Macali Communications, Feb. 26, 2014 blog post features an interview with SLRG's Jon Last. Jon addresses key insights on sports marketing issues and opportunities in the year ahead, driven by recent SLRG research.
In the February 11, 2014 Media Post: Marketing Sports, SLRG President Jon Last offers some insights from recent research on sports fan media usage that has somewhat counter-intuitive implications for brands activating through sports. You can read the piece, as well as previous columns here.
In his January 2014 Media Post column, SLRG President Jon Last provides a look ahead at some of the sports marketing news stories that will shape the year ahead.
A year ago, fresh off of watching at least one series from EACH of the 35 college bowl games, I threw my hat into the fray with a list of predictions for the year ahead. This year, my bowl TV viewing streak was snapped, though I was able to compensate somewhat, by having the good fortune of attending a bowl game, while on vacation. So, in the spirit and tenor of my own personal evolution, and amidst all of the prediction lists that you are surely reading, I'm going to modify last year's approach with a combination retrospective of how some of last year's predictions turned out along with some of the new sports biz developments that we are keeping our eyes on for the year ahead:
Developments in media consumption research, mobile data collection and mixed mode projects are among the trends explored in RFL Communications? Research Business Report Predictions issue.
SLRG President Jon Last's perspectives on the state of the golf industry and player development efforts are included in this cover story on the evolving role of golf as a key component of corporate meetings.
In his December Media Post article, SLRG President Jon Last recalls how today's media landscape has increased the likelihood of marketing ROO/ROI mis-attribution, how to avoid it and the implications for sports marketing.
Some of SLRG's recent golfer research for the Scottsdale, AZ Convention and Visitors' Bureau is detailed in this informative piece that profiles the destination's golfer travelers.
The November 26th issue includes coverage of SLRG President and EWGA Board member Jon Last's white paper on the outlook for sports travel in 2014. The brief whitepaper was presented as part of the recent TTRA/US Travel Association Market Outlook Forum in Chicago.
As referenced below in our recap of recent research of interest and in SLRG President Jon Last's November Media Post column, 2013 has afforded us numerous opportunities to examine the evolving ways in which consumers engage in various sports and leisure related communications. It's easy to make generational assumptions and buy into convenient marketing opinion that for those under age 40 it's all about social and mobile media, while older folks remain mired in legacy platforms. Such assumptions are wrong. Rather it strikes us that we are at a unique inflection point, where our data reveals that the proliferation of media options and platforms have led to an increase in cross platform consumption of multiple channels, particularly in special interest categories like sports and travel.
In November's column, SLRG President Jon Last speaks to how the proliferation of vertical sports media has presented new strategic necessities for sports marketers looking to optimize the impact and effectiveness of their communications with sports fans.
For the past several years, SLRG has partnered with InStadium, a unique network of video boards across most major professional and collegiate sports venues, to conduct a wide array of program effectiveness measurement and to dive deeply into the unique environment that is live sporting events. The October issue of InStadium's newsletter, highlights research that we conducted on audience state of mind, that examines fan engagement relative to other types of advertising.
In the October 2013 Media Post, SLRG's Jon Last laments the death of EA Sports' college football game franchise as a possible foreshadowing of how the legal turmoil swirling around the NCAA could erode the brand's equity.
Child-centricity and other cultural shifts have transformed the way resort communities are marketing their properties and enhancing amenity offerings. SLRG President Jon Last is quoted in this thoughtful look at how the landscape is changing for resort marketers.
Game-day promotional give-aways take on all kinds of shapes, sizes and levels of political correctness. In this month's post, SLRG President Jon Last recalls some of the more memorable promotions and what sports marketers can learn from them.
In his August, 2013 posting, SLRG President Jon Last offers perspective on the marketing implications of the PED scandal in MLB as well as the litany of sensationalistic off-field stories on high profile athletes.
In the July 2013 PGA Magazine, Jon Last shares SLRG research that demonstrates the actions golf facilities can take to grow profitability and share of customer by instituting women friendly best practices.
We're in a golden age of instant information. But, as SLRG President Jon Last explains in his July 2013 Media Post commentary, that doesn't necessarily lead to better strategic decisions, unless sports marketers can navigate the pot holes.
Sports Business Journal's Michael Smith reports on the Wharton Sports Business Initiative Business of Golf panel discussion, moderated by SLRG President Jon Last.
SLRG President Jon Last's June 2013 posting speaks to new paradigms for properties looking to maintain positive constituent relationships, and offers up an action plan that can build brand equity
Golf Inc. Magazine has named SLRG President Jon Last to its list of the most innovative people in the golf business.
In his latest commentary, SLRG President Jon Last cites recent research conducted with private club members, to reveal some welcomed positive momentum. However, the data also suggest some potentially troubling underpinnings of this performance shift, and some ideas on how to combat them.
In this month's Media Post: Marketing Sports, SLRG President Jon Last uses a cooking metaphor to warn those embarking upon marketing research: It's the chef, not the ingredients that make for a great meal.
As former MRA Presidents who have worked on both the client and agency side of marketing research, the principals of SLRG have been around the block more than our receding hair lines would sometimes like to admit. But with the accumulation of all of this “scar tissue”, it strikes us as amusing and potentially disturbing to see so much of the buzz in marketing research being attributed to purportedly new methodologies and unique panels of respondents. At the end of the day, the best research inevitably comes down to asking the right questions or observing the right behaviors in the right environment among the right people…and then effectively and rigorously analyzing those findings to frame actionable and informed strategic recommendations.
In his April 13 column, SLRG's Jon Last provides a basic primer on four initial considerations that sports marketers should think about before conducting marketing research.
Gilford Securities' Casey Alexander cites SLRG industry research in his annual assessment of the state of the golf market.
In his March 2013 Media Post: Marketing Sports item, SLRG President Jon Last observes that the World Baseball Classic offers a compelling alternative to the malaise of traditional All-Star games. It's a model that warrants attention across sports marketing.
SLRG President Jon Last's February 2013 Media Post column explores the marketing implications of a contradiction of sorts among football fans, revealed in new SLRG research---Fans are concerned about player safety, yet a large number would risk the long-term impact of concussions for a chance at NFL stardom.
The limitations of social media sentiment analysis and new opportunities for behavioral and attitudinal data fusion are among the trends explored in RFL Communications Research Business Report Predictions issue.
SLRG President Jon Last's January 2013 Media Post column highlights how impending jumbo-tron wars, NCAA Conference realignment and the build up to a Meadowlands Super Bowl are among the top sports marketing events to look forward to in the year ahead.
Quirk's Marketing Research Review's December 2012 cover story is a detailed look at how Sports and Leisure Research Group partnered with PING to conduct an innovative qualitative immersion into golfers' quest for a new driver.
In his December, 2012 Media Post column, SLRG President Jon Last reflects on how recent empirical research and anecdotal observation has reinforced the fact that live sporting events are a uniquely engaging and receptive environment for brands.
In his November column, SLRG President Jon Last finds a refreshing potential "diamond in the rough" in the game of identifying endorsement worthy pro athletes.
SLRG president and EWGA Board Director Jon Last is profiled in the November 14 issue of the EWGA's newsletter. EWGA is the nation's largest grass roots organization of its kind, with a mission of empowering, enriching and energizing professional women through the game of golf.
I was interested to see that the season premiere of this year’s “Undercover Boss” featured Mitch Modell, the CEO of one of our local sporting goods retail chains. In promoting the show, Mr. Modell made a number of appearances on area media to discuss the experience and what he had learned. In reflecting on it all, he observed that being put on the front lines (in disguise for those who haven’t seen the show) of his retail operations, transformed the way he looks at his business and gave him a new sense of appreciation for the integral role that his sales associates play in shaping the customer experience. This sounds a lot like what we learn for clients when immersing ourselves in retail ethnography and other observational research.
The cover feature on making golf more accessible to women, includes several references to SLRG research included in the PGA of America's "Connecting with Her" playbook. Here's a particular item that references some of our work on golf shop retailing.
Football is a brand that, like any other, leverages points of differentiation to enable it to stand apart from its competition. In his October 2012 Media Post column, SLRG President Jon Last identifies those unique selling points that have made the game so popular.
SLRG's Jon Last outlines his thoughts on the implementation necessities to maximize the impact of golf's focus on developing the next generation of participants.
In the August 2012 Marketing: Sports, SLRG President Jon Last provides research driven guidance on the potential pitfalls of trying to attach the future of a sport or brand to individual stars, with some valuable lessons from golf, tennis and football.
RFL Communications' Bob Lederer's 9/10/12 video interview of SLRG President Jon Last, on the evolving role of D-I-Y (Do it Yourself) platforms, in the research tool kit.
In the August 2012 Marketing: Sports posting, SLRG's Jon Last speaks to the key elements required to measure return on sports marketing objectives.
Our first ever analysis/rankings of the MLB ball parks with the best fan experience has been released and we're looking for thoughts on how to make the next one, even better. Let the debate begin.
In the June 2012 posting, SLRG President Jon Last discusses how observational research has evolved to deliver more actionable insights in sports marketing. Mobile micro-video recorders now bring fans and customers "into the board room."
In this month's marketing Sports we examine what Nobel Prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman called system 1 and system 2 thinking.
SLRG President Jon Last contributes five of Golf Inc.'s "25 Big Ideas for stimulating and powering the golf industry into the future"
Excerpts from a PGA Magazine interview with the SLRG President reveal perspectives that golf facility operators can deploy to build customer loyalty and increase business.
SLRG's longitudinal study for The Little Family Foundation and National Golf Course Owners' Association identifies golf facility best practices increasing play from women.
In his April 2012 Media Post: Marketing Sports column, SLRG President Jon Last reflects on how the Miami Marlins' new stadium exemplifies how event venues are becoming a more critical element of the marketing mix.
Media Post Marketing Sports: SLRG President Jon Last's March posting speaks to the lessons learned and steps to be taken by sports marketers in this recent period of high profile player movement.
The March 2012 issue cites SLRG's research study with Golfsmith and Sports Illustrated Golf Group that quantified the opportunities and impact of custom club fitting on the golf industry.
In his February Media Post: Marketing Sports column, SLRG President Jon Last discusses why sports fan perceptions of a still shaky economy are not a contradiction to their more bullish behaviors.
SLRG research and President Jon Last are cited as part of the magazine's look at the year ahead in golf equipment marketing.
SLRG President Jon Last's commentary piece speaks to the changing mindset of today's golfer and how facilities must adapt to deliver customer service that meets expectations.
As a marketing researcher, part of what intrigues me about my job is that I get to observe, first hand, what makes all walks of people tick. And with that comes an appreciation that the rest of the country is attitudinally a lot different than the circles we interact with in large bi-coastal markets. But as much enjoyment as I've gotten spending time in places like Wentzville, Missouri and Montgomery, Alabama, it has been over the past year or so that I've really begun to understand the passion that so many outside of New York, have for NCAA football. And not to commit the marketing researcher's cardinal sin of allowing one's own opinions to be surrogate for that of representative samples, my college pigskin metamorphosis that led me to watch all or parts of 20+ bowl games over the past few weeks, reinforces some fundamental sports marketing truths we can all learn from.
SLRG President Jon Last joins industry colleagues with ruminations on the year ahead in marketing research in RFL's annual report.
Last year at this time, I put together my list of the most important life lessons one could take into the new year; each expressed in three words. In keeping with the end-of-year themes towards benevolent giving and introspection, this year’s installment focuses on what we might expect in the world of sports marketing in 2012.
Conducting research for a variety of sports properties and brands that activate around them affords me the opportunity to look at sponsorships with a fresh and unique approach, every time a client or agency calls us in. Yet it confounds me that for such a large and potentially high profile endeavor as investing in a sponsorship or sports marketing program, few still go beyond a fairly standardized approach of assessing potential exposure levels, translating these into GRP or CPM equivalents and, voila…out comes an empirical valuation. I get and subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle, but time-out, there’s so much more to consider if you want to do this thoughtfully and accurately.
The July/August issue of this Michigan based business publication featured a story on how golf facilitates and retailers have put a greater focus on women. The story includes reference to several SLRG studies including the PGA of America's Golfer Portrait series and the NGCOA and Little Family Foundation study.
We lost a unique sports marketer with the passing of Bruce Florine. Here's reflections on just some of what I learned from him.
In the October "Activate", SLRG President Jon Last outlines best practices for building customer loyalty.
Jon Last's guest column in the SouthWest MRA newsletter speaks to how marketing research professional development needs to evolve.
Thankfully, we still hear incessant cries from sponsor and property clients that beyond measuring reach, determining ROI or ROO is tantamount to designing and executing an effective sports marketing program. As researchers and sports marketers, long trained in the nuances of designing and executing research to do just this, we recognize that just as every activation hopefully has some unique element or creative differentiator, so too must the research studies designed to measure their impact.
SLRG partners frequently attend and present at prominent marketing conferences. Here's a round-up of SLRG's latest speaking engagements including MRA Annual and the Fall Crittenden Golf Conference.
Anyone who has known me, even for just a little while has probably heard or read my opinions about the limitations of syndicated vs. custom marketing research. While I'm not about to back down from my concern that a lot of syndicated research, particularly in the media space, is often hampered by methodological flaws or misused as a score keeper that often commoditizes and puts those measured on the defensive, I've read and heard some interesting things lately that warrant a slightly more balanced view.
With the PGA Championship teeing off this week in Atlanta, I can't help but think back fondly to my years building and overseeing the business operations side of that event's on site event merchandising program, which began modestly some 16 years ago. The event retailing business has grown from an ancillary activity to a major revenue and branding engine for any sporting event. Here then, I reflect on some of the critical success factors that any sponsor or property can put in place to maximize their event retail program.
Tomorrow, July 13, is what I used to refer to as "Sports Void Day." It remains the only day on the U.S. sports calendar where one of our major sports does not have a live event for us to enjoy (and I say this with all due respect to the Women's World Cup, WNBA and Tour de France). Such a void for even the most die-hard sports fan needn't be tragic, given the proliferation of sports simulation video games. Yet, July 13 got me thinking about how when I was growing up, Sports Void Day was often when we would break out some of the plethora of long-lost sports games or toys.
The Summer 2011 issue features SLRG President Jon Last's commentary on how golf facilities can increase rounds and revenue from women, drawn from Sports and Leisure Research Group work for the NGCOA and Little Family Foundation.
SLRG's groundbreaking study on custom club fitting for leading retailer GolfSmith and the Sports Illustrated Golf Group, was unveiled at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show. Legendary Golf Instructor Hank Haney joined SLRG President Jon Last and others to reveal the findings, which were featured in a number of media.
Demonstrating accountability and ROI continue to be front and center among the demands placed on sports marketers in justifying their investments.
In the May Marketing: Sports column on Media Post, SLRG President Jon Last reflects on how the sports fan audience is a most fertile target for viral marketing and consumer engagement.
There's rampant conversation these days about the impact of potential work stoppages in the NFL and NBA, all replete with much speculation. As marketing researchers, we earn our keep by gauging the perspectives, opinions and reactions of various audiences, but I've tried to stay away from the prediction game. It's counter productive here, and I'm a more-than-half-full kind of guy.
One of my favorite movies is the old Peter Sellers classic, "Being There." Sellers plays Chance, an illiterate live-in gardener who, upon the death of his wealthy proprietor, is cast into a real world that he has been totally sheltered from. A comedy of events brings him inside the power circles of U.S. political might, where his literal musings about the coming "growth of the garden in Spring" are misinterpreted as brilliant metaphor for the future of the U.S. economy.
Golfwriter Larry Olmstead shares some of the significant findings of Golf With Women research including SLRG's study, "The Right Invitation".
Full disclosure ... I'm writing this before the Super Bowl. So, chances are that by the time you read this, you've already consumed countless analyses on which of the $3 million, 30-second TV spots aired during the big game on Sunday were most compelling, funny, recalled, breakthrough, profligate and, on the other end of the spectrum ... actually effective at building the brands that invested in them.
SI Columnist Gary Van Sickle's 2011 golf season preview roundtable discussion includes comments from Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last on topics including an outlook for the year ahead, the state of private clubs, equipment launches and the opportunities presented by custom fitting and women friendly initiatives.
The winter 2011 issue includes commentary by SLRG President Jon Last on how a variety of evolving societal values and demographic changes are creating challenges for the golf industry, as well as some ideas on what can be done to stem the tide.
A new study reveals a golfer's natural ability and swing are not the only things holding them back; 90 % of US golfers may be playing with clubs that do not fit them properly. This study is a wake-up call for every golfer who wants to get better. We spoke to thousands of golfers coast to coast and the majority had no idea of what true custom fitting is all about and how it can shave strokes off of score cards, said Jon Last, President of Sports and Leisure Research Group, which conducted the research. The magnitude of the differences in perceptions between those fit and not fit was among the most significant.
Custom fitted clubs increase golf enjoyment, study find For as long as I've been playing golf - almost 15 years now - I have been told that I should never buy clubs off the rack. I know it flies in the face of what many sporting goods stores and online retailers would prefer you do, but having a proper fitting (even a half-decent one) will drastically increase the chances that a consumer will purchase the right equipment for their game.
Coverage of SLRG's groundbreaking new research on custom clubfitting unveiled at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show includes commentary from legendary PGA TOUR instructor Hank Haney
Forbes.com coverage of SLRG's custom clubfitting research.
Even Seinfeld didn't take it this far! Recalling Seinfeld's remark that in sports one is often "just rooting for a shirt", SPORTS & LEISURE RESEARCH GROUP President Jon Last in this January 11 column speaks to ways that sports marketers can leverage research to maximize the sale and ROO of their licensed merchandise.
Results from SLRG's new study for Golfsmith and Sports Illustrated Golf Group, are included in the cover story of the February 2011 issue of Golf Magazine
SLRG's Jon Last is again featured in the annual "Predictions Issue", where marketing research industry leaders offer their thoughts on the year ahead in research, marketing and consumer behavior.
So while others recall the best deals of the year, the most effective campaigns and those who made a difference, I'll take this opportunity to impart some of the more important life lessons that one can take into the coming year in sports marketing.
The November 22, 2010 GolfWire business feature highlighted Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last's comments on how evolving consumer attitudes present new marketing challenges and opportunities for golf facility operators.
In a still-uncertain economic climate, sports marketers are rightfully putting greater emphasis on customer loyalty and fan experience.
The PGA's new Golfer Portraits segmentation study, conducted by Sports and Leisure Research Group, is highlighted in the November issue of PGA Magazine and on PGA's member-only web site, PGALinks.com. A brief study overview is provided in this article.
We are still clawing our way out of an economy that has not fully righted itself, and the current consumer mindset brings significant implications for sports marketers. The prevailing attitude has become one of calculated rather than conspicuous consumption.
SLRG's "Clean Credentials" study of college men and women for Axe Shower Gel, was cited by spokesperson Vanessa Minnillo in the following article, featuring study highlights
Jon Last reflects on the paradox of how our insatiable cultural appetite for constant and instant information conflicts with perceived time deprivation. He offers thoughts on how the sports and leisure industries must factor this into their internal and external communications.
SLRG's study for the National Golf Course Owners' Association and Little Family Foundation is summarized and featured, with a summary of key conclusions on what women are looking for in their ideal golf experience.
Sports and Leisure Research Group's study, "The Right Invitation", is featured in this blog posting on women friendly golf.
In a co-authored feature article, SLRG President Jon Last details the approach taken and results derived when ComCast's Versus network used a custom SLRG audience research study to help provide greater insight to advertisers on the outdoor/field sports market.
I encouraged sports and media marketers to move beyond simply selling a product or property, and embrace the most unique sellable asset available access to an audience.
Within Quirk's August issue, Jon Last is interviewed about Sports and Leisure Research Group's use of social media mining to shed greater light on fan attitudes towards Tiger Woods earlier this year.
Most sports marketing research lacks the methodological rigor and sophistication that I've seen in other categories, but it certainly doesn't lack sizzle.
You undoubtedly possess an obsessive focus on the brands or properties that you represent, but that probably disqualifies you from having a true understanding of your customers.
Select highlights from Sports and Leisure Research's Golfer Portraits segmentation study, conducted for the PGA, are featured. The item hones in on golfer habits and attitudes regarding formal golf instruction.
Despite being a staunch advocate of classical marketing research methodologies, I'm actually starting to buy into some of the "buzz du jour" about social media as a viable tool for measuring fan sentiment.
"Fan" audits run the gamut, but when it comes to understanding the sports consumer's mindset, the common theme seems to be the ability to consistently engage an audience.
John Paul Newport's column features the findings of a new SLRG study identifying the most critical elements for improving women's satisfaction with and participation in golf.
NY MRA's Chapter Matters newsletter features a brief recap of the Febuary sports research panel discussion moderated by SLRG President Jon Last. The session featured the research directors for all four major professional team sports leagues.
In the March 9th Marketing: Sports SLRG President Jon Last speaks to the three most important things that marketers should think about when measuring or justifying sponsorship ROI.
SLRG research on the golfer mindset in 2010 and its implications for golf facility operators is highlighted in this feature story from the March 2010 issue of Activate!
Cruise Industry Case Study by Sports and Leisure Research Group is featured in Professor Anthony G. Bennett's January 2010 McGraw Hill Text book on marketing. The case appears in Chapter five-Marketing Research. To order a copy, please contact SLRG, or McGraw Hill special markets division.
by Jon Last, Tues, Feb 9, 2010. Long before TMZ discovered sports, and every gossip and media entity unilaterally decided that it was their rightful place to comment on the personal lives of athletes...
Gilford Securities extensively quotes Sports and Leisure Research data.
Gilford Securities' analyst Casey Alexander reiterates his buy rating on Callaway Golf Stock and cites results from Sports and Leisure Research Group's January 2010 Golfer Consumer Mindset study.
by Jon Last, Tues, Jan 12, 2010. As we bid goodbye to the first decade of the 21st century, I'm reminded of the often-quoted first line of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
by Jon Last, Tues, Dec 8, 2009. It amazes me how many sports marketers remain addicted to a product rather than a consumer focus when positioning their properties. The typical sell for event sponsorships, or advertising
by Jon Last, Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009. It's bothersome that, for many, discounting appears to be the catch-all cure to attempt to win back consumers who have cut back on their sports-related spending.
In the weeks leading up to The Market Research Event 2009, we're going to be hearing from the speakers of The Market Research Event. This week we have Jon Last, President, Sports & Leisure Research Group.
by Jon Last, Tuesday, Aug 11, 2009, 11:15 AM. As sports property holders and their agencies face louder and more incessant demands from sponsors/partners to demonstrate return on their marketing investment
Jon Last was featured in GolfWeek columnist Brad Klein's June 20th, 2009 article on the state of private clubs and the impact of changing consumer demand dynamics on attracting and retaining members.
by Jon Last, Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 11:15 AM Our early 2009 consumer sentiment work with a representative sample of golfers suggests that this market, at least attitudinally, is looking for refuge from the pervasive negativity.
In June, SLRG President Jon Last assumes the Honorary/Past President role on the Marketing Research Association board after serving as national president over the past twelve months.
Sports and Leisure Research Group President Jon Last and Judy Langer reveal findings from a study of research client attitudes on and utilization of observational qualitative research in the February 2009 issue of Quirk's.
Sports and Leisure Research Group's golfer trends work is cited on page 5 of this informative February 13, 2009 report from industry analyst Casey Alexander.
Jon Last is quoted on the potential impact of the changing golfer mindset on participation and equipment purchasing, in Bradley Klein's latest column
Jon Last featured in the annual "Predictions Issue" of Research Business Report.
After almost seven and a half years as VP-corporate marketing, research and brand development for Conde Nast's Golf Digest Publications, current national Marketing Research Association President Jon Last has launched
In New York, former Golf Digest Publications VP Jon Last has launched his own marketing research and strategy consultancy, Sports and Leisure Research Group. Sports and Leisure Research Group. Last is the current President
Over the past seven years at Golf Digest Publications, I've had a unique opportunity, to integrate the traditional functions of a marketing department (strategic planning, market positioning, business analysis...
"Golfers tend to seek out a luxurious type of experience with all of the products and services that they buy," says Jon Last, vice president of corporate marketing, research and brand development for Golf Digest Publications.
GOLF: Mastering the changing Business of a Classic Game. The business of golf has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past 20 years, unsurpassed by virtually any other participatory sport. At the same time, golf's growth has not continued...
OUT OF CONTROL Consumers have taken over your marketing. How to Deal? "[Views into our audience have become more pervasive in our activities], whether it's investing more seriously as we have in the development of our Web site...