The trouble with today's young ones: a case study of one club's failed attempt at attracting the youth market
Contribution to Book
Baker, L 2006, 'The trouble with today's young ones: a case study of one club's failed attempt at attracting the youth market', in CW Barrows & N Hing (eds), Club management issues in Australia and North America, Haworth Hospitality Press, Binghamton, NY, pp. 211-225. ISBN: 9780789031631
This article examines the challenges for Australian clubs in attracting and keeping the younger demographic. Using a case study approach written by a participant observer, and Waterman, Peters, and Phillips' Seven-S Framework, the issues and difficulties faced by one NSW coastal club are examined as they trialled two “youth market” specific products aimed at the under-18 segment. After less than 12 months, both products were cancelled and a decision was made by the board of directors to no longer target the “difficult” youth market. In examining the challenges faced by this club, it was found that the “troublesome youth” became a convenient scapegoat for the real contributors to the under-18's product failures. This article found that, while the initial strategy to target the youth market was sound, there was a lack of support from the other internal factors of structure, systems, skills, style, staff, and superordinate goals that contributed to the cancellation and thus failure of these youth-oriented products. It is useful to examine these failures from a strategic viewpoint as a means for other clubs to become more familiar with the pitfalls of targeting the youth market from the outset, instead of through the lens of hindsight.
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