They will always keep track..

Working on a Saturday, how awesome is that? I was sitting in the office, spinning around on the office chair waiting for my workmate to arrive. Frankly, doing promotion is not the most fulfilled job in the world but the company I am working for, an uptown fitness center, is quite interesting. So as I was sitting there, bored as hell, I stared at one of the computers of a permanent employee. ‘Hey what’s that?’, I asked. ‘A program to keep track of members’, he answered. ‘Hey how cool is that, how is it called?’ – ‘Membertrack’.

In depth- what is ‘Membertrack’?

Innova Tech Software  is a software company which offers an integrated system of health and fitness assessment and member management software modules. Among other software they also provide this program called ‘Membertrack’ . Now what explicitly does it do? Basically it provides the employee standing behind the front-desk with information about the client when they check in with their cards. The software then shows individual data such as whether the customer can use the sauna or if the usage of a locker is included.

Other member tracking software

Membership Manage Professionals is another example for a tracking and management software. It deals with member payments details, member attendance and multiple bank accounts and transactions. This program can be as well applied to the personal use or other fields than fitness companies. Angelo argues that for him, this software is a ‘must’. He reasons his statement by saying that he is now able to create and send invoices, maintain contact lists, track income and expenses and much more. According to Angelo Membership Manage Professionals is a reliable and easy to use software.

Why is it important to use a good member tracking software?

Cecil recommends to use an efficient CRM (Customer- Relationship- Management) software for several reasons. She supports that idea by the statement that the leads and sales process is of prime importance to any business and that they could be in danger while not managing it properly. A good CRM software can provide the following issues:

  1. Lead Missing: accidently deleting leads or mails going to spam
  2. Lead Log: leads coming from different sources like phones, websites, email, calls can be quite confusing and lead to distribution
  3. Missing contact details: Managing numerous contact details on mails or computers can result in a big loss, tracking the previous conversations with the client and following up on time can also become quite a difficult task.

If you ask me..

..after coping with this topic I realized how important it is to keep track. We learned already how SQL can help us, but there seem to be a lot more out there! Can you imagine working for e.g. an insurance company and overlook all your clients without a tracking program? I doubt that. So it was cool to research on that as I was confronted with it in my daily life and it caught my curiosity.

Disability Sports: Cheating or Support?

When I wrote the post about technology in sports last week I found myself thinking about my position regarding the conflict I wrote about. Up to which point should we allow and use technology in sports? And then an interesting thought came up to my mind: What about the disabled, who compete for example in the Paralympics? They use exceptional technology but not only to increase their performance but primarily to be able to do the sport in the first place. So I asked myself, is this then an exception that we should not include in the discussion mentioned earlier? Should they be allowed to use any technology they want? (more…)

Continuance: Money and Commercialization in Soccer

Whether buying a whole Premiere League Soccer Club for 136 Million Pounds, earning 23.2 Million Pounds salary per year or being considered worth more than 90 Million Euros…In soccer we talk about the most incredible amounts of money.

Already commercialized in the past?

According to Gabriel Kuhn, many leading clubs were exploited by companies and factory owners, at least for prestige. So the increasing commercialization in the twentieth century was not a result of an external force but of intrinsic logic.

Kuhn claims, that over the last twenty years, the commercialization has taken on momentum. Champions leagues, multi billion dollar TV contracts, celebrity players, a ruthless merchandising industry that doesn’t stop selling and marketing corporate-sponsored jerseys are all an expression of this.

Soccer: Show Business?

Dirk Zingler, President of Union Berlin emphasizes this; “Flag wavers, cardboard clappers and goal music- football has become show business.”

As Dr. Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC is quoted from the IOC website, “Without the support of the business community, without its technology, expertise, people, services, products, telecommunication, its financing — the Olympic Games…cannot happen. Without this support, the athletes cannot compete and achieve their very best in the world’s best sporting event.” This can be transferred to all the other sports as well and every sport has its price usually it is advertising, which makes it possible for companies to identify themselves with a certain club, for example, and appear to a certain target group as well as publicize themselves. http://www.olympic.org/

According to Mark Fisher, quoted by blogger Ben Jeffrey, the price of success just is the ballooning wages, the de-nationalization, the conspicuous consumption of the top-class players and the ruthlessness of clubs where loyalty counts for little if it doesn’t pay.

Exploitation or Benefit? 

The commercialization of football has yielded immense benefits for fans, in terms of infrastructure, quality of play and global coverage to cover the passion for their loved sport, claims Ben Jeffrey.

The number of wireless smartphone owners, who have downloaded an app nearly doubled in the past two years, from 22% in September 2009 to 38% in August 2011, with sports apps belonging to the most common downloaded apps, believes Hugh Thompson.

Given this rapid adoption of smartphones by average consumers, Pat Coyle was curious to see if social sports fans were adopting smartphones at similar rates. Turns out they’re not. Sports fans adopting smart phones much faster the mainstream average. In some cases, 9 of 10 fans already have smartphones. So for any sports marketer who didn’t get out of bed this morning thinking about smartphones should take this as their wake up call, says Pat Coyle.

One example, named by Samantha Goldberg, is the ESPN ScoreCenter an app that had about 1.7 million daily unique visitors in the past three months.

My opinion

These apps might cost little, but they sum up to amazing sums. I must admit that I have quite some on my phone as well. The marketing strategies and the merchandising strategies used by sport clubs and federations can be considered perfectionised. There is nothing we can’t get today; soccer apps, playstation games to simulate a mangers life or the life of a celebrity soccer player…there are no limits.

              

Nike – The smart running shoe

As a passionate jogger, there comes the time where just running is not sufficient anymore even less if one is going to participate in Berlin Half Marathon. I have been at this point for the last weeks and I have been wondering whether I could find out how much kilometers I run in a certain time period. To recreate my routes on Google maps was not an option. So I started researching for something, which could solve my problem. (more…)

What are you wearing tonight?

If I think about my favourite soccer team or the basketball team I like most, I have a picture of them in my head. First, I see their faces and then I see big lettering across their chests. But it’s neither their names nor their teams’ name but it is advert lettering. This leads me to a topic I would to discuss today:

Advertisement in sports and the “big business” involved with it

Swedish confectionery company Cloetta, signed only 2 weeks ago a multi-year sponsorship with the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOC). This makes Cloetta an official team sponsor of the SOC and gives them exclusive confectionery rights for the period of the deal.
So, what is the reason for the producer of the largest single confectionery product in Sweden to conclude such a contract?

“The world of sports is by itself a very profitable business”

Sandie gochargers blog claims that “The world of sports is by itself a very profitable business”. Further they state that there is a lot of money involved in that sector and that there are various sources of money. But the largest amounts of money are derived from advertising, they argue. As there are a large number of sports events that are broadcasted on television, one can easily address his/her adds to a very large audience.
Sandie gochargers contends that people are confronted with advertisement on television during match broadcasting breaks which they could maybe only escape by switching channels.
But there are not only television adds, but advertisement all over the place, they complain. They quote opinions, stating that making money in this sector has become more important than the actual match and its transmission itself. Sandie gochargers considers this a fair argument and in addition they remark that sports broadcasting hours were adapted to advertiser’s demands. American baseball was formerly played and shown on TV in the afternoon but in order to comply with well paying advertiser’s demands, broadcasting hours were shifted to night hours, the author(s) explain(s).

FC Barcelona reorganizes handling of jersey printing

They conclude that ads are a very important part of sports as they bring a lot of money to the different sports clubs and organizations involved with sports. And it seems to them as if it was hard for such organizations to resist to the temptation of money, “especially in these hard times when sports are really stuck”. They contend that even soccer club FC Barcelona only recently signed now a 30 million € worth sponsor contract. The soccer team used to be one of the few top level soccer clubs that did not have sponsor names on their jerseys but the UNICEF logo but this organization did not have to pay any money to the club.

So, coming back to Swedish confectionery company Cloetta, we can now imagine how BIG the deal they got actually is: the Olympics are a worldwide event and the Games are not only broadcasted nationally but internationally means a lot more attention that is drawn on the company. And not to forget about the fact that now they are able to address also sports they did not concentrate on before. In the past they have been a sponsor of the Swedish national alpine ski and national handball teams.

Walking Billboards or earnest next generation of talent?

Cloetta’s Business Development Director Tony Wiréhn says: “This joining of forces with the Swedish Olympic Committee will strengthen Cloetta and Kexchoklad® since it gives us the right to use the Swedish Olympic themes in our marketing. And having the opportunity to create two Olympic products by labeling the products with the SOC emblem or giving them specially designed Olympic packaging is naturally a further advantage”.
Stefan Lindeberg, chairman of the SOC adds that the SOC wants to open the door for more talents and give them the chance of becoming global sports elite and Cloetta will now be an important partner in order to meet this goal.

This finally leads me to a number of questions:

Do you think that the athletic focus has shifted away from sports, towards the focus on promoting other companies and products? Distraction during matches?

Are the sponsors promoting the athletes and encourage new generations to become athletes or do athletes promote organizations and encourage people to buy products?

Social Platforms and Sports


 ‚Robbery‘ was the caption of a picture of the Allianz Arena posted by a friend of mine on Facebook. Even though I am not interested in football at all I now knew there is going to be a game and Bayern München would play. That was when I started to think what an important role social networks play in the sports world nowadays. (more…)

The Role of Technology in Sports

The Role of Technology in Sports

From early on sport has always been very important to humans. You can enjoy it either by playing or watching it but either way it is about winning or seeing someone (or some team) win. To be that winning one an athlete, his/her team, his/her sponsors and whoever might have an influence on the athlete’s career, will keep improving his/her condition, training methods and, very important, the equipment that is being used. And here comes a major conflict point in today’s sports: Until which point should technology be used in sports? And what is its role?

Technology as a part of society and sport – or not?

This blog I found, is from the sport and technology debate at the British science festival in 2011 and the videos of the speakers are very powerful. Professor Haake claims that sport and technology have always coexisted and that technology has always been a part of sports. It started with starting heels for the sprints at the Olympics, the sports equipment like a soccer ball, a lawn mower which promoted lawn sports and a timer, and ended (for now) with portable 3D cameras, high speed videos and mew materials like Titanium, to make sport equipment lighter.

According to Professor Haake sport and technology reflect society and those advancement should be allowed – at least up to a certain point. Dr. Parry, also participating in the debate, also claims that technology changes the sporting events into better ones but for him it is a question of which bits of technology WE want. The people want to see the best athlete and not the best equipment, which can turn the competition into an “unfair” game.

Technology as an unnecessary intervention into natural justice

And then there are the more concrete anti-technology opinions. M_Campbell23 states that decision reviews, video replays and goal-line technology ruin the spectacle of games, and reduce them to clinical, quasi-legal inquiries. The administrators always want to get everything right 100% of the time. This though takes the fun out of the game and up to this point sport had survived as the spectacle, which enthralls us without a sub-committee forming to discuss every contentious decision.

Furthermore the blog explains that what these legal guys will never understand is that sport embraces natural justice; their intervention is not necessary. But they stand behind the argument around “well you’ve got the technology there, doesn’t do any harm to use it”. But according to the author it does do harm.

Technology as a modern tool in sports

According to Lionjkt the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can enhance the games themselves, secure ticketing and boost the quality of the in-stadium spectator experience. It can add value and visibility to different kinds of sporting events and can avoid bad offside decisions. But not only in soccer but also in other sports, like tennis, or marathon racing, RFID is used. It provides a very accurate timing of each athlete (as in the marathon racing) and also helpful video evidence when it comes to off decisions in tennis and similar sports (which are also enhanced by different methods like the Hawk-Eye line-calling system).

Hawk-Eye line-calling system

Technology in Sports – A Conflict in Society

Sport is very important to most of the people in our society, which makes the conflict about technology even more passionate. Some think that technology leads to better decisions and accuracy but on the other side people find themselves angry with all that technology that destroys the real competition that should be about what humans can do, and replaces it with a competition of “who has the better technology”. I think that up to a certain point technology helps to keep the game fair (in the case of offside decisions for example), but when it comes to the equipment the importance of technology should be limited.

Sports, Commercialization and Money

Whether earning $120 Million a year, traveling to a different country every week, earning millions just for having their face in a magazine or tv advertisement, getting payed for wearing the newest clothes or be a present figure in news, newspapers and magazines…money clearly matters in sport.


Move away from traditional sport

Robert Colls from the Leicester University claims in an interview that we are at the culmination of a relentless move away from what used to be the ideals of sport. According to him, earlier games were not played with a ruthless desire to win and make money and supporters were still loyal to their local teams and not large brands.

But is that such a recent Development?

According to Robert Colls sport has always been closely related to wealth and cultural capital. “To ‘sport’ used to mean to have fun, and those who had the most money usually had the most fun.”, says Robert Colls.

Colls thinks the crucial point is the difference between professionalism and commercialism. Commercialism represents the business model where all, identities, cultures and economies are lowered to the lowest possible denominator in order to allow corporations to buy and sell sports on the widest possible market. Professionalism is getting paid for doing something well.

“Fans are encouraged to commit to the brand through the sport, which is itself being turned into a brand.”, claims Robert Colls.

The Sport Market

According to blogger Karan Singh, the commercialization of sport is not a cultural development but a product of unique technical, social, and economic circumstances.

DANIQUE1217 claims that nowadays athletes are commodities, sport teams are traded on a market, sponsorships exceed millions and television stations pay a lot of money to broadcast games.

My Opinion

Personally I believe that commercialization of sport has its advantages and disadvantages, but today it has become inevitable. For the professional athletes it has become a profession, for countries part of their culture, for fans the essence of their lives and for the media the most important five minutes at the end of their show.

Sport has turned into a market adapted to our globalized world. Before the globalization sport might have been free time entertainment for those who could afford it, today absolute nobodies coming from the slums can become great soccer players and great athletes. Through commercialization sport has become available to everybody. The success, reported on by the media, inspires others to play sports and do their best.

Welcome to our blog

Hey there!

We are a group consisting of 5 students (Anika, Anne, Julia, Mirja and Alina) from the IBMAN course at the HWR. In this blog we are going to write blogposts about all kinds of areas referring to sports. Why sports? Quite simple. Everyone of us is doing a different type of sports hence it connects all of us. Now be excited about the blogsposts which are going to follow during the next couple of weeks. HAVE FUN 🙂