Sports teams, as well as business companies, depend on marketing strategies and public relations that attract investment from viewers, fans, and sponsors. Simultaneously, the development of technology and the pandemic situation force businesses to rely on e-marketing strategies to retain their customers. Thus, this paper will analyze the Medicine Hat Cubs hockey team to shape an e-resource marketing strategy and generate investment for its growth and development.
Hockey is the most played and popular sports game in Canada that attracts the most investment and sponsorship. Atlanta has eight junior hockey leagues, each with at least 15 teams (“Junior male hockey,” n.d.). The Medicine Hat Cubs play in The Heritage Junior Hockey League with 15 other teams and have not seen their best in recent years (“Cubs history,” n.d.). Moreover, the province and the country have hundreds of different leagues for adults, females, and children that also require funds to operate. Consequently, only the best teams receive the attention and investment of sponsors, and each of the teams needs a developed marketing strategy to gain attention.
The Medicine Hat Cubs Overview and Analysis
The Medicine Hat Cubs is a Junior B ice hockey team with a long history. The team was founded in 1973 and is the oldest in Alberta. The Cubs have won thirteen Championships on its account, although the last of them dates back to 2001 (“Cubs records,” n.d.). However, the team has a fan base and attracts sponsors by participating in the new seasons.
The Medicine Hat Cubs’ SWOT analysis and review of its website and social media show that the team has many aspects that need development and improvement.
|1. Strengths||1. Long and prominent history |
The Cubs’ strengths lie in the team’s history and reputation in the local community to retain a loyal fan base.
2. Offers for local sponsors
The Cubs has also partnered with sponsors and has relevant and beneficial sponsor offers with transparent terms and conditions (“Sponsors,” n.d.). These features allow the team to attract investment.
|2. Weaknesses||1. Decades without winnings |
Firstly, the team’s last championship victory was in 2001, which can alienate even the most loyal fans (“Cubs records,” n.d.).
2. Outdated website and poor engagement on social media.
The team’s website and social media activity demonstrate that the board is not interested or has no skills to attract fans, as the site has an outdated look and Facebook and Twitter pages have about 200 followers.
3. Insufficient sponsor support
Despite the presence of sponsors, their number and investment are insufficient, which hinders the team’s development due to limited resources.
|3. Opportunities||1. The team’s social media presence |
The Medicine Hat Cubs’ core opportunities are to apply e-marketing to expand its fanbase, gain public attention, and, by extension, sponsors.
2. Profit from the sale of merchandise
Increasing the popularity of a team through social media can increase the sales of their merchandise as a clothing brand.
|4. Threads||1. Lack of wins in new seasons |
Another loss for the team can turn away fans, supporters, and sponsors.
2. High competition in the promotion of other teams
Other ice hockey or sports teams can gain advantages by using marketing more effectively and attracting the public and sponsor’s attention.
The Medicine Hat Cubs’ competitor analysis will include the Medicine Hat Tigers hockey team and the Medicine Hat Mavericks baseball team. The Tigers play the Western Hockey League in the junior category, and the Mavericks are a baseball team, and they are not direct competitors to the Cubs on the playing field. However, the Tigers have a well-developed website with information about the team, its statistics, match schedule, as well as various social and community activities that the team provides. For example, a visitor can select “Stay at home activity”, sign up for a skating session with the players, and also watch the game live online (“Skate with the Tigers,” n.d. ). In addition, more than 9000 people have subscribed to the Tigers’ Facebook page, and 17000 users follow Twitter. At the same time, the Mavericks also have live streams, news, information, social initiatives, and an online store where fans can buy gear (“Medicine Hat Mavericks store,” n.d.). Compared to these two teams, the Cubs have a very weak site, with an outdated design, insufficient and poorly structured information, and rare updates, which is its main disadvantage.
However, the Cubs have several advantages over its competitors. Firstly, ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, which is a significant benefit of the Cubs over the Mavericks as marketing cannot overcome national traditions and habits. Secondly, one may note that the Cubs and the Tigers have approximately the same playing stats over the past decade; hence, their sports positions are equal in fans’ eyes. However, the Cubs’ long history gives the team a benefit, since it is one of the city’s symbols. Therefore, these advantages should be used to build a marketing strategy.
An analysis of the Medicine Hat Cubs’ strengths and weaknesses shows that the team needs to aim at e-marketing. Moreover, the Medicine Hat Cubs has development opportunities that do not require significant investment, which is vital for the team. The strategy’s emphasis should be focused on the history of the team and the legacy of the city. Marketing strategy steps should include redesigning the site, using social media, and re-launching your online store with merchandise. Consequently, Medicine Hat Cubs’ marketing strategy will use the 4P model.
The main product of the team is their games. However, due to the pandemic and seasonality of games, the main focus should be on the merchandise and additional services, such as meeting with a team for a limited number of fans. This approach will allow the team to keep profits even on days without games or out of season.
The current ticket price is appropriate ($ 5-10), although, during the quarantine period, it does not generate income for the team. However, the price should remain the same, but initiatives such as an auction for a limited number of tickets may be applied to raise more funds (“The hottest tickets,” n.d.). Merch prices should range from $ 1 for small items such as badges to $ 40 for hoodies and jackets.
The main place of sale and promotion is the Internet, social networks, and the official website. However, for this purpose, the Cubs must update the design and structure of the site and create a user-friendly online store system, since the current one does not work. In addition, merchandise and tickets will also be sold during matches in stadiums, but this approach is secondary due to a limited number of visitors.
The most important thing at this stage for the team is promotion. The first method is to update the site and maintain Facebook and Twitter pages, filling them with relevant information. In addition, TikTok is one of the leading social networks today, which has a wide range of uses. Moreover, TikTok is a free social media that the team can use by challenging its creativity but not budget. For example, recording short videos of the team’s training, participating in trending challenges, and being actively involved in social media will help the Cubs become famous and attract the city’s or state’s residents’ and fans’ attention. This attention can be used to sell merchandise or conduct social initiatives to raise additional funds and sponsorship. In addition, since the Cubs’ competitors do not have TikTok accounts, this type of promotion will help the team overcome the rivals.
Thus, while the pandemic’s limitations hinder the development of sports and public events, the Medicine Hat Cubs can use e-marketing to promote the team and generate investment. Updating social networks and selling merchandise is one of the few options available now; however, one of the most effective. Consequently, the Cubs will be able to develop its image and receive funds for team development and training for athletes by focusing on e-marketing and social media.
Cubs history. (n.d.). Web.
Cubs records. (n.d.). Web.
Junior male hockey. (n.d.). Web.
Medicine Hat Mavericks store. (n.d.). Web.
Skate with the Tigers. (n.d.). Web.
Sponsors. (n.d.). Web.
The hottest tickets in the Hat. (n.d.). Web.