Whether you operate a small recreation center or a major sports tourism facility, keeping a close eye on your customer demographics is an important part of successful operations. There are many distinctive groups of customers who will be part of your revenue stream, so it is important to be prepared to offer these customers the facilities, activities, and customer service they are looking for. Some customer groups will be quite obvious, but others may surprise you. Read on in today’s blog from Sports Facilities Advisory to learn more about identifying key customer groups. For custom-tailored advice on your sports facility, reach out to our team.
Key Customer Groups – Athletes
The most obvious — and perhaps the most important — customer group is the athletes who play at your sports tourism facility. Whether you are hosting an NCAA basketball tournament, or you are hosting little-league baseball games, creating a safe and enjoyable experience for your athletes is critical to the success of your facility. From the parquet court to the grass on the field, from the exercise equipment to the cleanliness of the locker rooms, keeping athletes happy, safe, and coming back is the best way to ensure that all other customer groups keep coming back as well. Without a well-established athlete customer group, you won’t have audiences buying tickets and you won’t have coaches and league reps scheduling tournaments. So, give athletes a great place to play the sport they love, and build a strong foundation for the rest of your customer groups.
Key Customer Groups – Audiences
While athletes may be the most obvious customer group at your sports tourism facility, audiences can often be the most profitable. From ticket sales to concessions to merchandise, an excited and engaged audience is the bread and butter of successful sports tourism facilities. Understanding this customer group is crucial for targeted marketing and sales efforts.
Key Customer Groups – Coaches and League Representatives
Coaches and league representatives are a customer group that is often overlooked by management at sports tourism facilities. It can be easy to become so focused on preparing concessions for audiences and locker rooms for athletes that little or no customer service is extended to the coaches and league representatives. However, it is often the coaches and league reps who ultimately decide which sports facility to host their games and tournaments. Make sure to treat coaches and league reps as though they are valued customers. Pick a trusted staff member to act as the customer service point of contact for this group, so that communication is always clear, and their needs are always met. If your customer service is accessible and responsive, you will be able to keep your facility schedule packed with lucrative sporting events all year round.
Key Customer Groups – The Local Economy
It may be surprising to think of the local economy as a customer group, but a very important part of the value that your facility generates will be felt by the businesses and municipalities who benefit from the presence of your facility. This is particularly the case for larger facilities, such as sports tourism facilities, where daily operations and major sporting events draw in large numbers of customers for the local economy as a whole.The influx of customers who arrive in town to go to events at your facility will also be customers for local restaurants, attractions, hotels, and many other area businesses. Develop your network with these businesses that benefit from your facility. Coordinate with them, particularly before a big event, so that the community as a whole can make the most of the customers that your facility brings to town. Accept credit for the customers and tax dollars that your facility generates and view the local economy as a key customer group.