Soccer Academy Tom Owen, football fanatic, has been in a close personal relationship with the game his entire life. Owen came to the United States from the U. K. in 1998 after receiving a soccer scholarship. After graduating, his passion and desire for teaching the game to youth naturally has led him into the creation of a successful training camp. His Soccer Academy, MANU, has had great success in his Colorado hometown of Fort Collins. As we explore MANU we will look at many different factors – eventually advising Tom Owen on what his next actions in the market should be.
By using the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for the MANU Soccer Academy, Tom Owen will understand how to utilize the strengths and opportunities while avoiding the weaknesses and threats to its success. First we will review the strengths. The most noteworthy strength MANU Soccer Academy lies in their human capital, their instructors. Tom Owen himself has a natural talent for coaching, is very knowledgeable about the game of soccer, is charismatic, and has an easy-going personality that kids enjoy in an instructor.
Tom Owen has been hiring instructors with similar qualities, thus creating a workforce that gives him a good competitive advantage and helps differentiate MANU’s services from other groups without such quality instructors. Another strength that MANU has is its market penetration in Fort Collins, population 110,000. Owen estimates that almost all competitive soccer players age 11 to 14 are aware of his program in the Fort Collins area. First let’s review the opportunities. The external opportunities for MANU are extensive. Soccer is the largest participation sport for kids and Fort Collins is a soccer “hotbed. There are also several cities (Loveland, Greeley, and Longmont) totaling a population of about 220,000 people within 25 miles of Fort Collins that have very limited soccer training camps currently. These are markets that would offer low levels of competition with MANU. Next we will review the weaknesses. MANU’s greatest weakness is its dependence on Tom Owen for the leading and execution of duties in its task environment. This makes it more difficult to expand into distant markets because Owen can only be in one place at a time. Lastly, we will look at the possible threats.
Fortunately, because of MANU’s niche market in their current location, their external threats are somewhat limited. Most of MANU’s threats come from the external environment such as the economic environment. Parents may regard soccer camp as a relatively elastic service and be willing to go without it because of the economic downturn and growing unemployment. This may be looked at as a luxury that can be done without. The analysis provided an overview for MANU Soccer Academy and seems to show that MANU is completely prepared to go ahead with the expansion.
The main issue that could impact the success of MANU’s expansion lies in the economic environment. The economy is currently in a recession. A large portion of MANU’s customers live in the immediate area. There are also several largely populated area around this area. This makes way for MANU to expand the coverage area. There is relatively low direct competition for MANU in Tom’s immediate or surrounding area. The target buyer for the services that MANU provides is competitive soccer players ages 11 to 14. However, the ultimate buyer is the mother of the soccer player. One must market to both mother and child.
Tom Owen wants to expand his business, but he must take into consideration the issues that he may be faced with and decide what method would be in his best interest. Tom listed a few of his thoughts. Tom Owen’s current customer retention rate is pretty high: about 80 percent. However, when the kids reach 14 or 15 years old, other high school sports and activities make them less interested in extra soccer training. One option is to try to increase retention by developing programs targeted at kids over 14. He could also try to develop a marketing strategy that would encourage his current customers to buy more.
He wonders if they have other needs that he might be able to serve. Owen could try to grow the business by entering new markets and acquiring new customers. His market penetration with kids 6 to 9 is still quite modest. He might develop new programs to better meet this group’s needs. Yet another option for Tom would be to serve more kids from Loveland, Longmont, and Greeley. Basically, Tom has come to the conclusion that he must increase sales and profit by either changing or offering new products to meet the needs of different customers, or by keeping his product as is and enter new geographic markets.
I personally think that Tom’s best option would be to try and expand the area of coverage for the product without changing a product that is currently working. I feel that there is no need to reinvent the product or divert focus to new products. MANU has a product they know works and they are very efficient at producing. Tom Owen knows he and his staff is well suited to teach 11 to 14 year old players. By concentrating on this target market they eliminate the risk associated with offering a new altered service. There is also no diversion of focus from their intended target market of 11 to 14 year-old competitive soccer players.