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Marketing Division for Squash

Published: 02 Jan 2008 - 08:17 by rippa rit

Updated: 04 Jan 2008 - 07:36

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It is interesting to read Malcolm's thoughts for 2008.

England Squash have a newly appointed Marketing Division is good news.  Let's hope other nations follow the lead, and that these Marketers then get together Internationally in the future.  Unless kids see our top players as heros they are less likely to pick up a racket, less likely to buy/wear the sports gear, and without followers it is hard to sell the players to the media, sponsors, etc.

We know squash is a great sport, but squash is also a business, an entertainment business, at professional level. 

Good move England Squash - I hope others are listening.


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From rippa rit - 04 Jan 2008 - 07:35   -   Updated: 04 Jan 2008 - 07:36

Marketing - well that covers a heap of stuff.
You know, I have  this feeling we cannot market a game for viewers that does not encourage more shot making, shorter rallies, slow motion of the highlights, a bit like hawk-eye.  Yeah there is not much time in between rallies to muck about, but work does need to be done on how to present the matches better to the public. Some have said they do not understand the game, do not have a clue what is going on. That is a shame.  Skill is the name of the game surely.


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From rippa rit - 03 Jan 2008 - 20:37   -   Updated: 03 Jan 2008 - 21:07

Viper that is a very good point and one which is worth passing onto the National body.

Yes, I got AIS students to go to clubs to give Referee Seminars, but only because I negotiated the deal myself, not due to the rules of the "establishment", requiring me to pick up the students, transport them, get them lunch, drop them back, etc. as they want to get paid for any extra work they are required to do.  So that then opens up another can of worms...money.

I have been there into schools in country areas doing promotion and just happen to be following Vicki Wilson (the top Netballer at that time) who is signing autographs, and leaving Posters for the Noticeboard, etc.. As well as going to the Netball courts and doing a bit of hands-on coaching.

In squash in this country the AIS has operated independently with Government and National Funding, without any thought of how they could help promote the game, as their job is to win Gold Medals, etc., never mind that the player's affiliation fees are used towards their funding.  Sore point.

A Marketing Division, though what we are talking about now is really Development,  would surely address all these things, and the AIS or State Institutes would be one of the "tools" that could be used to assist.  Roger Flynn from the VIS is now working for Scottish Squash so it will be interesting to see how much input these Coaches have in the Marketing Division, if any.  In variably committees are set up to implement new initiatives and there is no coach included....yep, a lot does not make sense.

The game of squash has only existed for 50/60 years in Australia, as far as interclub and interstate competition is concerned, when Clubs and Associations were formed, and affiliation fees were introduced as a means of funding various initiatives, and these things grew along like topsy. 

Fifteen years ago the Governemnt said they wanted sports to become more self-sufficient, and they wanted one voice to deal with, namely the National body, and find sponsorship for their various projects, eg squads, coaching, state teams, state champs, national championships, etc. putting more pressure on Court Owners' suppliers, eg Cheezels, Insurance, sporting goods, alcohol, paint, etc..

Because our centres are privately owned, in the main, that creates further problems because of the fragmentation; lack of co-operation, lack of collective data; etc.

Never mind when all the privately owned centres are all sold, and Clubs are formed at large Sports Complexes (follow the overseas models with private memberships), things will change but we will not have nearly the number of players that we had back in the 1980's nor will the courts be available to those just walking in off the street and play casually.  In SA some Clubs have bought or leased centres and now have liquor licences and at this point that is probably the only financial State Association who can afford to take on new initiatives.

Enough!

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From Viper - 03 Jan 2008 - 17:16   -   Updated: 03 Jan 2008 - 21:07

Here is just one example off the top of my head. I know kids that go to oz kick and milo cricket, as part of the contract the pro footballers and cricket players have with their teams they must do a number of clinics, when these kids see their heros in the flesh they go mad > simple and very effective marketing.


I don't see the squash players who have AIS, VIS, QIS etc contracts running clinics at local squash clubs, why not ? It is you and me supporting them through Federal and State Govt funding, sure they do not get the money of pro footballers/cricketers but as part of their support deal they need to out there marketing the game to the kids.


 

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From rippa rit - 03 Jan 2008 - 07:56   -   Updated: 03 Jan 2008 - 08:12

Jbs - I would hope that any Marketing Division would also look at the problems associated with TV/sponsorship/popularity for viewing, etc. which would include the scoring, the ball, the replays, the length of the rallies, and so on. 

Let's give them a fair go anyway and see what they come up with.

Viper - it is one thing to state a fact, and it is another thing to act on it; and the reality  can only come about when the budget allows for it. To set up a marketing division will cost.  Imagine what it entails. How much $? Where does the money come from?





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From hamburglar - 03 Jan 2008 - 07:19

Squash will never be a mass-market sport. I love the game, I think the top athletes are among the best in the world, but it's not a sport conducive to large crowds or television(yet). Look at the size of the ball and how many people that can comfortably sit around a squash court. Maybe two hundred people at most? 

Tennis can fit a few thousand and the bright yellow balls are easy to see. Top pros make a few million
You can fit about 10,000 around a hockey arena and people can just barely see the puck on TV. Top pros make five to ten million

Probably 50,000 around a football field. Top pros make millions
Nascar has a mile-long grandstand that can hold over 100,000 spectators.
Any one of those fans is willing to buy a pennant, jersey, or memorabilia for $20 . Multiply that by the number of fans and that adds up quickly. Yeah, that's where the money is. Squash will always be a niche sport, they just need to charge more for seats or get big sponsors that are willing to throw money away.


Maybe when squash is shown with HDTV quality, that will help, but just look at the courts, they're not HDTV dimensions. You have to either cut off the high balls or pan out and only use half the width of the screen.




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From Viper - 03 Jan 2008 - 00:17

Please don't tell me squash has just realised the importance of selling itself............now come on............

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