The Use Of General Marketing Theories And Techniques For The Promotion Of Water Polo In Greece: a Case Study

Por: Dimitris Gargalianos e Yanni Afthinos.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
Water polo in Greece is in the "saturation" stage of its life cycle, with poor means of communication to the sport fans.
Therefore, the aim of this case study was the identification and implementation of the required "life expansion" via
marketing in new ways (i.e., a new package, a new distribution channel, or an advertising campaign) [1]. Out of the
above alternatives, the sport’s "package" has been considered as the first element needing modification, in order to
refresh its "look", make the sport "user friendly" and set the stage for a new distribution channel and an advertising
campaign. The package is a sport team’s uniform [2], which in the case of water polo is foremost the cap of the player
or, in large, the athlete’s appearance (its body). The significance of this study leys on the assumption that the presented
modifications seem to provide water polo the necessary communication elements in order to make the implementation
of marketing techniques to the sport easier, aiming to its financial autonomy [3], through fan base expansion not only in
Greece but globally.

Methods
For the evaluation and implementation of any changes, to the sport’s package, the related VIEW (Visibility, Information,
Emotional appeal and Workability) theoretical model has been applied [4]. The introduction of the modifications
planned broke down into individual elements (phases), for a successful and gradual adaptation. This case has been
implemented in the 1996-2000 National League periods of the Greek men water polo, consisting of 12 teams [5].

Results
The following packaging related modifications (Photo 1) came as a result of the evaluation of the teams’ players’
appearance of the Greek Division 1 teams. Specifically the improvements that were implemented included the
following: (a) Visibility: different design of each team players’ caps, (b) Information: addition of team logo and name,
sponsor logo and league logo on players’ caps, (c) Emotional: addition of team official color to players’ caps, and (d)
Workability: arrangement of symbols in specific places on the players’ caps, as well as a pilot introduction of men full
body swimsuit.

Photos 1. The "repackaging" of the sport of water polo has completed with the adaptation all but one change; that is, the use of the
full body swim suit, a possibility that was tested successfully in a game with the use of related swim suits available at the Greek
market.

Discussion/Conclusions

:The Olympic sport of water polo needs communication improvements since it is the only sport
without a uniform that distinct the teams from each other and foremost it helps their communication with its fans [4]
though the use of symbols such as color, logo and design [6]. Changes that are presented through this case study were
found to be fully implemental, therefore the sport’s world federation (FINA), might consider taking the necessary
leadership actions in order to make the suggested changes institutionalized wherever the sport is played. Further
research for complete performance documentation is needed at the area of the use of full body swim suits in men
category, since this will increase the space available for further communication opportunities.

References
[1]. Scheuing, E. (1989). New product management. Columbus, OH: Merrill publishing.
[2]. Mullin B. et al. (2000). Sport marketing. Champaign IL.: Human Kinetics.
[3]. Efstathiou, D. (04.03.2000). Measures against the subsidization of sports federations Axia.


NOTA: O texto com a iconografia está no anexo

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