Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Cincinnati Reds Marketing Plan Project
Principles of Marketing (101-AAV)
Professor: Jeffery Lovins
Due Date: August 5th, 2018
Table of Contents
Executive Summary – Pages 3-4
Situational Analysis – Pages 4-8
Growth Strategy – Page 8-9
Segmentation, Marketing & Positioning – Pages 10 -11
Marketing Mix – Page 11
The Cincinnati Reds is a staple of the Queen City and we are going provide a family friendly and affordable environment no matter what income level you may be in. We will welcome in our fans as our family instead of just fans. We will create a consistent championship team and develop a championship culture for years to come. We are also going to set a standard of performance and community support that is going to be unprecedented in the world of professional sports today.
The Cincinnati Reds were founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1876 by William Hulbert. They were originally known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. It is currently owned by Mr. Bob Castellani who acquired the team in 2006. Mr. Bob Castellani acquired the team in 2006 for $270 million dollars. It is one of the cheaper teams to purchase with Forbes estimate in April of 2018. The assessment that the team is currently worth 1.01 Billion dollars which ranks 28th. The team was formed in 1876 by Mr. William Hulbert when he noticed that the German community was missing something to do in an age where having leisure activities was truly coming about. He would rent out a local ball park and sold beer during the games that local players would play.
The one thing that the Reds have above other current teams in the Major Leagues is that they were one of the earliest teams that was formed. When you are looking for tradition there is no other team currently in the league that can not even compete with that. They also have an extreme number of sponsors and many major companies in this area that are very big global brands. With it being one of the most iconic here in the Cincinnati area and advertised on a nationwide.
With all things considered, I strongly believe that the Cincinnati Reds can be a competitive championship team within 5 years. The Reds play 81 games at home every season with a total of 162 games played every year. I strongly believe that we can increase attendance by 15% in the upcoming season with a minimum of 10 games that are considered sell outs.
The Cincinnati Reds are considered to have some of the most iconic teams and were extremely successful at one point. Not every Major League team currently in the League today has even won the World Series. The Cincinnati Reds have won it 5 times with the last time being in 1990. They have an astonishing 9 National League Pennants which distinguishes them out as the best team in the National League. They have also had the Big Red Machine or otherwise known as “The Great Eight” which consisted of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Sr, Tony Perez, David Concepcion, George Foster & Cesar Geronimo. They were managed by eventual Hall of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson. Pete Rose is also the player with the most career hits which will be a record that will not be broken and doesn’t look like anyone will truly ever get close anytime soon.
They are known for their tremendous Hall of Fame center just outside of the stadium that captures the Reds history from the beginning to present day and is a must see for any Major League Baseball fan and the standard set for the other teams in the professional sports area in general. The exhibits that they have there are truly unique; everything from the history of bobbleheads to the engineering feet behind creating some of the iconic bronze statues outside of the stadium. They also incorporate former players all the time to interact with fans. One of the staple events currently happen on Sundays with Mr. Perfect himself Tom Browning. For a small fee; on Sundays before games you can obtain a ticket in the Handlebar section of the stadium and have brunch with Tom Browning. You can talk to him, hang out and have a buffet style of food. Tickets in this section also include 6 drink vouchers. They truly offer some things that are an absolute steal for the fans to come up and attend on a game by game regularity.
The stadiums location is a tremendous asset as well. It is close to many bars, restaurants and hotels and truly evolves on a yearly basis. Affectionately called “The Banks” there are many people that consider this area to be the highlight of Downtown nightlife and is only going up from there. There has been talks recently of adding luxury condominiums in this area which will increase the opportunity and the market opportunity just in our backyard!
The pricing for going to the games for a family of four truly is not feasible for Cincinnati’s demographic. Not to mention that you will be walking a good while to get to your car for a reasonable price. This is not a high-income city and the Cincinnati Reds need to reconsider that when they work towards a marketing aspect for the games that are played at home. The median salary for the Cincinnati area is $52,696 and when you throw in having children, home ownership, saving for personal things such as paying for education, retirement, bills and even local home ownership comes into play here. The average person does not have a lot of disposable income to use on local events and when they do, they want to feel as if they received the most out of there dollar to make it go the furthest.
The urgency to win now is the other major glaring aspect that the fans face daily. The Reds have not won a playoff game since 1995 which is going on 23 years. Which I was born in 1995; the generation coming up has not even seen a competitive team yet and that is a massive market that they are missing. Lastly, the team is a small market team the Reds can not afford to pay players the same amount that the cities such as Los Angeles or New York could pay. We must work with what we have, at the same time, there is a market of players in the free agent markets that you can get for a very reasonable deal and can have an immediate impact on your Major League Club.
One of the things that I think the Reds can really make a play on is the history of Cincinnati. We have a rich German heritage here in the area and it is evident with the impact that FC Cincinnati is having in the area as well. The Cincinnati Reds could tap into that and truly bring in a big crowd when FC Cincinnati is not in town and would be extremely unique compared to other aspects of stadiums throughout Major League Baseball. There are a lot of ideas that you could implement such as having a beer stein giveaway or making an big deal about Oktoberfest when it is in downtown Cincinnati.
One of the major problems that we have is local competition in the area such as college sports, the Cincinnati Cyclones, the Cincinnati Bengals and the brand-new MLS FC Cincinnati team. We are also one of the higher prices for local sports entertainment options without producing quality content in recent years. To maintain excitement and interested in the team they need to consider added talent or giving the Cincinnati Reds diehard fans an reason to show up. If we attend to build a quality product and reevaluate pricing I believe that we could bring in a tremendous amount of brand new local sports fans.
The major recommendations that I would make to reevaluate are to invest in quality talent to market We currently only have one major household name to market currently and his name is Joey Votto. Even then he is entering towards the later part of his career. We need to bring in and draft people who we are convinced to be quality players for the future as well as invest in the now in free agency to bring in players that will make people want to attend games. As well as having players not afraid of being public face of the Cincinnati Reds. We don’t have an Reds player currently that is not afraid of hanging out with children or doing promotional items like some players in years past.
Following that would be to eliminate dynamic pricing and reevaluate prices for concessions in general. With the average ticket being $22.00, the average family of four including parents is spending $132.00 before they even walk in the door. You assume everyone gets something to eat with the meal deal being $10.25. That is $193.25 for one game which is a lot to ask for from a fan that you want to come back on an very consistent basis. The pricing of the tickets is hampering what you can get in other aspects of the stadiums, with food sales, merchandise and memorabilia sales. They are not reaching the maximum potential that you can get out of the average consumer.
Following that I would find things to market that wouldn’t cost the stadium a dime. The manager releases the lineup for who is playing for the night on average four hours prior to each game. There are an avid number of item collectors out there and many parents trying to teach their kids the positive aspects of having a collection. You could have a player who is not playing for the day or even a player that may be on the disabled list sit at a table and sign autographs for people before each game and mix it up with the talent that you do have instead of the 15-20 minutes that players typically sign on the foul lines and that alone can increase sales along with investing in general promotions that typically occur during the year. Lastly, I would spend more time developing the marketing department. Especially the social media department which is one of the most under valued markets in the world today.
The two major market strategies that I would implement are Marketing Development and Product Development. The reason behind choosing to do a Product Development is because it is not a major secret that The Cincinnati Reds are in dire need of help in this department as humanly possible. As I have stated previously there is not a lot of current talent to market on the team, we need to invest in the scouting department, develop our first-round draft picks and to not be afraid to go out and spend money for acquiring talent that can put people in the stands and a winning record and winning culture back in Cincinnati. We need to invest in our consumers experience; as well as during the years that they have been struggling to show that they are truly appreciated for their continued support daily. With events and opportunities that can make baseball one of the most seen and must do events compared to the other sports entertainment options in our local area. As well as adding a multitude of events that could enhance the experience for the general fan that would be attending the games.
The next thing that I would develop would be the marketing department because I feel as if we are missing an massive chunk of market that we can advertise in. For example improving the ads online, on social media and bringing in an great number of people that have not even been to an Cincinnati Reds game before which is an growing number of people with the growth that Cincinnati is having with the great impact that the local universities are bringing in for athletes and with people that are moving to our area for one of the leading hospitals in the nation Cincinnati Children’s for their professional career. There is also a local market that may have not ever even considered coming to watch a Cincinnati Reds game before because they have heard negative things and they don’t want to spend their money on a product that they feel will be just wasting the hard-earned money that they have worked for to obtain.
Segmentation, Marketing and Positioning
I would really want to hit on geographic, demographic, psycographic and behavioral for this marketing effort. I would want to hit on the geographic portion because of the surrounding area. This is our home turf for the Cincinnati Reds. Before we can expand to be one of the locations that people travel too to attend baseball games we must first cover our area. We should be hitting home for the local crowd instead of the established teams that are powerhouses. For example, when the Chicago Cubs come into town and you only saw the crowd and weren’t told what city you were in. There is a good chance that you would say that you would say that the game would be at Wrigley Field.
For the demographic portion, I would want to go back to hitting home with the marketing events. I would want to make sure that we would have events that would be excited during certain giveaways that would bring in people that would not typically consider going to Reds games as their choice of sports entertainment or to not attend a sporting event at all. Cincinnati has massive millennial community that is becoming the major market to go after here in the Cincinnati community. One of the major trends that I have noticed is the increase of craft breweries in the Cincinnati area. A lot of people go forward with there group of friends to their neighborhood bar and unwind. One of the things that the Reds could implement is to pick up some beers from some of the popular local breweries to have as a special item during the homestand.
Psychographic portion would relate to providing a winning culture. Cincinnati is blessed with a tremendous amount of sports entertainment options. The University of Xavier and The University of Cincinnati has always produced a tremendous amount of talent in all their athletic programs. The wonderful people at FC Cincinnati have gotten the nod to join the MLS as a professional soccer team. The boys at the Cincinnati Cyclones are always up to do great things and always put up a solid squad every season. There are several tremendous concert venues in our area; as well as areas for fine arts such as the Pops as well as the Aronoff center in downtown Cincinnati. We would want people to decide to choose to spend their disposable income at Great American Ballpark instead of the other venues that the Reds must work with in the Cincinnati Area on a very consistent basis as well as want to come to the Reds games on a consistent basis. In the process we should remain supportive in their efforts to expand while maintaining our top seed status.
Our product is going to be the Cincinnati Reds but we are going to be the new and improved version. We are going to be the best family entertainment in the greater Cincinnati area and the destination for a weekend getaway or something to do for a date or any sort of celebration event. We are going to be romantic, exciting and providing the city with a much deserving winning sports franchise that they have not been able to see in quite some time. As well as we are going to be the highlight of people’s summers.
We are going to create a pricing situation to where anyone that wants to attend the games are going to attend the game and be a witness to a quality game of baseball no matter who is in town and what day of the week that it may be on. The promotion strategy that we will have on daily basis is going to pursue the avenue of making the greatest and most successful part of each day that may occur. We will have everything from concerts with today’s hottest artist that come in to play after the games, to promotional items highlighting the beautiful area that is Cincinnati Ohio. We will pursue helping promote charities and build up our image to be a staple of the community at large.
Cincinnati is at a unique position to where we are developing both in a positive and negative direction at the same time. Building locations and making places to where people can have a place that they can go to that is a positive impact on the community around them and also making Cincinnati the go to place for people in the surrounding communities and an ideal location spot for anyone looking for a place to build memories of a life time.
www.cincinnatireds.comwww.espn.com/reds”Cincinnati Reds.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 June 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Reds.
“Cincinnati Reds on the Forbes MLB Team Valuations List.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, www.forbes.com/teams/cincinnati-reds/.
“Big Red Machine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 June 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Red_Machine.