign's media weight. This provides an appropriate competitive context and can be quite helpful in determining whether the creative is breaking through to change brand perceptions in real time.  But the competitive dynamic is only one analytical framework that we advocate. 

Alongside this, is being able to gauge perceptual movement against a benchmark measurement of similar perceptions prior to the initiation of the campaign.  This form of "pre/post" measurement adds another important benchmark from which to evaluate advertising impact, that brands shouldn't overlook.  The pre-wave needs to be planned and implemented prior to the launch of the advertising, to provide this important additional frame of reference. Many of our clients also benefit by tracking this perceptual movement over time, often long after the conclusion of a campaign to further evaluate the staying power of the advertising and to determine which message points are resonating as well as which require amplification.  Let's discuss how we can make this type of testing work for you.  CONTACT US

2020 new year goal_plan_action text on notepad with office accessories.Business motivation_inspiration concepts ideas
Maybe it's because I'm generally a "half-full" guy, but the onset of a new year (and in this case, a new decade) can be inspiring as I think about the adventures and learning that lie ahead over the next twelve months.  Each January, our aforementioned omnibus work has typically afforded a great opportunity to jumpstart that process by pulsing consumer attitudes and comparing and contrasting them to prior years, with a goal of examining shifting attitudes and trends.  With our firm now in its 12th year of operation, there's a large repository of data, and the opportunity to analyze it at the beginning of each year, is invigorating.
Yet, as I sit down to write this on January 2, 2020, I also find myself also taking a moment to reflect introspectively on the reality that the older you get, the faster time seems to zip by.  As the world becomes more frenetic (A theme that seems to become increasingly amplified each year that we study consumer attitudes), it's easy to marginalize or overlook the lessons of the past and the wisdom one can gain by embracing those who can reflect upon it. 
Good research and meaningful living, both mean learning and gaining perspective from those who experience things in different ways than we do.  I've often commented that as marketers, we are often much more immersed in the brands and industries that we support, than the typical customer.  It's taking, processing and retaining the collective experiences of others as insights that make us better, as marketers and as human beings.  With the dawning of a new decade that reality strengthens my personal resolve to harvest collective wisdom...to look back at the same time that we look forward.  It can not only inform us, but inspire us to do great things.  Here's to a 2020 that builds our futures while honoring our past.
In the December 2019 Media Post Marketing Sports, SLRG's Jon Last reflect back on where we were at the close of the previous decade, and what has transpired over the ensuing ten years in sports marketing. 
In the November 2019 Media Post: Marketing Sports, SLRG President Jon Last explores how sports properties are continuing to use research to create more compelling, customized experiences for core and casual fans.  READ HERE
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 2020.  READ HERE.
SLRG's Jon Last provided a brief update on the latest developments in sports industry research, on Bob Lederer's Research Business Daily Report. WATCH IT HERE.
We're humbled and appreciative of J.J. Keegan referencing SLRG as "without peer" and "The most reliable source for golf industry trends" in the lead item of their most recent issue.  Keegan's piece also highlights Jon Last's opening keynote at the recent Golf Inc. Conference, and links to the presentation. READ HERE.
Golf, sports and leisure marketing professionals can gain more research driven perspectives from SLRG President Jon Last's weekly column featured in Swing U's weekly Strategies newsletter.  Last's column look's at consumer trends and other marketing strategy issues.  Here's what you may have missed over the past eight weeks... 

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