North Carolina State University Varsity Swimming & Diving Team Marketing Plan 2011 Kevin Woodhull-Smith



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North Carolina State University
Varsity Swimming & Diving Team
Marketing Plan 2011
Kevin Woodhull-Smith

Table of Contents

Executive Summary…...…………………………………………………….3


Introduction………………………………………………………………..4-6
Situational Analysis……………………………………………………...7-11
Marketing Goals and Objectives…………………………………………...12
Marketing Strategy…………………………………………………………13
Marketing Tactics………………………………………………………14-15
Implementation and Control………………………………………………..16
Appendix………………………………………………………………..17-20
Sources……………………………………………………………………..21

Executive Summary
The NC State swimming and diving team has one of the most storied histories of any athletic team at NC State. The team dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. However, the recent lack of success has reduced attendance at dual meets and overall support for the team. There are athletic departments all over the country who are cutting the swimming and diving programs at their schools. This cannot happen to a team with such a rich history and tradition of excellence.
The swim team needs to raise awareness in the community and raise awareness of the excitement and joys of the sport of swimming. Many, many people swim to exercise and many people have swum competitively at some point in their life. These people, as well as NC State students, NC State alumni, and the parents of the current swim team members are the target markets for the swim team. These are the people who would be likely to attend an NC State dual meet. The main goal is to increase attendance at home dual meets, increase awareness of the team in the Raleigh area, and improve the team’s public image.
The strategies used to reach these goals are to implement a cooperative strategy with other sports teams, use a public relations campaign to improve the team’s image, and apply normal advertising techniques to promote the team. These strategies should increase attendance, increase awareness, and improve the public’s opinion of the team. The team performs better in the water when there is a huge, loud crowd supporting them. To increase attendance we must increase the overall awareness of the team in the surrounding community. Some of the people who are aware of the team do not have a very favorable opinion of it. The next step is to improve the shaky reputation that the more recent team has developed.
The specific tactics applied to these strategies include a program where an off-season sports team supports an in-season sports team. The athletic department at NC State could increase attendance at all home sporting events by using this program. Another tactic is to hold a “Swim with the Swim Team” day at Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center. This would provide the opportunity for young kids to come in and learn some lessons in the water from the swim team members. Standard marketing techniques including newspaper advertisements, billboards, and posters can be used to spread the word about the swim team. These methods will help notify the people who are not aware of the swim team at NC State.
These strategies and tactics are all basically focused on increasing attendance at home dual meets. By increasing awareness and refining the image of the swim team the stands should be more filled during home dual meets. The swim team needs the support of the athletic department, NC State students, NC State alumni, the parents of NC State swimmers, and any members of the community who want to enjoy watching an exciting swim meet.

Introduction
Mission Statement
The mission of the NC State University Athletics Department is to prepare student-athletes to compete at the highest level and to inspire them to be leaders now and for the future by providing the best environment to achieve their athletic, academic, and personal aspirations as well as providing support for the professional development of our coaches and staff, all within the role of the greater institutional relationship to the University.
The purpose of the NC State University Swimming and Diving Team is to maintain a high GPA, consistently recruit elite-level student-athletes, and repeatedly compete for conference and national championships by working hard in the classroom, in the weight room, and in the pool. It is also the goal of the organization to draw in a large crowd for dual meets and gain as much support as possible from the students, alumni, athletic department, and other fans.
Background
“Red Legend Pride”, these three words best describe the storied history of the NC State swimming and diving team. Statistically, the men’s team is the best team in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The men’s team has won the most individual and team ACC Championships in the history of the conference. The men’s team won twelve consecutive ACC team championships from 1971-1982. Legendary coach Don Easterling led the Wolfpack through this extraordinary run. The success of the team was not limited to the ACC. The team has produced several Olympic medalists, including four different gold medal winners, multiple NCAA and USA National champions. The more recent history of the team has not been terrible by any means. Cullen Jones and Kristen Davies have each won a NCAA title in the past decade. Cullen Jones took the 50-yard freestyle in 2006 and Kristen Davies won the platform diving event in 2009.
All the accolades and past successes of the swim team do not guarantee future success. The team must continue to do well and prove itself every year. Recent team results have not been up to the high standards of the Wolfpack tradition. For the better part of a decade the men and women’s teams have placed in the bottom half of the ACC at the championship meet. This lack of success has caused support for the swim team to drop significantly. Students, alumni, and fans of swimming are less likely to come cheer on the Wolfpack if the team is not successful. The sound of fans cheering during the race can have an impact on the outcome of a close race.
I have heard stories from alumni and former coaches about the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center, NC State’s home pool, being filled with fans and an electric atmosphere during dual meets. There used to be pep rallies and fans would be going crazy during the meets, especially if the meet was against a rival like UNC. Fans would fill the stands because the team won ACC championships and competed for NCAA championships. There was support from the athletic department, the community, the student body, the alumni, and many other people.
Sports teams sustain greatness and success because great athletes gravitate towards great teams. If a renowned coach stays at a program for a long time, talented athletes will continue to want to play for that coach and team. There have been many dynasties in every different sport. Teams become dynasties by constantly bringing in gifted athletes and keeping great coaches. All of these factors also help draw in fans to support the team during competition. The success of a team does not always guarantee a large crowd turnout; however, it usually does not hurt. Teams with a very passionate fan base will always bring in a large crowd.
There are not a lot of historical attendance records kept for the swim team. However, I was personally at every swim meet for the past five seasons and the only time attendance was ever high is at the Senior Meet or when the Wolfpack Club comes to a meet. If a small school comes to swim against us the stands often just have a few parents sitting in them. The fans are needed more for conference dual meets against rival teams. The crowd needs to be large and loud to help the team against UNC, Duke, Clemson, and Maryland. Attendance records can be taken in the future to help determine whether or not the marketing strategies are succeeding.




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