E-Newsletter   |  MARCH 26, 2020
Pensive mature businessman having job with laptop while looking at window. Contemplative employer concept

Yesterday in Media Post, columnist Ray Schultz implored companies to stop sending "A message from our CEO 'crisis manifestos' (We are washing our hands.  We are not washing our hands..but we are here for you!), of which I received no less than 75 in the past week."  Here's a link to Ray's piece:   https://bit.ly/3av1DPv
I assure you that this newsletter is not intended to fall into such a trap.  Having been on the road through the last two weeks (attending seven NCAA Conference Tournament basketball games-before cancellations, along with two Broadway shows, four flights and conducting some 30+ face-to-face consumer depth interviews...and thankfully feeling fine) there are a number of perspectives and observations that we can share as we all sort through this hopefully short lived "new normal", together. I hope that all of you are safe, healthy and maintaining some level of productivity. We are here to provide some insights and to hopefully facilitate a conversation.


This morning, I appeared on the Research Business Daily Report Podcast to provide some commentary on what we see happening in marketing research and insights, with a particular emphasis on our vertical industries of interest.  It's a relatively short video that you can see HERE.  I'd welcome your thoughts and reactions. Of course, there's more, below.

A major take-away from my comments in the video above, is that particularly in times of uncertainty, it is even more imperative to keep a pulse on what everyone is thinking and its impact on our brands.  To that end, I'm asking each of you to take five minutes and actually play the role of respondent, by answering a brief (I promise) survey.  In that way, we can all learn what leaders in the sports, travel and media industries are thinking and doing during these unprecedented times. We will share our findings in another special edition of this newsletter, next week.
Please participate by clicking HERE

TWO QUICK thoughts and observations:
1. The Recent Past Informs What Things May Look Like When Normalcy Returns
I've always been a half full person, but I'd like to share a poignant experience from the aftermath of 9-11. I was overseeing research and marketing for a leading golf media brand, and one of the immediate questions posed from the editorial side, was where did our sport fit in people's lives at such a tenuous and fragile moment.  Had the relationship changed?  Was golf a frivolous afterthought?  Was it wrong to maintain the tonality of our brand's content, or did we need to pause and acknowledge greater more societally critical considerations?  What we learned unequivocally was that golf was a cherished oasis from the chaos, and both our brand and its audience embraced it in a mutually beneficial way.  In today's climate of social distancing and imposed isolation, there are many who believe that golf and sports in general can play an immediate and uninterrupted role in providing some normalcy and respite from the rampant barrage of often frightening and unclear information, albeit in modified ways.  NASCAR's successful simulated race last weekend, is one immediate example. I suspect that the appetite for live sports will only grow during this current pause. When we ultimately turn on the faucet again, I suspect that the battle for fans' attention and engagement will be even further amplified as everyone converges for their share of attention after the absence. The brands and properties that thoughtfully prepare for that now, will gain competitive advantage.
2. Stay True to Your Brand
Group of People Waving American Flags over blue sky
The above said, as leisure properties struggle with dismantling the interrupted, while maintaining and managing communications with staff and customers and preparing for an uncertain future, it's critical not to lose sight of brand essence.  At our firm, we grappled with the right approach for this newsletter and other outreach to clients, suppliers and friends.  All at once, there's a desire to be empathetic, strong and pragmatic...to lead from a position of thoughtfulness and foresight.  That's why we landed where we did with what you are reading, today.  We must acknowledge the new reality, but at the same time recognize our strengths and positive differentiating qualities, and then stay true to it.  In just a short time we've already seen some who have embraced this and others who have stepped into a different and potentially dangerous place.  We've seen it first hand as we approached various external resources to help us pivot to today's realities. Those who show continued commitment as valued partners will reap future loyalty and rewards.  Others will see their equity eroded.  There's much to be learned and applied for each of you, as well.
Gamification's Growing Impact On Participatory Sports
The lead item in the March 10 Marketing Insider on Media Post features research driven observations on the role of gamification in sustaining and growing participatory sports. READ MORE

2020 ASGCA Study Shows Optimism Among Owners/ Operators
The lead item in the February issue of ASGCA Insights, highlights some of the key findings from our third annual Market Trend Watch study.  Course renovation continues to be the facility enhancement most desired by golfers at both public and private courses, according to golf course superintendents and general managers. That is just one result. READ MORE
ASGCA Posts SLRG Research Perspectives On Golf Market Trends
In five quick videos, SLRG's Jon Last highlights key insights from early 2020 research with golfers and golf facility operators. VIEW HERE
POSTED: February 20, 2020

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