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Marketing Plan: National College Athletic Association

Executive Summary

National College Athletic Association (NCAA) is an association that unites athletes as individuals, athletic organizations, conferences, and institutions. The peculiarity of this organization is that it is non-profit. Consequently, it has a more noble character than money earning. This paper reveals the peculiarities of marketing plan of NCAA. First, it gives company logo, mission, and marketing strategy, as they help to understand the role of NCAA in the society. Second, this paper discusses SWOT-analysis of the company to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Moreover, the marketing mix helps to understand product, promotion, place, and price strategies of NCAA. Third, this term paper reveals the fact that promotional plan of NCAA is based on the direct and indirect advertisement.

Introduction

Marketing plan is one of the most important parts of business strategy of any company that presupposes planning all its activities and operations. NCAA (National College Athletic Association) needs a marketing plan to depict its organization, strategies, and policies. Moreover, marketing plan helps to reinforce strengths, avoid possible weaknesses and emerged threats, and do not miss new opportunities for further development and growth. The current paper is a marketing plan that reveals the peculiarities of NCAA (National College Athletic Association), its logo, mission, strategy, target market, marketing mix, market trends, and market segmentations. Consequently, this marketing plan is a way to further improvements, development and prevention of the emerging threats.

Company Name/Logo

The company’s name is National College Athletic Association, shortened as NCAA. Even its name proves that it has a noble task that unites athletes from different organizations. The logo of this association includes the abbreviation of its full name that is depicted on the blue background. The logo of the company is not complicated or sophisticated. However, sport prefers minimalism. Consequently, the logo and company name are relevant, as they give a full and direct understanding of the association type. Moreover, they prove that the company pays more attention to quality of their work, rather than a general picture of the organization (NCAA, 2015).

Mission Statement

The mission of NCAA is to unite student-athletes with the common goal and be the integral part of the higher education. It is evident that this mission has a noble character that encourages the development of values. First, students have the opportunity to balance their academic and athletic experiences. Second, NCAA provides the highest level of integrity among sportsmen. Moreover, this association benefits development of leadership and respect to other athletes. The inclusive culture of NCAA is the basement for career opportunities. Moreover, it has a supporting role that involves more students to become athletes (NCAA, 2015).

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy of NCAA refers to its ability of organizing the athlete programs for colleges and universities and involvement of other companies, as partners or sponsors. The marketing strategy of this association intends to increase the number of colleges and universities and other profit companies as collaborators. Moreover, the marketing strategy of NCAA includes organization of competitions for athletes. The marketing strategy of NCAA is built according to the type of sport event and athletes who participate in it. The marketing strategy of this association is successful, as it has high revenues for the organization and students’ involvement (NCAA, 2015).

Target Market

The target market of NCAA includes students who are athletes and study at colleges and universities. Moreover, one can say that association also targets universities and colleges that encourage their students to participate in sport activities. One can include here the sponsoring companies, as NCAA should also find them and persuade to invest money. Consequently, the association has a wide target market that is reached with the help of the noble mission, proper policy, and marketing strategy. However, it does not mean that NCAA should not look for new students, colleges, and universities to increase the number of customers (NCAA, 2015).

Competitive Analysis

NCAA is the largest sport association. Consequently, it has no competitors that could threaten its position in the market. Not without a reason, this sport association is very demanding, and there is a high competition for becoming a part of it. All colleges and universities want to collaborate with NCAA, as it provides quality, reputation, and success. Supporting student-athletes financially and physically, NCAA only reinforces its name that is already a brand. Moreover, this organization is competitive because it provides financial aid and athletic scholarship. All colleges and universities can raise their reputation with the help of NCAA and its prestige in the world (NCAA, 2015).

Promotional Plan

For promotion, NCAA uses marketing communication approach that includes: public relations, advertising, direct marketing, and promotion via partnership, collaboration, and sponsorship. One also proposes to use paid and unpaid, personal and impersonal ways for reinforcing reputation and developing brand image. Impersonal paid ways presuppose advertising and website. Publicity belongs to unpaid and impersonal ways of developing brand image. The effective personal and paid ways of brand developing are m-commerce, direct mail, and e-mail. People belong to personal and unpaid way of brand image developing. Public relation promotes the company’s image, attracts new customers, and increases incomes. It is an essential component of the promotional plan of NCAA.

Moreover, the company uses public relations through participation in the world sport events and collaboration with colleges and universities (NCAA, 2015).

Marketing Mix

Marketing mix presupposes the analysis of place, price, product, and promotion strategies.

Place

NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis. However, it is very popular in the USA and Canada, as it collaborates with its colleges and universities.

Price

Despite the fact that NCCA is a non-profit organization, it receives revenues for the organization of sport events and competition; good athletes receive financial aid and scholarship and can develop their sport skills freely.

Product

NCAA specializes in services, such as establishing the collaboration with colleges and universities, organization of sport events, and sanctioning many kinds of sport. Analyzing the product strategy of NCAA, one should say that it is well-developed. Product strategy shows that the company adapts to the needs and demands of their customers. Consequently, the total product conception is right. For the development of new services, the organization should use some additional costs. Moreover, NCAA can start manufacturing sport goods and equipments for their athletes.

Promotion

Promotion is done with the help of brand name, image and reputation in the market.

SWOT-Analysis

SWOT-analysis is a part of marketing plan that presupposes determining the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of the company (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012).

Strengths

1. Market leader

2. The variety of services and operations

3. Cooperation with many colleges and universities

4. High revenues

5. Expanding the target audience

6. Competitive advantage

7. Brand equity

These strengths prove that NCAA is a powerful association and is a crucial player in the sport market that makes a big impact on future sporty generation. Being a market leader, NCAA should move forward to remain exemplary. The variety of services and operations will reveal new opportunities for students. Cooperation with colleges and universities is the basement for winning new customers and partners. High revenues will benefit increasing the investments for scholarships and financial aid to students.

Weaknesses

1. Financial aspect: Expensiveness

2. Contradiction to the firstly-created policy (The association was created as non-profit organization but it earns money)

3. Enormous growth

4. Dependence on many suppliers

5. High demand for financial, human, and physical resources

The weaknesses of NCAA prove that this organization needs improvements of its policy and operations to remain competitive. The expensiveness of some services should not be the barrier for athletes. Consequently, NCAA should invest more money for scholarship and financial aid. The association should follow its initial appointment of being a non-profit organization.

Opportunities

1. Increasing the suppliers’ number

2. Human resources development

3. Expansion in the international market

4. Improvement of image and reputation in the market

5. Collaboration with other non-profit companies

6. Innovation

Such opportunities prove that NCAA should move forward and expand the European market, as it has the potential and resources. The collaboration with suppliers is a ‘must’, as they can provide sport goods and equipment. NCAA should involve only the most qualified and skillful human resources that will be collaborative and negotiating, as these qualities are necessary for the establishment of collaboration with universities and colleges. Expansion in the international market will open the possibilities of increasing the number of students-athletes.

Threats

1. The decrease of the number of universities and colleges

2. The reputation damage

3. The loss of sponsors and suppliers

4. Possible lawsuits

5. High competition

These threats prove that leaders of NCAA should not relax but look for new opportunities for development and growth. The decrease of universities and colleges can lead to the lack of students. Consequently, NCAA should collaborate with other sport organizations and high schools. NCAA should follow its mission and care about reputation to avoid possible lawsuits.

80/20 Rule

80/20 rule or principle of Pareto is the tool for growing business (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012). Consequently, it is a ‘must’ for NCAA to use it. According to 80/20 rule, they should serve 20% of sport events, but earn 80% of revenues. It means that marketing strategy should work on 20% but provide 80% of sales. Analyzing the revenues of NCAA, it becomes evident that this association uses this principle to become more exemplary, competitive, and profitable. It means that the proper distribution of resources is the basement for future perspectives. Moreover, NCAA should concentrate its attention on the single activity and does not distribute its strengths ineffectively.

Data Research

To understand the strengths of NCAA, one should conduct data research. First, the association collaborates with athletes from 1, 281 establishments. Such a number reinforces the popularity of NCAA among students. In 2014, the company has generated almost a billion dollars (NCAA, 2015). It proves that the association has many costs for new projects and programs for students. To study the market of company, one should use primary data from the official website and secondary data received from employees and customers. It is evident that NCAA has become a brand association that does not attract with its programs but its experience and reputation.

Market Segmentation

The target market of NCAA includes students of both genders from colleges and universities. Customers are the driving force of the company, as they determine demand and profits. One should consider that customers are very sensitive to price and quality aspects. One should segment market to work with it more effectively. One can divide the market, according the demographic, behavioral, psychographic, and socio-cultural factors influencing target market.

Table 1

Demographic

Behavioral

Psychographic

Socio-Cultural

Males and females, aged 18-25.

Prefer sport activities and have healthy and active lifestyle.

Use sport as a hobby and relaxing activity.

Avoid sport discrimination of diverse athletes.

Market Trends

The analysis of marketing of NCAA gives recommendations for future market trends. First, there is the necessity of expansion globally, increase of services, and improve marketing strategy. NCAA uses its opportunities to save its competitive advantage. It should be sensitive to the market changes. To ensure successful growth and development, NCAA should improve the brand image in the global market. However, it is a long-term objective that cannot be solved immediately. To improve the brand image, the association should use various interviews to determine the rate of customer satisfaction. Such measure will help to reinforce company’s interest in the high quality of services and customers’ satisfaction.

Conclusion

Marketing plan of NCAA demonstrates the necessity of innovations and changes. Moreover, it shows that the association is successful with the help of its marketing strategy, vision of business, and noble mission. However, it does not mean that the state of affairs is totally perfect, as the world does not stand still. As a result, it is a must for NCAA to look for the new colleges and universities abroad. The use of economic growth for motivation, geographical diversity, finding new markets for raising the profits, and globalization are the ways for finding new customers and target market enhancement. It is a must for NCAA to look for the new locations. Since the association operates in the US, it has to look for new places in other countries. It is related to finding new clients and increasing the opportunity for international growth and capacity of the company. One recommends making these steps more strategic and corresponding to the market demand. Moreover, the company should follow ethical principles in their attitude to their competitors, partners, sponsors, and collaborators.

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