The Success of the Marketing Strategy for Sports and Outdoor Equipment in the UK Market

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The success of the marketing strategy lies in a good understanding of the market. Environmental analysis is important to know about the UK market for sports and outdoor equipment. The analysis involves both the external and internal environment (Shank and Lyberger, 2014). PESTEL analysis enables us to understand the external environment and thus understand the market better. The tool enables a deep analysis into the macro environment of the UK market and thus identify strengths and weaknesses in the market (Frank, Massey and Wind, 2011). The success of the marketing strategy lies in strengthening the weaknesses and using them as opportunities.

PESTEL analysis is an acronym that will enable a comprehensive analysis of the external environment (Yuksel, 2012).  The market is analyzed considering many factors; political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors. These factors all constitute the PESTEL analysis into the UK market. The UK market for sports and outdoor equipment deals with a wide range of goods and equipment and extensive analysis is key (Yuksel, 2012). 

The UK market has a wide range of sports equipment that is sold in retail. The goods range from equipment for ball games, net games, fitness and strength, athletics training equipment and other sports products. The largest market for sports goods lies in the ball games sector (Frank, Massey and Wind, 2011). Ball games generate most of the revenue and popularly watched in the UK. The most popular and dominant equipment pertaining to cricket, football and basketball events. The second most popular for the market is the fitness and strength equipment. This can be attributed for health concern throughout the UK due to the current sedentary lifestyles. There is also increased income among the people hence inclination for fitness and sports.

Most people in the UK living in urban areas have opted for a healthy lifestyle and exercise to stay fit (Shank & Lyberger, 2014). There have been increased awareness for fitness which has therefore motivated people to consume fitness equipment. The market for such products is expected to be on the rise.

The main companies that deal with the sports and fitness products in the UK include Puma SE, Adidas, Nike, Callaway Golf, Amer Sports and Mizuno Corporation (Shank and Lyberger, 2014). These companies mainly operating in the UK use different strategies and initiatives to sell these products. They come up with new and improved products. There exist great competition and thus have to sustain themselves in the market. The companies also work hand in hand together through partnerships and mergers (Shank & Lyberger, 2014).

Sports and specialty shops have been the main channels of distribution. Sports shops have dominated the market and offer a wide range of products. They also offer information to customers concerning the available products. The shops have been a convenient way and thus has experienced growth. Sports shops have satisfied their consumers as all the required goods are in their stock (Shank and Lyberger, 2014). Online retail has been another form of distribution that has been on the rise. Customers have been able to browse and buy the products online using their mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices.

Consumers have preferred online purchases across the UK.  Thus need for easy to use and improved websites for online purchases of such products is important. The other mode of distribution is department and discount stores. E-commerce is on the rise across the country and thus need for a convenient way of purchasing.

Technological advancement has been an important part of the marketing strategy. The technology has been important for both marketing and improving the products. Sensor technology has improved the customers' demand for sports products with such technology. Sensor technology has improved the performance of sports and fitness products. Sensor technology has been applied in many products; swimming goggles, golf clubs, tennis rackets, and fishing rods.

Technology has also improved in the UK through research which has led to improved sports products and equipment. Most of the equipment in the UK are increasingly making use of carbon fibers (Shank & Lyberger, 2014).  Technology has also been important in the sale and purchase of sports products. Online websites have been developed where buyers can access and buy sports equipment. Technology has been important in ensuring an easy and improved platform for such businesses.

Social factors across the UK have influenced the use and purchase of sports products. The latest development on the side of the companies is designing products and equipment that suit the demands of the market (Shank and Lyberger, 2014). Companies have combined both athletic and casual design to come up with products that most consumers prefer. Thus, market growth has been significant. The demand for sports products has differed with the social structure. The young generation has always been on demand for unique and fashionable products. Older generation demand high-quality products giving less preference for fashionable products. Women tend to demand light sports products while men demand heavier sports products.

Different lifestyle changes have influenced the use of sports products. Many people in the UK have led sedentary lives which mow has forced them to enroll for programs that make them fit. Thus the consumption of fitness and sports equipment have been on the rise. Urbanization. Improved standards of living and increased income have a great impact on the use of sports and fitness equipment. People are advocating for healthy lifestyles. The increasing working class among the youths has led many to live sedentary lives. Such people have been susceptible to lifestyle diseases and obesity. In order to live healthy lifestyles, sports and fitness have been taken seriously which has improved the use of sports equipment.

Political factors have been important in regulating the sale and manufacture of sports products across the UK. The government has impacted the companies that sell sports equipment in many ways. The government policy concerning advertisement and manufacture of such equipment has led to the development of quality products. The government ensures that the products sold in the market are to the required standards. Quality products are thus sold mostly in the sports shop. Environment law ensures that the equipment and products are safe for the environment and conservation of the environment is met. Most of the sports products in the UK are environmentally friendly and biodegradable (Buhler, 2015).

Political stability has boosted the companies in their sale of sports products. The country is safe for companies to conduct their businesses across the country. The sports companies and sports shops have to submit their revenue returns and pay the taxes as stated in the tax policy. Foreign trade policy has influenced the import of foreign sports products into the UK. The companies have to adhere to the current legislation and be updated on the latest legislation.

Legal factors have great influence on the marketing and sale of sports products. The manufactured sports goods should be healthy and safe for use. The marketing of sports goods should be in accordance with the law. The advertisement of such products happens in accordance with the law. In the UK, sports products billboards and advertisement should display the right quality of product sold. False advertisement of sports products is very illegal in the UK and comes with fines. Proper labeling of the equipment is emphasized and the advertisement standards should be met. The sale of low quality and illegal sports goods in the UK attracts a great penalty to the company involved.

Environmental factors have also been an influencing factor in the marketing and distribution of sports products. Most of the sports products are manufactured from sustainable resources and environmental conservation is considered. Economic factors influence the marketing and purchase of sports products. In the UK, most people are employed with good paying jobs. Most of the people have improved standards of living. This has, therefore, boosted the purchase of sports and fitness equipment across the UK.

Consumer Behavior.

The use of sports and outdoor products has been different for customers, groups, and organizations. The consumers' behavior is important for the company to know the reason for loyalty by the consumer to a certain product. Consumer retention can then be built in such an instance. The use of sports products across the UK varies among individuals and groups. Different aspects of the market and products affect consumers' behavior. The demand for products varies with age, gender and tones' preference on quality, comfort, and performance of a product. Based on ones' preference, they tend to develop certain behaviors (Solomon, 2017).

The younger generation in the UK has a preference for fashionable equipment rather than the long-lasting goods. The older generation in the UK has a reference for higher quality goods as compared to buying fashionable sports and outdoor equipment. The young people would, therefore, buy lower quality but fashionable equipment as compared to the older generation who would purchase higher quality goods but old fashioned. Most of the people consider price as a determining factor when purchasing sports goods.

But then, quality for most people is more important than the price of the product. Most of the people in the UK would opt for higher quality products at a higher price than to buy lower quality products for less money.

Professional people have a preference for products that are well designed for a certain particular activity. A professional athlete tends to use the products that are well suited and designed for their sport like playing football, cycling or running. The products have certain specifications and their performance is enhanced for certain activity. Such athletes will have the tendency of buying from the same particular shop and prefers a particular brand of product. Thus the sports shop should offer the best for them to gain their loyalty.

Young professionals on their part will opt for same products that are well designed and suits their professional sport. As opposed to their older athletes they tend to opt for unique and fashionable products. Thus these individuals prefer sports shops with the latest products that are trending and unique. The shops even end up coming up with a customized product that suits the customer's expectations. The sports shop thus has to keep up with the latest fashions to meet the customers' demands and earn their loyalty.

Customers also develop purchasing habit based on the price of the products. Some customers will remain loyal to a certain sports shop because their prices are lower. Customers with such behavior do not care so much about the quality but the price. The customers will continue shopping from the store as long as the price is within their expected range. The affordability of the product is key. The sports shop thus has the responsibility to ensure that the products for such customers are available and their prices are maintained at a certain range. Loyalty thus develops with the customer.

Customers also have the behavior of preferring specific brands of sports products. Consumers will only purchase from the shop as long as the brand from a certain manufacturer is available. The customers deem the products as quality and suit their expectation. The sports shop has the responsibility of ensuring the specific brand of products is in stock. The consumer buys from the shop as long as the specific brand is available.

Some people have a tendency to prefer products made from certain material. For example, the person only buys leather products. Such customers will, therefore, prefer a certain shop because they have stock of products made from their desired material. The quality of the product is also important. A customer will be loyal to a particular shop because they provide high-quality products. Comfortable products are also preferred by many customers. These customers have a tendency to buy high quality and comfortable sports products (Yüksel, 2012).

Segmentation, targeting, and positioning

The market for sports and outdoor products has been organized in segments depending on certain characteristics. The sports market has been conveniently grouped in the UK to meet the requirements of a particular group of people and individuals with the same interests, goals and engaging in the same activities. The market has been segmented into different categories of goods (Smith, 2013).

Sporty goods market is a segment that deals with goods for people who engage in sports regularly. Such people yearn for fitness and regularly engage in sports. The market is composed of good quality products like sports shoes that suit the person's chosen sport. Individuals targeted in this category engage in a certain organized sport or go to a gym on a regular basis.

The products in this category are famous brands that are well-known and people are willing to pay for the even higher price. Quality products are key in this category.

Elite sports market in the UK targets the people who are committed to a particular sport and spent many hours in the week in the sport or activity. This category targets professional athletes and competitors of a chosen activity. These people will purchase products that are suited and designed for a particular activity like cycling, running or playing a certain sport like football. This UK market deals in modern and advanced products that are well designed to suit a certain sport. The individuals tend to be loyal to certain products and requires great decision making for one to purchase these products (Mullin, Hardy, and Sutton, 2014).

Mainstream market is another segment of the UK sports market. This category targets the people who just use the products on the day to day basis. The products are not purposed for a specific sport and thus the people targeted in this market do not consider specific performances and quality of the products. The market target individuals who just need a comfortable product that is in line with their money. The market deal with well-known brands of products.

Fashion sports market is another segment that deals with the latest trending products in the market. The target group is people who are interested in style and identifies themselves socially with a certain brand (Koufaris, 2016). The market deals with the latest products and the latest designs. The target is usually young adults, young professionals, and teenagers who are interested in stylish and unique sports products. The market deals with the latest brands of sports products.

The other segment is the budget conscious market. Products sold in this market are usually cheap and customers prefer such products. The customers targeted by such markets would prefer low quality but cheap products. The targeted people would tend just to have extra products for use at home.

The segmentation, targeting and positioning process differs with many aspects. In my own opinion, the sports products and equipment can be categorized in different manners. First by the use of age of the user; children and adults (men and women). Secondly by the type of products as athletic or non-athletic products. Third is on the basis of mode of sale; retail or online. Lastly, the products can be categorized based on the geography.


Yüksel, I., 2012. Developing a multi-criteria decision making model for PESTEL analysis. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(24), p.52.

Shank, M.D. and Lyberger, M.R., 2014. Sports marketing: A strategic perspective. Routledge.

Mullin, B.J., Hardy, S. and Sutton, W., 2014. Sport Marketing 4th Edition. Human Kinetics.

Solomon, M.R., 2017. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). London: Pearson.

Koufaris, M., 2016. Applying the technology acceptance model and flow theory to online consumer behavior. Information systems research, 13(2), pp.205-223.

Smith, W.R., 2013. Product differentiation and market segmentation as alternative marketing strategies. Journal of marketing, 21(1), pp.3-8.

Frank, R.E., Massey, W.F. and Wind, Y., 2011. Market segmentation. Prentice Hall.

September 18, 2023

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