The Impact of Internet Marketing on Pooled Interdependent Australian Sporting Organizations
This study investigated the impact of Internet marketing on pooled interdependent Australian sporting organizations that had been online (publicly accessible) from the year 2000 to 2004. Determinants of revenue and costs in Australian sporting organizations involved in Internet marketing were examined and, in addition to investigating for revenue and costs, literature driven Internet marketing practices were used to analyse Internet marketing practice in the study’s population. Therefore, the study examined relationships among Internet marketing practices in the context of Australian sporting organizations and their utilizations of various Internet marketing techniques (as connected to revenue and cost). Thus, a bigger picture of the effects and impacts on Internet marketing in these organizations could be presented.
Local, state/territory and national level pooled interdependent Australian sporting organizations with websites represented the population of the study (N=100). Sixty-seven (n=67) local, state/territory and national level Australian sporting organizations completed a 41-question questionnaire.
To determine for Internet marketing practices and trends as related to revenue and cost, local, state and national level Australian sporting organizations were researched and data was analysed for all respondents nationwide. Furthermore, profit and loss trends were investigated for sporting organizations located within 3 regions of Australia. The sample was grouped into three geographic regions of Australia including:
- South East region (Victoria and Tasmania).
- North East region (New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
- West region (South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory).
The aim of the regional investigation was to determine if one region could be identified as effecting better Internet marketing practice than the other regions.
To determine for findings Parametric and Non-Parametric statistical analysis procedures including Descriptives, Independent test, ANOVA (follow up analysis due to Scheffe), and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test were used to measure the data received from the respondents for the purpose of determining the results of the study’s three (3) research questions:
- Are Australian sporting organizations’ Internet marketing revenues greater than Australian sporting organization Internet marketing costs?
- Do Australian sporting organizations’ Internet marketing costs for a financial year significantly exceed budget allocation in that same financial year?
- Do Australian sporting organizations’ employees’ rate tactical Internet marketing
practice as the preferred practice relative to strategic Internet marketing practice?
A critical alpha level of .05 was used to reject the null hypotheses of equal means.
The data suggested that Internet marketing revenue was less than its Internet marketing costs for all respondents nationwide. Nationwide, pooled interdependent Australian sporting organizations costs associated with Internet marketing did not differ significantly from the revenue produced. Research question 2 identified that Internet marketing costs were significantly higher than the amount Australian sporting organizations budgeted for their Internet marketing practice. Research question 3 indicated that Australian Sporting organizations’ employees’ rated tactical Internet marketing as the preferred Internet marketing practice relative to strategic Internet marketing practice.
In considering the regional based investigation that was undertaken, interesting findings were identified for the West Region’s Internet marketing including, 1) West region Australian sporting organizations were minimally profitable, 2) the cost of their Internet marketing for a financial year did not exceed the amount budgeted for it, 3) they utilized a mix of strategic planning combined with day to day tactical decision making to effect their Internet marketing practice, and 4) the West region Australian sporting organization presence was significantly younger in terms of time online. As the West region’s accomplishment was unique in relation to the broader findings of the study, it is suggested that the following 11 practices may have contributed to achieving the West Region’s result:
- Using a unique mix of League, Commerce and Content website types;
- Profiling elite level athletes on the website;
- Selling tickets to all sporting events online;
- Utilizing online advertising opportunities such as banner ads and interstitials;
- Avoiding increasing spending on Internet marketing (beyond budgeted amounts in a financial year);
- Minimizing costs associated with online subscriptions;
- Generating revenue through long-term online sponsorship agreements with key stakeholders;
- Using unique goods and services pricing models for customers as opposed to the traditional methods such as the flat-fee model;
- Requiring an online subscription for specified goods and services;
- Strategically target-marketing parts of the website to customers; and
- Using upstream website links, and not use a “down stream” link.
In light of the West Region unique findings, the Internet marketing techniques identified in the region might be worthy of consideration by those sporting organizations seeking to further develop in their online marketing presence.
Although the study’s results Nationwide suggest 1) a negative revenue and costs relationship, 2) budgeting imbalances, and 3) dissimilar decision-making procedures in Australian sporting organization Internet marketing, the high response rate to the study may suggest that an online presence is vital for a competitive business advantage. It is therefore suggested that seeking to establish a competitive business advantage is possibly the most logical reason for why Australian sporting organization’s use of the Internet as a marketing tool (regardless of poor fiscal performance in the short term).
The study serves as a seminal first step in establishing an empirical knowledge base for pooled interdependent Australian sporting organization Internet marketing practice. Sporting organizations located outside of Australia may consider information from the study as a point of reference.