To establish whether a new relationship aspect market, “Sidney effect” can be a source of sustainable advantage for a newly established summer hockey camp venture

Strategic Management

Toestablish whether a new relationship aspect market, “Sidney effect”can be a source of sustainable advantage for a newly establishedsummer hockey camp venture

Submissiondate:

Declaration

Ideclare that this work is my individual effort and does not involveany unpermitted references or plagiarized materials in any way. Tothe best of my knowledge and capability, I have acknowledged allreferences appropriately. I further confirm that this work has neverbeen submitted elsewhere before for academic purposes in its originalor similar form.

Acknowledgement

Executivesummary

Thisresearch study explores the applicability of a new celebritymarketing aspect, Sidney-effect as core competitive advantage for arelatively new summer hockey camp venture. The study relies on a widerange of secondary studies to ascertain the viability of usingcelebrity sport models to influence sports participation in children. With the hockey camp using a well-recognized hockey professional inthe target market, parents and children are more likely to beinspired by the achievements of this professional into enrolling inthe camp to gain hockey skills and also get a closer opportunity toemulate the role model.

Contents

1.0 INTRODUCTION 7

1.1 Organizational background: Excell Hockey Camp 7

1.2 Sidney-effect 9

1.3 Rationale 11

1.4 Research Purpose 12

1.5 Objectives 13

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW AND REFERENCING 14

2.1 Introduction 14

2.2 Industry background: Hockey in Canada 14

2.3 Sports heroes as role models 17

2.4 Competitive advantage 20

2.5 Sources of competitive advantage 21

2.6 Relationship marketing 22

2.7 Motivation for sports involvement 23

2.7.1 Financial motivation 23

2.7.2 Physical fitness 23

2.7.3 National pride in hockey 24

2.8 Family 25

2.9 Pricing and market 26

3.0 RESEARCH PLAN 28

3.1 Philosophical position 28

3.1.1 Epistemological position 28

3.1.2 Theoretical perspective- Interpretivism 30

3.2 Methodology 30

3.3 Research approach 32

3.4 Research design 33

3.4.1 Advantages of secondary data 34

3.4.1 Sampling process 35

3.5 Ethical issues 35

3.6 Research limitations 36

3.7 Reliability, Validity and Generalizations 38

4.0 Data Collection, analysis, presentation and findings 40

4.1 Thematic analysis 40

4.2.1 Objective 1: role of parents in sports participation and purchase decision 41

4.2.2 Objective 2 45

4.2.3 Objective 3 46

4.2.4 Objective 4 48

4.2.5 Objective 5 49

Conclusions and Recommendations (15%) 50

Bibliography

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This chapter introduces theresearch by offering crucial background information of theorganization and the core phenomenon being assessed. The chapter isdivided into several sections namely organizational background,Sidney effect, research rationale, research purpose, and studyobjectives. The organizational background section gives briefoverview of Excell Hockey Camp and the current issue facing the firm.The Second section gives a brief explanation of what Sidney-effectentails and its origins. The third section, rational, offers ajustification for the study by connecting the Sidney-effect with thecurrent issue facing the organization. The fourth section states theresearch purposes and guiding questions while the fifth and lastsection offers research objectives.

1.1 Organizational background: Excell Hockey Camp

Excell Hockey Camp is arelatively new short-term hockey training camp business located inPort McNeill, British Columbia Canada. The camp, owned and operatedby the researcher, targets to develop into an annual slated for everysummer. The hockey camp targets young and budding hockey playersstriving to develop and advance their hockey skills. The camp notonly seeks to confer hockey skills but also promote holistic playerdevelopment by creating a constructive environment through peerlearning and association with an established professional hockeyplayer as the coach. The coach is a local boy who grew up playinghockey in the local junior and amateur clubs until he made hisprofessional debut. That story alone inspires sporting dreams in kidsnot only in Port McNeill but also all over the world. The coach’sstory from humble beginnings as a hockey player shows that everyboy’s dream is valid and that anyone can make it of they have thewillpower and the opportunity. Having started out last summer, thecamp attracted a total of 12 kids aged 8-15 years. The camp aspiresto increase these numbers to meet the camp’s expenses and also keepcosts low through economies of scale.

The camp, henceforth referredto as the organization, positions itself in the market as aprofessional oriented sports camp keen to instill sportsmanship,offer motivation from a hockey player who has made it and also conferhockey skills and create a peer learning and fun environment. Tosupport this positioning, the organization capitalizes on theidentity of the coach as an accomplished and celebrated hockey playerand aligns itself with what the coach stands for. The coachtherefore, is a unique resource to the organization and currentlyinseparable from the organization. The influence of a successfullocal athlete at a national or international level, as depicted bythe well documented case of Sidney Crosby, discussed in depth in oneof the sources, can be replicated in the current case of ExcellHockey Camp. The opportunity to be coached and mentored by such asindividual is unique to all participating children. The study thusseeks to identify ways that the camp can best turn this resource,based on the Sidney-effect concept, into a core competitive advantagethat can drive up sales/enrolments and profitability in the future.

The organization is ran andmanaged by the proprietor who acts as the coach. As a relatively newenterprise, the firm has only one employee but looks to increase thatnumber with the growth of the business. This means that theproprietor functions in different capacities such as manager, coachand marketing head among others. Consequently, he makes all decisionswith consultation from the single employee. In launching theorganization, the proprietor employed a range of marketing tools suchas discounts and advertisements to drive up sales. While the standardenrolment fee was $375, siblings were awarded a discount and bothpaid $325. A second discount, the early bird, was awarded for thosewho registered early with prices set at $325. As for advertising,only posters were used. The posters had a huge image of the coachappearing in his team kit accompanied by texts that drove home therest of the message.

The camp managed to keep costsdown by utilizing one of the best priced rinks in the region. Thecost was less than $100 dollars an hour for a total of 10 hours inthe duration of one week that the camp lasted. This compares well tothe standard rate for rinks in British Columbia that can be as highas over $200/hr. Trainingsessions lasted two hours daily. The coach offered personalizedhockey training for one hour while the second hour was organized intocompetitive play interspaced with instructions. The teams competedfor Gatorade and mini chocolate bars. This was geared towards makingthe activity fun and also instilling competitive spirit in the kids.During the final day of the camp, the campers were offered a partingtreat that included pizza and soft drinks. The coach also offered anadditional souvenir of the coach’s autographed jersey from coach’sprofessional club

To understand the market andthe clientele better, the coach provided a comments book that thekids and their parents could make comments, suggestions or evencomplain about the camp or any aspect that might have developed. Thecoach also created social profiles for the organization on varioussocial media platforms through which clients would interact, engagethe coach or offer any insights and comments about the organization.

1.2 Sidney-effect

Sidney Patricks Crosby is oneCanada’s leading Hockey players of all times. He has been referredto by many names including “once-a-generation” hockey player and“NHL MVP” among others (McCarthy 2005). As of July 2014, Cosbywas a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the captain of theCanadian National Hockey Team which won a gold medal in the 2014Sochi Olympics. He has also been mentioned as one of the key factorsthat resuscitated a failing NHL immediately he was drafted by thePittsburgh Penguins in 2005 from the Quebec Major Junior League andalso for an upsurge in new hockey registrations in Canada. As a majorjunior player he played for the Rimouski Oceanic winning severaltrophies. So successful was his junior career that the drafting nightin 2005 was viewed as a turning point for NHL. The event rousedsignificant media attention that brought hope to the NHL after yearsof underperformance in comparison to the NBA, NFL and other sportsleagues. The drafting, covered live on ESPN, was in fact nicknamedthe “Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes” while the ESPN Magazine namedSidney “hockey’s LeBron James” (McCarthy 2005).

Sidney was born in ColeHarbor, Nova Scotia in August 7, 1987. Except from upraising thestandards of NHL and drawing mammoth crowds to the arenas, the manhas single handedly placed the small town of Cole Harbor on hockeymaps. As a result of his electrifying performance in the league,interest in the league and hockey in North American grew in theperiods preceding his NHL debut. The number of junior/minor andadults registering as hockey players across clubs in North Americaincreased considerably. His adoration is evident in that hisPenguin’s jersey number 87 was the highest selling in NHLmerchandise at nhl.com in 2006-2007, only his second season in theNHL (Sager 2007). In Cole Harbor, local sports bars reportedincreased business during Penguins’ matches after Crosby joined theclub. When Cosby was injured in 2012, the same sports bars reported50% drop in attendance when Sidney-less Penguins were playing (Wulf2012).

Figure1 Registered junior hockey players (2013)(http://hockeylandcanada.com/2014/01/04/hockeynomics-a-model-to-determine-which-hockey-country-will-capture-world-supremacy/)

Mathew Theoret, in his masterthesis, conducted an empirical study to assess the influence onSidney’s success in the world of hockey on young kids in Canada. Atotal of 17 junior hockey players were assessed through interviews.The study revealed in summary that the kids had grown fonder ofhockey, sought to emulate Cosby on and off the rink with the aim ofachieving similar athletic stardom (Theoret 2009). By extensiontherefore, such kids would love to relate with a professional athletewho have excelled in a certain discipline and being trained by thatpersonality would be an added advantage.

1.3 Rationale

The interest in Hockey inCanada is dwindling after registering impressive growth three yearsback. The number of public and private schools capable of offeringcomprehensive quality training in hockey is limited. Youth or juniorsports club have sprung up to offer such services to members.However, to complement the services offered by schools that offerhockey as an extracurricular activity and the youth sports clubs,hockey summer camps have also developed. These are specialized eventswhere kids can receive hockey training, motivation and holisticplayer development at more a personalized level. There is a need thusto highlight the product offering provided by summer camps andposition the camps as different from regular school-based or sportsclub-based hockey training. Excel Hockey Camp is just one severalsports camps in the market targeting children. To compete effectivelyagainst the competition and ensure higher number of kids enrolling,Excell Hockey Camp seeks to capitalize on one of its core strengthsand turn it into a core competitive advantage. From a resource basedview of the firm, Excell Hockey Camp benefits from access to low costrink at only 100/hour compared to other rates in Vancouver andBritish Columbia area. The other key resource is the trainers at thecamp. By having accomplished professional player such as theresearcher offering the services to kids expands the product offeringby far. Competitors in the region only offer training by regularcoaches and not accomplished professionals. An accomplishedprofessional can be a role model, offer inspiration, motivation andadvice to young budding players. This is very important for kids wholook forward to a professional career in hockey and those seeking toadvance their hockey skills.

1.4 Research Purpose

Toestablish whether a celebrity marketing concept, “Sidney effect”,can be a source of sustainable advantage for a newly establishedsummer hockey camp venture

Researchquestions

This research will seek tofind out how best the Excell Hockey Camp can utilize the brand of theresearcher as a well-recognized professional hockey player who grewup and started off his hockey playing days in the neighborhood toachieve greater success in the market. Core research questions are:

Is there a sufficient nichemarket for summer hockey training camps for kids in Port McNeill thatis not serviced by current players in the market?

What are the factors thatbarriers and limitations in servicing this need in the market?

What are the factors thatpromote the growth and sustenance of this market?

How does the current businessmatch up in delivering the identified needs in the market?

What are the major determinanttraits, behaviors, tastes and preferences of consumers?

1.5 Objectives

  1. Investigate the decision making role of parents in enrolling kids to a hockey camp

  2. Analyze how best parents knowledge of local and national hockey professionals influence their decision in enrolling kids to hockey camp

  3. Investigate the children’s major motivations and incentives for participation in the camp?

  4. Assess how the use of professional hockey players as trainers is viewed by parents/children?

  5. Investigate to what degree parents/children expect the trainer to influence the kids?

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW AND REFERENCING 2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents adetailed overview of published literature on relevant topicspertinent to the current study. The material is sourced from a rangeof sources with the “Locate” function at the Coventry Universityonline portal widely employed to locate relevant journal articles andbooks. A number of models applicable to the current study wereassessed, analyzed and critiqued. This strategically broadens theresearcher’s knowledge in the topic and assists in the revision ofthe study questions to avert a case of researching an alreadyaddressed issue in the academic world. Key themes addressed from theliterature include the industry environment, sports heroes as rolemodels, competitive advantage, celebrity marketing, relationshipmarketing, consumer behavior, and motivation for sports involvement.

2.2 Industry background: Hockey in Canada

Ice Hockey is one the leadingsports in Canada played and watched by millions. The National Sportsof Canada Act, 1994 (c. 16), recognizes ice hockey as the nationalwinter sport and lacrosse as the national summer sport (Government ofCanada 2014). The national hockey team has won several trophies atthe world stage to cement the country’s status as the headquartersof ice hockey. The national team has won 15 world championshipsincluding two winter Olympics gold medals in 2014 and 2010. Althoughthe country and specifically Toronto is considered the “Mecca ofHockey” (Holman 2009: 114), recent figures have shown that agreater number of Canadian adults play golf while hockey is second tosoccer in under 14-year olds (CBC 2013). This drop in enrolment andparticipation in hockey as a sport is attributable to high cases ofhockey related injuries in children and adults such that continuedplay of hockey with the current rules and safety can be quantified tochild abuse (Hemond 2012). It is the role of the national andinternational hockey management bodies to manage the rules of thegames and protect young players from such injuries. Coaches andtrainers have a mandate also ensure safe play in games involvingplayers of all ages while professional players have a role todemonstrate fair and safe play to children watching and seeking toemulate them. Nonetheless, to keep children safer, player insuranceis necessary during training and during competitive play (Hemond2012: 862) while also better safety rules need to be eancted.

The National Hockey league ismandated with running and managing competitive hockey in NorthAmerica. The league comprises of 23 teams in the US and seven inCanada all holding regular games in a given season. Canadian teamsinclude Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers,Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators.Prior to the introduction of the drafting process, all these majorteams sponsored junior hockey teams which they used as feeder clubsto develop young players. The drafting process introduced in 1963changed all this as it nullified association of elite and juniorclubs. Alternately, drafting allows elite teams to choose youngamateur players from junior hockey leagues and from other countriesin a systematic manner. This process promotes fair competition in theleague and also nurtures young hockey players by creating afunctioning throughway to professional hockey careers (Henderson andPrime 2012 112).

There are is only one mainhockey league for women in Canada, the Canadian Women`s Hockey League(CWHL). Two previously existing leagues have failed. Most recently isthe Western Women`s Hockey League (WWHL) which suspended games in2012/13 season following a mumbled merger with the CHWL. In 2007another women’s league, the National Women`s Hockey League (NWHL)collapsed. Therefore, CWHL is the mainstay of women’s hockey in thecountry. It comprises of five teams with two based in the US (Gitlin2012).

There are several hockeyleagues in Canada serving under age players (below 18). They arecategorized into major junior, junior A (AAA in Quebec), junior B (AAin Quebec), junior C (A in Quebec) and Junior D. The Major Juniorleague comprises of 16-20 year-olds and is the highest tier of thejunior category. It comprises of three main constituent leaguesnamely: Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior HockeyLeague and the Western Hockey League (WHL). The second tier, juniorA, comprises of eleven constituent leagues. The lower tiers, junior Cand D are called amateur level and are largely played forrecreational purposes and managed at the provincial level (Gitlin2012).

The professional leagueattracts huge financial investments. This has turned the sport into alucrative career attracting numerous players. For teams in the NHL,the average enterprise value (equity plus net debt) stands at US$413million with the most valuable three, Toronto Maple Leafs($1.15billion), Montreal Canadiens ($775 million) and Vancouver Canucks($700 million) being Canadian (Ozanian 2013). The impact of theleague in society and especially in motivating and encouraging youngchildren to take up the sport has been immense. In fact the juniorleagues in Canada have provided half the current number of NHLplayers with GTHL producing 36 out of 978 players on NHL roster atthe end of the 2012/13 season (Gillmor, 2013).

Canada’s hockey managementstructure provides a stable production, development, marketing andabsorption process for hockey talent. The junior hockey non-leagueand amateur hockey clubs act as feeder clubs for the upper tierclubs. The age structure differentiation allows junior players toassess their talent against peers. As of 2012 there were 537,251 maleregistered junior (below 18 years) hockey players and an additional86,897 female junior players (CBC, 2013).

2.3 Sports heroes as role models

There is little academicevidence to support the common perception that celebrity athletes asrole models promote increased youth participation in sports (Lyle2009). However, this approach has been largely applied in differentindustries where celebrity endorsement is perceived to promoteconsumption. The case of apparel manufacturer, Nike, Michael Jordanas the official celebrity role model has been used not only inpromoting the firms brand but also in promoting a healthy lifestyleamong Americans through playing basketball. However, such programshave not been fully evaluated to develop a comprehensive theory ormodel (Lyle 2009: 23).

Several psychological andsocial theories support the idea of role models in influencing sportsparticipation and uptake among kids and amateurs. First of all a rolemodel is defined as an “individual perceived as exemplary, orworthy of imitation” (Yancey, 1998: 254). Bandura’s (1986) socialcognitive theory (SCT), Foote’s (1951) theory of roleidentification and Festinger’s (1954) theory of social comparisonall recognize and apply the concept of role models. These theoriesclaim that children are likely to mirror role model behaviors as aneasier way to gain favor in society or gain an acceptable identity asopposed to pursuing a unique identity. .

Bandura’s theory clearlystates children learn in social environments through observation.They seek to learn from the best and mostly the people they interactwith most. Basically Bandura believed that the behavior, environment,and cognition of an individual interact to create an identity. The“reciprocal determination” concept that he later introducedalluded that the environment affects behavior while behavior alsoaffects the environment. This means that children exposed to certainenvironments influences their cognition evident in their behavior(Miller 2012). This idea also supported by the social learning theorywhich posits that children learn from what they perceive in theenvironment. As such, individuals can influence the behavior ofdeveloping children by altering the environment accordingly. Simplyput, children learn better from copying or imitating behavior fromothers than through instructions Newbert 2008).

Theory of role identificationposits that there are four main ways that individuals can learn fromothers in social context namely: personal, role identity, socialidentity and collective identity. Personal identity posits thatthrough human interactions, one can learn about the uniqueness orpersonal identity of a person such as name, intellect, birthplace,parenting etc.

The theory of collectiveidentity developed by Alberto Melucci posits that individuals arelikely to develop traits and act in manner expected of the collectiveinstitution that they identify with. This theory has been used toexplain activities, thinking and cultures practices by several groupssuch as sects, clubs, organizations and religions. The sense ofcommunity instills a sense of belonging and adherence to common goalsand agenda which influences individual behavior. These socialinstitutions are responsible for the development of maturepersonalities as individuals through introjecting institutionalidentities in themselves (Heise and MacKinnon 2010: 210).Nonetheless, parents and other family members play an integral rolein choosing the social institutions that children can participate inmost likely assessed through the learned behaviors as a result ofmembership to an institution (Hamilton and White 2008: 61).

Marketers must take an extrastep to ensure the actual efficiency of the core-product at thecompany level, create positive attitudes to the brand in order togenerate purchase intentions and actual sales. This is only possiblewhen a compatible celebrity is chosen. The cost of acquiring thecelebrity, the fit with the brand image, associated values, targetaudience, popularity, controversy risk, availability, physicalattractiveness, credibility, reputation, prior endorsements, whetherthe celebrity is a brand user and profession should be carefullyconsidered when selecting the right celebrity for a particular brand.It is also possible to go an extra mile and use non-human celebritieswhere it is feasible. For example, the best racehorse can be acelebrity endorser for veterinary products.

Marketers need better ways ofcelebrity endorsement to make it effective. Research has shown thatadvertisement featuring endorsements by celebrities are lesseffective than those featuring ordinary people. This is becausekeeping up with the common rather than the famous people is themotivation behind many peoples choice to buy a product. Another issuethat Ries and Ries bring into focus is that not all celebrities areadored in all markets. For instance, they say that the use ofHollywood celebrities marketing certain products in the Indian andAsian market may not be appropriate. Such celebrities might beunknown to majority of the people or else they may attract a negativeresponse.

For celebrity endorsement towork in modern times, going global and acting local at the same isvery relevant. In some foreign markets, culture is a very sensitiveissue and loyalty to local celebrities a critical factor. Forinstance, a previous advert for Tommy Hilfiger underwear for menfeaturing English Soccer Star David Beckham would not be as wellreceived in South America as it would in the UK. Such a region fullof soccer stars would expect one of their own to endorse suchproducts in order for the marketing objective to be achieved (Silveraand Austad).

2.4 Competitive advantage

Competitive advantage issimply defined as that aspect in an organization that gives it anedge over its competitors. From the resource based view of the firm,competitive advantage is viewed as the resources and the utilizationof resources that afford the organization a superior competitivepositioning in the market. The resources can be tangible such asfinances, plants and equipment or large workforce and at the sametime the resources can be intangible such as knowledge managementmethods, patents leadership etc. However, many organizations canpossess such aspects and thus, a strength or resource can only betranslated to a competitive advantage if it is rare and cannot beeasily imitated by competitors (Newbert 2008: 745).

In sports club management,competitive advantage takes a different angle. Elite sports club aredriven by the need to earn money and profitable just like any otherform of business. However, they have to balance profit issues fromnon-profit issues such as the investing in high quality players towin trophies and forgoing trophies to create revenue by other meanssuch as selling players. For amateur sports, the situation isdifferent. Amateur clubs are largely driven by the need to createprofessionals possibly for sale to elite sports club are largelydriven by social needs and brand loyalty is not oftentimesguaranteed. To create competitive advantage in sports, there arethree main approaches applicable to both amateur sports club andelite sports club namely: 1) “the product and its features 2) thecustomers and 3). The business, process, strategic vision and intent”(Dolles and Soderman 2013: 33)

2.5 Sources of competitive advantage

Competitive advantage is not anatural phenomenon, it has to be created. Organizations have the soleresponsibility to address the issues underlying the industry andorient their strategies to compete better (Porter2003). Competitiveadvantage not only makes organizations better than the competitionbut it is also perceived as the unique positive identity of the firmwhich is actually capitalizing on one or several of the key strengths(Porter 2003).RBV scholars argue that a firm can acquire competitive advantage ifit possesses and effectively and efficiently utilize its resourcesand capabilities, if the resources are non-substitutable and if theycontribute to better performance both in the short and long term(Newbert 2008: 751).Nonetheless, competitive advantage is not only a function ofsignificance, rareness,and non-substitutability of its resources and capabilities, but alsoa function of their permanency, suitability, and supremacy.

There are different sources ofcompetitive advantage unique to different industries andorganizations. There are two broad sources of competitive advantageexternally focused and internally focused. Different authors suggestdifferent sources of competitive advantage. Some of the main onesinclude resources and capabilities (Porter2003), localization inglobal markets, strategic alliances/mergers/acquisitions, proximityto customer clusters, leadership, Strategic Fit between Marketing andManufacturing, strategy formulation, human resources, organizationalculture/structure, employee engagement, technology/change adoption,innovation and creativity, access to intellectual property/patents,production processes, barriers to market entry/monopoly, economicfactors, brand equity, customer service, customer engagement in valuecreation among others.

2.6 Relationship marketing

Competitive advantage insports marketing is addressed along the same lines as contemporarymarketing. However, for summer sports camp, the marketing differsfrom the destination approach used in sports tourism and marketingcommon in larger events such as Olympics games and tournaments(Miller 2012). Relationship marketing works best for sports club andshort term training events such as sports camps in that theycapitalize on the relationship between client and the firm and notsolely on the ability to meet customer needs. In this case, themarketers are bound to create a more than transactional contact withclient but rather put in place a relationship approach in contactingthe customer to make them feel valued, respected and appreciated [CITATION And12 l 1033 ].British football clubssuch as Manchester United, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC have utilizedrelationship marketing in various ways. Most notable is holding oftours around the world such as China and US where club players get tointeract with fans at a closer level and even pose for photographsand sign autographs (Thompson,2010).

Relationship marketingaddresses customer retention rather than customer capture. For mostorganizations, retaining customers is viewed as the epitome ofsuccess because customers familiar with a brand and are aware of theexpectations are more likely to return as opposed to other potentialcustomers (Morgan andHunt 1999: 282).

Sports camps, such as theExcell Hockey camp seek to develop youths on various aspects ratherthan just hockey skills only. The Positive Youth Development positscompetence, confidence, connection, character and caring as the 5C’snecessary to develop youth players holistically (Jones2011: 250).Professional players who have excelled in the sport can play a largerole in developing such aspect in the youth through role modeling.

2.7 Motivation for sports involvement 2.7.1 Financial motivation

Enrolmentinto hockey is a motivated by a number of factors. “Greatercompetition for athletic scholarships and the lure of professionalsports has motivated many parents to commit their children tospecialized training regimens at an early age” (Cumming and Ewing2003: 1).

Becker’s(1965) theory of household decision and resource allocation, which isbased on a neoclassicalperspective posits that a household is both a producer and aconsumer. This means that a family must allocate resources carefullyto maintain an equilibrium i.e. consume what it can comfortablyproduce without registering losses or getting into debt. In thiscase, amateurs’ sports participation is a consumption activitymeaning that it can only be consumed if the household have thenecessary resources which are basically time and money (Huffman 2010:121-123).

2.7.2 Physical fitness

Sportsparticipation increases physical fitness of young children. TheCanadian government as well as local governments and otherorganizations have cited hockey as suitable sport that promotesphysical fitness both in adults and young children. Data fromStatistics Canada and the Active Healthy Kids Canada program showthat only 7% of 11-year olds and 4% of 12 year olds meet therecommended physical fitness levels of a minimum of 60 minutes dailyof active to moderate physical activity (Rose 2014). Other perceivedbenefits of sports involvement cited by sports institutions include(1) enjoyment of sport (2) acquisition of general and sport-specificskills (3) enrichment of social relations and interactions withpeers and adults (4) training in sportsmanship related values and (6)promotion of traditions synonymous with healthy living (Malina 2009:1).

2.7.3 National pride in hockey

Awareness of sport directlyinfluences participation. Kids who encountered a given sportsdiscipline in school are likely more to pursue it outside school thanthose who have not encountered it at school at all (Meester et al.2014). This also involves loyalty to a game and the willingness tolearn more about a sport and take part in it. Globalization andinformation technology allow modern children to be closer to theircelebrity role models and sports heroes than before (Hallmann,Breuer and Kuhnreich 2013: 228).

National sporting successimpacts a society through increased participation. The success of theCanadian national hockey team in the Olympics and other globaltournaments coupled with the dominance of Canadian teams in NHLmotivates interest in hockey among Canadians. This results to alarger number of parents enrolling kids in hockey training in youthclubs and training camps and more children taking an interest in thesport (Wicker, Prinzand Hanau 2012: 203).Pawlowski and colleagues (2014) conducted a study to investigatewhether national pride from sporting success of a given countryinfluenced participation in that sport. The findings wereinconclusive but suggested that hosting international sporting eventsin a particular discipline was more likely to increase interest andparticipation in that discipline. A second study by Mutter andPawlowski (2014) involving a sample of 1413 German junior soccerplayers sought to find out whether perceived relevance of aprofessional sport translated to increased amateur participation. Thestudy concluded that successful football professionals and perceivedsimilarity with them on the part of amateur players greatlyinfluenced participation and interest in a sport.

Hockey as a sport requireshigher financial commitment compared to others sports. Price ofhockey gear, transportation to and fro playing site, club membershipfees, coach and training fees, high injury risk and facility rentalsadd up to a higher fee compared to other sports such as tennis andsoccer. The average cost of hockey apparel is $780 excluding facilityrentals, club membership and coach fees (CBC, 2013) compared to anaverage of $579 spent on sports and athletic equipment by two parentshouseholds in 2005 (Stat Can, 2014). This makes hockey a preserve ofthe middle and high income families that can afford such highfinancial commitment.

2.8 Family

Parents are the ultimatedecision maker in choosing sporting programs that children can enrollin. Statistics indicate that sporty parents are more likely to havesporty children. About 62% of Canadian kids participated where theyparents were also active in sports while the figures drop drasticallyto 25% where parents are not engaged in sports. Statistics Canadaindicate that 7% of parents of 5-14 year-olds participate in sporttogether with their kids as a family event spending an average of 2.5hours weekly in these activities. It means that where sports isinducted as a family activity, children are likely to participate.Sports involvement among kids was also highest in the 11-19 years agegroup (Clark 2014).

Family structure also affectschildren participation in sports. Clark (2014) indicates in familiesthat have both parents, there is a higher likelihood to participatein sport followed by those of single dads with those of single momsleast likely to engage in sports. Single mom families are also morelikely to undergo financial strain which can affect participation. Infamilies to two parents with both engaged in sports as participants,spectators or even coaches register the highest level of kids’participation in sports (75%).

Family history in sport alsoinfluences sports participation very much. Families that have ahistory in a particular a sport have a higher likelihood to inductthe sport as a family tradition that rubs off kids and future familymembers. This family tradition is likely to influence children eitherpositively or negatively. A negative influence involves a familyinfluencing a child to abandon a sports of his/her own choice topursue a sports pursued by family members. A positive influence onthe other hand influences uptake of a given sport in line with familytraditions. Additional, older family members are likely to serve asrole models and offer psychological and emotional support. Severalstudies have investigated the genetic component of ability in a givensports. This follows numerous sporting families around the world thathave excelled in a given sport discipline. The ACTN3 gene has beenheavily linked with sports performance (Enyon et al. 2013).

2.9 Pricing and market

The pricing and marketingmechanisms used must be informed by consumer behavior and targetmarkets. For consumers to make a purchase, the perceived value of aproduct must match the price that they must be willing to pay for.Where the price is higher than the perceived value, customers may runaway. Additionally, the pricing must appeal to the emotional aspectof consumers. Studies have shown that consumers are likely to roundoff prices on the lower side. For instance a price of $5.99 is deemedcloser to $5 than to $6.

Market segmentation isimportant for an organization as it enables the organization to meetdifferent market needs. In the case of sporting activities, gender isan issue that needs critical attention. In the Canadian case,involvement of young girls and females in general in hockey hasgained currency in the current national discussion of hockey inCanada.

3.0 RESEARCH PLAN

Todevelop a competent research plan, the researcher relies on thenature of the research problem, philosophical assumptions of theresearcher, the researchers experience in past studies andfamiliarity with research methods, procedures of inquiry and specificmethods of collecting data, interpreting and presenting it. Thischapter presents a detailed description of the particular processesthat the researcher employed in a rational manner to answer theresearch question involving philosophical assumptions made. Thechapter thus illustrates key steps involved which are the researchperspective, research epistemological position, theoreticalperspective, methodology, ethicalissues and data analysis, presentation and findings.

3.1 Philosophical position 3.1.1 Epistemological position

Epistemologyis the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge. It is definedas the “the possible ways of gaining knowledge of social reality,whatever it is understood to be. In short, claims about how what isassumed to exist can be known” (Blaikie 2000 8). Anepistemological position is necessary in research as it addresses thevalidity of knowledge to be collected from the study. There areseveral philosophical debates on the possibility of knowledge, how itcan be gained and its limits. There are three main epistemologicalpositions.

  1. Objectivism. This refers of the knowledge that exists in the universe independent of whether individuals are consciously aware of it or not. Crotty (2003: 5) defines it as a perception that views “things have truth and meaning residing in them as objects” and that this knowledge can be accessed by employing the right methods of inquiry. Simply put, the truth exists in objects and researchers are keen to employ methods of inquiry such as theories and hypotheses to explain such knowledge such as the cause-effect explanations.

  2. Subjectivism. This is defined as understanding knowledge as a function of the human mind. Knowledge is what the mind perceives and is subject to the human experiences and cognitive abilities of that mind. In research therefore, to understand other people, the research must take the perspective of the subjects and understand reality by their own terms.

  3. Constructivism. This concept views knowledge as a product of social interactions. Groups of people and individuals are active participants in creation of a perceived reality. This reality is a product of their social interaction and thus this reality changes as social interaction change. This approach in applied in research by acknowledging how the social context impacts on phenomena continuously.

The study adopts aconstructivism position to assess how the changing concept ofchildren participation and involvement in specialized hockey trainingis affected by the social development in the field of hockey and thesubjects of the study. In particular, the actors in the camp,largely the trainer/coach, parents and participant kids interact on apersonalized level in a unique way. In the beginning, it seemedappropriate to study the participants of the previous hockey tounderstand how bets the organization can utilize their subjectiveviews to capitalize on the brand of the trainer and convert that intoa competitive advantage. However, use of multiple secondary sourcesof information gives the study the advantage of multiple realitiesthat might provide deeper insight into the insights and clarificationof views expressed in the comments book.

3.1.2 Theoretical perspective- Interpretivism

Interpretivism is one ofseveral philosophical positions in research with other common onesbeing positivism, realism, pragmatism, and post modernism.Interprevitism is informed by the epistemological position taken. Ininterpretivism, the researcher relies more on his beliefs and valuesto justify a study. Through this approach, reality is not singularand comprises of multiple forms and socially constructed. Theresearcher thus focuses on generating relative meanings bounded bycontext, culture and time to understand what people think, theproblems they face and how they deal with them. This differs frompositivism which perceives reality as objective and singular and thusthe researcher focuses on a specific problem and how people respondto thus specific problem. Study findings are thus generalized andassumed to apply to everyone.

In line with the objectives ofthis research, the study will focus on the factors that influence onthe ability of the firm to convert one of its strengths into acompetitive advantage. The unique aspects of the clientele of theventure, their social lives in the context of Canada as a country andhockey as a social activity will be assessed on their own terms. Inessence, the concept of constructivism will be used to interpretsocial aspects in hockey training for kids relevant to the newventure.

3.2 Methodology

In line with constructivismand interpretivism, the study bases its methodology on aninterpretive case study approach. A case study is defined as an “anempirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon withinits real-life context, especially when the boundaries betweenphenomenon and context are not clearly evident” (Yin, 2003, p. 13).Myers (2013: 78) provides a more updated definition which says “Casestudy research in business uses empirical evidence from one or moreorganizations where an attempt is made to study the subject matter incontext. Multiple sources of evidence are used, although most of theevidence comes from interviews and documents.” In most cases, casestudies are used for two main reasons explanatory and exploratory.Exploratory case studies seek to discover new knowledge whileexplanatory case studies seek to test, compare or explain. Thecurrent study is exploratory in nature as it seeks to assess wherethe Sidney effect can be used to gain competitive advantage at ExcellHockey.

Case studies have nophilosophical obligation. This means that case study researchers arefree to associate with any philosophical orientation implying theycan be positivist, interpretive or critical. The positivist casestudy assumes that reality is objective and that the researcher andthe phenomena being investigated are assumed to be independent. Increating knowledge, this approach uses theories to generatehypothesis and subjects them to empirical testing (Myers 2013: 80).

The critical case studyapproach seeks to offer objective and unbiased criticism of asituation such as organization. In most case studies in businesspursing this approach, the researcher should not be connected to theorganization and thus is preferred by consultants. Myers (2013: 80)defines the approach as “research (that) involves criticalreflection on current practices, questions taken-for-grantedassumptions, and critiques the status quo based on the theories ofone or more critical theorists.”

Interpretive case studies arehinged on the beliefs of intrepretivism which view that reality asinseparable from the people. Therefore, by studying a singularbusiness case, the researcher pursues knowledge to understand theuniqueness of a situation (Kelliher, 2005: 123). However, thisapproach is largely criticized on its reliability, validity andgeneralizability. Reliability is defined as the consistency orstability of a measure. Through triangulation, where multipleindependent methods are used to study a phenomenon and arrive at thesame conclusions, then the methods are highly reliable and viceversa. In interpretive case studies using a qualitative approach,this can be achieved by “combining participant observation withinterviews and documentary sources” (Kelliher, 2005: 123). Thecurrent case plans to use two sources as documentary sources andparticipant observation.

3.3 Research approach

Research approach constitutesthe plans and procedures taken in research starting from the generalassumptions made to the very collection of data, its analysisinterpretation and presentation which culminates in the finaldecision on which approach to be used (Creswell 2013 3). However,some authors such as (Crotty 2003) view the same as just the choicebetween qualitative, quantitative and a combined data collectionmethod with the philosophical and theoretical decisions about thesame playing a peripheral role. Saunders et al (2012: 150) also viewresearch approach differently as the choice among three mainapproaches deduction, induction and abduction. To Saunders et al(2012: 150), the logic of deduction is based on premises formingconclusion. Induction’s logic on the other hand posits that knownpremises generate untested conclusions while for abduction, knownpremises are used to generate testable conclusions.

The approach by the researcherdetermines the methodology used. It is important to align themethodology to the right approach in the study to ensure relevantdata is collected. The study employed a qualitative approach thataligns with the data collection method. Under an inductive approach,data collected from a study “is used to explore a phenomenon,identify themes and patterns and create a conceptual framework”(Saunders et al 2012: 144).

3.4 Research design

Research design is the generalhierarchical structure that encompasses all the decision makinglevels in the research process to convert research questions into anactual study. The research problem must first be identified beforebeing broken down into material and simplified questions pertinent tothe research problem. The researcher is then mandated to determinewhether the identified problem can be developed into an actualresearch study. This involves assessing the knowledge gap theresearcher seeks to fill out. In most cases, knowledge gaps exist inspecialized cases such as the case of Excell Hockey Camp. Anotherconsideration is the availability of data to inform and developknowledge. In the current case, the researcher objectively assesseddata that informs marketing and management activities that candevelop sustainable competitive advantage. Another consideration wasthe ethical requirements and limitations facing the study.

Thereare three main ways to design and approach a study, qualitative,quantitative and a combination of both. Quantitative studies arethose studies whereby the variables being investigated can bequantified in numbers or statistics thereby giving way to statisticalevaluation of collected data. Qualitative studies are those where thevariables collected from the study cannot be quantified but words andimages are used for analysis (Saunders etal. 2012: 160).Where appropriate, the two approaches can be combined and used in asingular study to provide more comprehensive analysis and findings.

The study relied on secondarydata from published articles and organizational data largelycollected from organization records and the comments’ book whereclients summarized their experiences of the camp and made suggestionsor complaints after the first camp. Published articles from peerreviewed journals on amateur sports participation, sports marketing,sports management, and youth camps were gathered and any relevantarticles noted. The articles were sourced from major online databasesusing the “locate” feature on the Coventry University onlineportal. Several books recommended by the course and those suggestedby these databases were also critical in guiding and shaping thestudy.

3.4.1 Advantages of secondary data

Secondary data is presented ina convenient manner easy to assess and analyse. The researcher doesnot require extensive application of data analysis tools or time tocarry out time consuming primary research. Secondary data on theother hand can be misleading if there were issues that the primaryresearchers erred in. additionally, it is very difficult to match thevariables studies in most primary studies to the current study.Consequently, the researcher has to rely on a larger set of secondarydata to capture the desired variables.

Due to the nature of the studyas a qualitative one, primary data was necessary to increase validityand reliability. Primary data utilized was based from records fromthe Excell Hockey Camp pertaining to the coach’s background, theorganization of the camp activities and the general feedback andexperience of participants and their parents. The feedback book atthe camp, social media, and management records were also used assources of primary data.

3.4.1 Sampling process

The study largely relies onsecondary data. Relevant articles were searched from main onlinedatabases EBSCO and EMERALD from the Coventry University Library.Google Scholar was also used to locate other relevant publishedarticles. Keywords such as “amateur participation in sports”“competitive advantage in sports”, “Sidney-effect”,“motivation youth sports participation” were used.

3.5 Ethical issues

As an academic research paper,the study is subject to Coventry University’s ethical requirementsfor research studies. The institution requires all studies involvingprimary data collection to meet Coventry University Ethics ApprovalProcesses. Studies not involving primary data have their own ethicalrequirements which this particular fulfilled. Failure to meet theseethical obligations set by the institution could lead to academicmalpractice.

The study is also subject tolegal requirements on covert studies. This is because the researcherrelied on information contained in the visitors’ book to understandthe general opinion and views towards the organization in the market.While this qualifies as an observation method, the researcher did nothave the research in mind when calling for visitors to put down theircomments. Consequently, the research idea was not communicated to thevisitors and thus the issue of observe effect was addressed. Theobserve effect is a common bias that emanates in observation studiesby study participants acting in a biased manner as a result of beingaware they are being observed. In most cases, participants tend todisplay desired behavior when aware of an observation process.

The research has to meetacademic requirements as an academic paper. This requires theresearcher to verify the authenticity of the contents of the researchpaper through a declaration. Information borrowed from other sourcesused in the paper is also correctly acknowledged through referencingthrough a proper works cited page and in parenthesis. Failure to docan amount to plagiarism which is punishable by law and theuniversity.

Although the study did notactually use human subjects, their comments were used. Some of thecomments contained in the comments were followed by identities of theauthors. The researcher thus sough to conceal such confidentialinformation as a required by law and general research requirements.

3.6 Research limitations

Lack of relevant publishedstudies. There is not a single published research study on developingcompetitive advantage of a hockey camp. This makes it hard for theresearcher to locate relevant data to use in to this study and alsofor comparison purposes. However, there are several studies oncreating competitive advantage in various industries. Majority of thestudies however, do not actually research studies but are presentedin a case study format that does not involve data collection,research objectives formulation and such key steps.

The researcher is theproprietor of the hockey camp and thereby exposing the study to bias.This bias can be evident in the choice of study question affecting.It is likely that the researcher can choose a question and approachin the study that will depict the organization in a positive mannerdenying him the opportunity to learn about the stakes facing theorganization from an objective point of view. To counter theresearcher’s bias and influence of the study, the research reliedon data strictly from other sources. The comments book from theorganization contains unedited comments, complaints and suggestionsfrom parents and kids alike filled out at the end of the camp.

The “Sidney-effect”concept is relatively new and untested in the field of research. Theconcept claims that a successful athlete can auger interest in aparticular sports discipline in a selected population courtesy of thefact that they can identify with him. However, this concept issimilar to the well covered celebrity endorsement concept inmarketing. Firms such as Nike have benefitted immensely fromassociation with basketball star Michael Jordan which led the firm tocreate a line of apparel called “Jordan.” However, it would beunwise to liken the success of Nike and the Jordan line given thefact that the name of the proprietor is better recognized in themarket than the unknown and fairly new corporate brand of ExcellHockey Camp.

Primary data collected fromcomments book at Excell Hockey Camp was not designed for researchpurposes. Where researchers have the opportunity and chance to createresearch questions in surveys and questionnaires, the questions aredesigned through the guidance of the research objectives and researchproblem. However, in the current case, the research only relies onunguided comments similar to covert observations. This limits theamount, range and depth of data that the researcher collects fromthis source.

3.7 Reliability, Validity and Generalizations

Reliability is the ability ofa study to produce consistent and stable results in a differentsetting or simply its ability to be replicated elsewhere. Theresearcher strives to do this by targeting credible sources ofsecondary data sourced from published materials in books, journalsand from media houses. The research thus provides a detailedreferences list of all the sources used in the study that providedacademic guidance and also provided secondary data for researchpurposes.

Validity assesses thesuitability of the research process in light of the research problem.It considers the methodology and research design which are determinedby several factors. Simply put, it assesses how well the researchmeasures what it set out to measure as articulated by the purposestatement and study objectives. The researcher thus provides adetailed description of individual steps taken and their support fromthe theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches used.

As an interpretive case study,the quality of the study and its findings it assessed in terms ofplausibility of the story and the arguments presented rather thanvalidity and reliability (Myers 2013: 80). This therefore calls fordetailed description of the steps involved and the data collected. Kelliher (2005: 123) says that plausibility of a story is not avalidation tool but a substitute to validation.

Generalizations are alsoapplicable in research in that it calls for the ability of researchfindings to be applied on other similar cases. This is practicallyimpossible in case studies because they address a specific situationthat is inseparable from the phenomena being studied which makes thefindings specific to that case and not generalizable to other cases.In this case, the identified source of competitive advantage forExcell Hockley cannot be applicable to other organizations even thosein a similar industry. However, case studies provide confirmation ofthe existence of a phenomenon which can be scrutinized furtherthrough experimental research (Kelliher 2005: 123). The study thusconfirms Sidney-effect as a phenomenon that can be pursued further asa general applicable concept in sports management.

4.0 Data Collection, analysis, presentation and findings

A preliminary search from thementioned databases identified 97 relevant articles published notearlier than 2000. The article titles and abstracts were used toassess suitability. Keywords, methodology, findings, year ofpublication and credibility of the author were all used to assesssuitability further. Articles published earlier than 2008 werefurther assessed on their currency of topics and relevant to theresearch. Only 4 articles qualified for use based on the ability.Articles published after 2008 were given closer consideration due totheir currency.

4.1 Thematic analysis

Thematic analysis will be usedto analyze data collected. Thematic analysis is one of severalqualitative data analysis methods that identifies and classifiesthemes or recognizable patterns in data. The method highly dependenton the interpretative skills and knowledge of the researcher asthemes and their perceived relevance in the research question issolely determined by the researcher. The researcher is thus able todetermine how the frequency of a particular theme impacts on theresearch subject. This way a study can capture the implicit andexplicit ideas presented by such frequencies rather just denoting isas a statistic.

Thematic analysis also suitsthe project in that the researcher can identify the relationshipbetween different themes and causation noted down. In the currentstudy, primary data and secondary data are used and thus thematicanalysis comes in handy by assessing any possible links between thetrends in primary data collected during the camp and the secondaryresearch data collected afterwards. The approach thus offers enoughflexibility absent in other methods by addressing data collected intwo phases i.e. During the camp and after the camp.

4.2.1 Objective 1: roleof parents in sports participation and purchase decision

Investigate the decisionmaking role of parents in enrolling kids to a hockey camp

Parents as the not only themain decision makers in nearly all households but are also the mainincome earners. Based on several study findings, parents are involvedin budget making in households. They decide on how much time, moneyand other resources that a family can indulge and invest in sport asa unit or what an individual member can indulge with the approval ofparents. Other than financial facilitation, parents also offeremotional and psychological support to children. They encouragechildren to pursue sports and even offer advice where children feelthe need to switch from one sport to another as a result of perceivedskills and abilities requirements or perceived difficulties (Schwabet al., 2010: 41).

Several studies (Kanters andKasper 2008 Cumming and Ewing 2003: 1) show that parents’perception of a sport in form its safety, ability to holisticallydevelop a child, its financial prospects, cost of participation(Ruseki et al. 2011), availability of facilities, perceived socialclass association of the sport and family history in the sport allplay an integral role in influencing parents decision on whether toenrol or support their kids in a particular sport.

One of the key aspects raisedin the comments book filled out by both parents of the participatingkids and the kids themselves revolved around time. There were threecomments that expressed the desire to change the timing of the hockeycamp. One comment read, “It would be great to have the hockeylessons changed from the early afternoon to late afternoon to addressthe inconvenience of having to drop kids off for training during workhours.” The second comment raised the issue of fees charged versusthe time allocated daily for practice. The comment said “Two ofhours of practice daily for the fees charged is a bit on the higherside. Maybe 3-4 hours daily would be fair.”

The risk of injury wasidentified in the comments books. One comment read “I would likethe camp introduce extra safety gear to prevent head injuries andother types of injuries.” This is a direct concern that continuesto grip the hockey industry and has resulted to increased cases ofinjury especially concussions. Hemond (2012: 861) notes thatincreased cases of injuries especially concussion have resulted todecline in hockey player registration in Canada. To save the sport,there is need for more stringent rules to safeguard players withfailure to do amounting to “child abuse” (Hemond 2012). A studyby Landry (2007)corroborates these concerns as indicated by 97% of parents whoindicated that practicing safe hockey was very important in playinghockey with an additional 92.2% suggesting that their child’s coachshould engage in online safe hockey course. Statistics indicate thatamong high school games, ice hockey for boys records the highestcases of injury at 6.4 injury cases per 10,000 athletes.

Figure2 Sports-related injuries among high school students in Canada(source: Source: http://www.sportsletter.org/sportsletter/injuries)

Inthe NHL, apart from injuries, fights are also a major concern thatinfluences parents’ decision to support a child in playing hockey.Statistics from previous seasons paint a grim picture but one which Islowly improving.

RegularSeason Stats

Season

Games

Fights*

Fights PerGame

GamesWith Fights

% of GamesWith Fights

Games WithMore ThanOne Fight

# of playerswho fought**

2013-14+

1230

469

0.38

366

29.76%

78

2013-14

1230

469

0.38

366

29.76%

78

288

2012-13

720

347

0.48

264

36.67%

66

245

2011-12

1230

546

0.44

423

34.39%

98

321

2010-11

1230

645

0.52

458

37.24%

117

348

2009-10

1230

714

0.58

493

40.08%

171

341

2008-09

1230

734

0.60

509

41.38%

173

355

2007-08

1230

664

0.54

473

38.46%

143

324

2006-07

1230

497

0.40

384

31.22%

87

292

2005-06

1230

466

0.38

357

29.02%

80

276

2003-04

1230

789

0.64

506

41.14%

172

340

2002-03

1230

668

0.54

464

37.72%

139

321

2001-02

1230

803

0.65

519

42.20%

172

348

2000-01

1230

684

0.56

469

38.13%

155

329

Figure3 Violence incidences in NHL regular seasons

PreseasonStats

Season

Games

Fights*

Fights PerGame

GamesWith Fights

% of GamesWith Fights

Games WithMore ThanOne Fight

# of playerswho fought**

2013-14

104

100

0.96

59

56.73%

20

149

2011-12

108

72

0.67

49

45.37%

16

115

2010-11

106

115

1.08

67

63.21%

33

183

2009-10

109

164

1.50

74

67.89%

50

209

2008-09

111

151

1.36

70

63.06%

44

183

2007-08

105

121

1.15

63

60.00%

30

164

2006-07

105

92

0.88

55

52.38%

27

138

2005-06

111

108

0.97

67

60.36%

29

138

2003-04

124

137

1.10

79

63.71%

35

168

2002-03

120

143

1.19

78

65.00%

43

165

2001-02

109

122

1.12

67

61.47%

35

168

2000-01

122

126

1.03

72

59.02%

31

167

Figure4 Violence incidences in NHL preseason

4.2.2 Objective 2

Choiceof family sport

Analyze how parents’knowledge of local and national hockey professionals influence theirdecision in choosing a family sport

Human beings have a tendencyto identify with one of their own in different social settings wheredifferent unique options are offered. In this case, parents have awide range of hockey role models to choose from the NHL and otherhockey leagues around the world. The most relevant professional ischosen. While hockey greats such as, Sidney are largely admiredworldwide, local professionals are also greatly admired byindividuals who can identify with them at closer level. Young kidsare thus likely to take it from their parents and local sportingscenario about local professionals.

From the comments book, therewere numerous comparisons of the coach to the kids attending thecamp. One of the comments read, “Thanks so much for the chance. Isee you in my boy every time he is on the rink. I would like to seehim reach the heights you have reached if not higher.” It is clearthat adults who lived in the same neighborhood with professionals intheir childhood have a better understanding of these professionalsand have a valid claim to ‘seeing them grow’.

4.2.3 Objective 3

Investigate the children’smajor motivations and incentives for participation in the camp?

A study in the US involvingover 25 000 children, cited by Cummings and Ewing (2002), sought toinvestigate children’s most dominant reasons for participating insport. The results indicated that the most popular reason was to havefun followed by acquisition of new skills, be with friends/peers, andthrill in competition respectively. Psychologists classify motivationfor participation in sports into two general categories, intrinsicand extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation pertains to engaging in anactivity for the sole pleasure of it as the kids Cummings and Ewing(2002) study indicated. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand ismotivation driven by rewards that are external to the activity. Thiscan include a career in the sport, sponsorship in college, meet andmake new friends, adhere to family traditions, please parents amongothers. Intrinsic motivation has the greatest drive and has a higherprobability in producing positive outcomes (Adie and Jowett 2010:2750).

These reasons do not largelymatch with the reasons several parents have expressed as the reasonfor supporting their children’s involvement in sports as reportedby several studies (Alexandris 2005 Cummings and Ewing 2002). Themost cited reason that parents enroll their children in sports andinvest in them sports-wise is to compete and win. The ability to winin all sports whether swimming, football, softball, basketball andhockey is seen as an ideal quality of children and confirmation ofgood parenting skills. In so doing, parents view children as areflection of themselves and their families and thus enroll childrenin activities including sports that will aid in the family image.This is in total disregard of the needs of children who cite havingfun as the most important aspect of sports participation.

Over involvement of parents intheir children activities such as choice of sports to participate inhave a negative effect on children. Alexandris (2005) suggests thatthis is one of the key reasons why children drop out of core sportingactivities as they grow older and have a high stake in makingdecisions about their lives. Over involved parents thus choose a widerange of activities and enroll their children in them withoutconsidering the impact on the children. Such activities may result inundue pressure on the part of children who are pressurized by parentsto achieve. Cumming and Ewing (2002) suggest that allowing childrenthe opportunity to choose which sport of activity to pursue is thebest way to go about it.

Some parents have a distortedview of their children as themselves. Psychologists call this“reverse dependency trap” (Cumming and Ewing 2002: 2), asituation where parents over identify with the children and perceivethem as an extension of their egos. In most cases, parents will pushthe children to participate in activities that will give them thegreatest pleasure such as recognition in their social circles ratherthan an activity which is best for the kid. Consequently, parentsare more likely to exert undue pressure on the children to perform.Fanatical parents even display such behavior during their childrensporting activities often time blaming coaches and peers for the poorperformance of their kids. Additionally, such parents are also likelyto enroll their children into specialized training such as the sportscamp to develop their skills further beyond their peers. However, ifsuch children do not have the needed basic skills or the motivationto achieve, their performance does not change. Exceptionalperformance in kids in specific spots not only offers theopportunities of pursing the sports as career but also holds otherbenefits such as scholarships.

4.2.4 Objective 4

Assess how the coach beinga local professional hockey player is perceived as a role model toyoung hockey players by both parents and children?

The comments book showed greatappreciation and recognition of the achievements of the coach as aplayer, his achievements and areas of concerns/weaknesses. This was ajustification of the fact that the market in Port MacNeill hassubstantial interest in hockey as a sport and keeps up with hockeynews from Canada and around the world. This was evident in onecomment that which stated “I am very grateful for learning one ofthe coach’s signature moves on the rink that has earned him greatrespect. I hope to master this move through practice.” Anothercomment read, “please treat the children as kids, they do not needthe hard play that professional hockey players depict on the rink.”This claim was based on the belief that children are likely toemulate the coach as a professional player as opposed to practicingwhat is being taught. Banduras SCT ascertains this by saying“modeling has alwaysbeen acknowledged to be one of the most powerful means oftransmitting values, attitudes and patterns of thought and behavior”(Adriaanse and Crosswhite 2008: 384). To parents, giving children a close

4.2.5 Objective 5

Investigate to what leveldid the name of the trainer influence participation in the camp?

Data from the comments bookindicated that a number of children and parent’s interest in thecamp was influenced by the identity of the coach. Many believed thata close interaction with the coach, as an established professionalhockey player, can inspire kids to greater heights in theirprofessional career. Adie and Jowett (2010) recognize thatcoach-athlete relationships are very instrumental in nurturingsportsmanship and excellence. The authors reveal that coaches shouldbe close enough to athletes to understand their source of motivationand nurture it carefully. However, athletes’ source of motivationusually reflects in their behavior and attitude affecting thecoach-athlete relationship. Adie and Jowett (2010) expound this tosay that there are two types of motivation that affect coach-athleterelationship. One is task-involvement is a motivation where the mainobjective is to acquire skills while ego-involvement is motivationgeared towards demonstrating superior abilities. Task-involvementmotivation creates the best environment for a healthy coach-athleterelationship as it centers on transference of skills from coach tothe athlete while the ego-involvement motivation is driven by thedesire to outshine peers.

Conclusions and Recommendations (15%)

Children play a peripheralrole in making the final purchase decision in sports consumption. Economic reasons play a great role in determining the type of sportsactivity to participate courtesy of the associated costs ofparticipating in that sport such as kits and protective gear. Different parents have different levels of involvement in theirchildren’s involvement in sports and other activities. In suchcases, coaches have more freedom and space for maneuverability intraining and coaching children than in cases where parents are overinvolved.

Parents are more thorough inscrutinizing the general behavior of role models that they choose fortheir children. This can be a burden to the organization in that byrelying on the brand of the coach as a professional hockey player,the person and the organization are inseparable. This way, anycharacter issues that parents may raise with the coach could becatastrophic to the organization.

Increased used of celebritymarketing has nearly exhausted the benefits of this concept. Fewerand fewer consumers are being influenced by celebrities who endorsecertain products and services in making the final purchase decision.At times this would be arrogant to only consider celebrityendorsement as being a great universal remedy for all barriers thatexists within the business world. If celebrity endorsement is appliedeffectively and efficiently, it will definitely make sure that thetargeted brand product stands out, be able to stimulate brand recalland also in facilitating a proper instant awareness over the product.Therefore, to be effective in achieving such factors within productmarketing, then the product marketer is supposed to be reallydisciplined and also credible when it comes to choosing the rightcelebrity for the job of marketing through advertisement and othermodes of marketing. Definitely the effective and proper use ofcelebrity for product marketing can easily help in escalating theexisting Unique Selling Proposition of a product brand to better newlevels. Therefore, a celebrity is supposed to be named as a standingfactor to the possible end, and not as it is believed to be an end inthe celebrity himself or herself. It therefore recommended that theExcell Hockey competitiveness be hinged on the services that thatorganization can offer to the market and not the brand of the coachas that is not sustainable. In fact, the competitiveness of theorganization can only last as long as the coach is performing at thehighest level. In the case of Sidney Crosby, his injury in 2012resulted in a drastic decrease in the number of new registration ofhockey players and also a reduction in the number of hockeyspectators. This shows that while a celebrity brand is very robust inmarshaling publicity, it is not sustainable in the long run.

Excell Hockey should utilizethe publicity of the coach in an alternative way. Other methods thathave been developed and can be used in place the celebrity marketinginvolve the use of the publicity, advertisements and the personalselling services. The reduction in the use of the celebrities in themarketing of the products can be attributed to the fact that thecelebrities have become so numerous in the magazines and thusrendered this method less suitable in the marketing processingkeeping in mind the costs or expenses to be incurred in the usage ofthe method. Through celebrity marketing, demographic issues relatingto the gender, age, and density of the population in a given societyhave to be well thought-out when hiring a celebrity to market thebusinesses products. This in essence has an implication that thecompany will have access to a wide market of its products andtherefore lead to the increase in the sales of the products and theeventual profit maximization of the company’s products.

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