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The need for youth sports programs is validated and magnified by information that attributes long-term value to participants in these programs. Numerous studies document the direct value of youth participation in sports. These studies indicate a direct correlation demonstrating that involvement in sports results in reducing the potential to become involved in drugs, sex, crime, and gang-related behaviors. Research indicates the economic, social and personal value of "investing" in the lives of children in a positive and constructive manner avoids the social and penal system costs that may later result. To meet this need, All4Sports offers an experience that serves as a personal "sports reference" for participants throughout their lives. These important benefits continue to validate the All4Sports concept.
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All4Sports provides valuable team and social experiences for the increasing population of public, private, and home-schooled youth. All4Sports offers young people the opportunity to participate in a variety of team sports throughout the calendar year. Beginning in kindergarten, these experiences provide a source of recreation and simultaneously improve athletic skills, health and fitness as they offer experiences in teamwork, sportsmanship, fair play, cooperation and leadership. Increased self confidence is just one of the many intangible benefits this program offers.
Market Geographics - All4Sports serves the Jackson County area with a total population in excess of 170,000 people. With a majority of participants from Medford, the program also has participation from surrounding communities, including Central Point, Jacksonville, White City, and Ashland.
Market Demographics - An estimated 45% of households in this area contain children under the age of 18. Each of these households averages 2.1 children. Therefore, an estimated 39,000 children under the age of 18 are potential All4Sports participants. This number is determined annually from grade school enrollment within the areas served. Past data indicates that the highest level of participation occurs after Grade 2. Participation begins to drop in the middle school years, with a significant reduction in participation at Grade 9. A total of 59% of the participants are male and 41% female. Boys dominate football and girls dominate volleyball. These percentages constantly change due to trends in choice of sports, other alternatives offered in the market place, and other factors impacting participation and availability of these experiences.
Market Psychographics - One of the most typical profiles of families interested in this type of program can be described by the following:
Market Behaviors - All4Sports continues to enjoy a positive perception within the community. Studies report solid support of the concept and purpose of the organization and an awareness of the problems inherent in a program that involves thousands of volunteers. Based on research conducted in April of 1997, more than 86% of the population in Jackson County area has some awareness of All4Sports. Most people report they are familiar with All4Sports through knowing a young person who has participated in an All4Sports program. Individual awareness levels are highest among adults in the 25-54 age range, and business owners and managers have a 93% awareness level. More than 82% of this group considers our program to have a positive influence on youth and a potential deterrent to violence and other anti-social behavior. This is one of the primary reasons people continue to support this program.
|Public School Students||6%||1,947||2,064||2,188||2,319||2,458||6.00%|
|Private School Students||9%||388||423||461||502||547||8.97%|
|Home School Students||17%||107||125||146||171||200||16.93%|
The initial reasons for All4Sports remain constant. School-sponsored sports programs are severely limited in terms of age and range of events. Based on the April, 1997 study, 59% of the people in the Jackson County area surveyed believe the public school system fails to meet their sports experience expectations. Driven by economics, most notably with the passage of state legislation limiting school funding, many sports programs have not survived increasing economic pressures on the public school system. Property tax modifications may further impede the public school system's ability to offer any more than the most basic classroom experiences.
All4Sports seeks to serve all interested children from kindergarten through high school regardless of what the school they attend offers. There are absolutely no expectations regarding skill or experience, only the desire to participate. The All4Sports program is orchestrated to make this experience as accessible and affordable as possible to this audience.
The significant market trends are as follows:
The program has experienced an average annual participation growth rate of 6% for the past five years. This is indicative of the growing needs of the market we serve. Based on school attendance projections, we expect to experience increased participation growth between 9% and 11% annually over the next three years. The most dramatic growth is expected in the soccer programs, which have an equal mix of boys and girls, with relatively static participation expected in most other sports. These trends are monitored, and to the degree possible, used to help predict future program demands.
The following outlines the most significant strengths and weaknesses internal to All4Sports, and the opportunities and threats that exist in our environment. Our objective is to leverage our strengths to take advantage of the opportunities our market presents, develop those areas that are weaknesses, and devise contingency plans to address threats if those should become a reality.
The following outlines key strengths of the organization:
Program Reputation - All4Sports is considered to be the premier choice for youth sports related experiences. There is now a generation of participants that send their children to participate in the program.
Donor Base - We have developed a stable and loyal donor base from both private and corporate sources.
Facilities Relationships - We depend on access to athletic facilities including gyms, soccer fields, football fields, softball and baseball fields. Close relationships and reciprocal maintenance agreements with public and private schools and church facilities are an invaluable asset to the organization.
The Internet - Our website, www.all4sports.com, promises to be a significant technological solution for All4Sports in the area of registration, communication, and information delivery. The website has demonstrated the ability to provide more extensive and current information at reduced costs. We can reduce the need for printed materials, voice mail communication equipment, and staff payroll time. It has also allowed us to reallocate volunteer hours to better serve our program.
Capital Requirements - All4Sports continues to make impressive improvements in the management of financial resources. Additional funds are needed to maintain the quality of the experiences offered and meet future program demands. The Fund-raising Foundation's strategy is to provide significant financial resources for All4Sports. The future depends on these resources in addition to revenues from participants and traditional fund-raising events.
Facilities - Our need for facilities is growing beyond what is now available. This is one of the most urgent challenges facing All4Sports. This essential component is threatened from several aspects. Increasing program needs, combined with recent restrictions and fees for the use of public school facilities, is an issue. Indoor facilities are virtually at capacity for basketball and volleyball games and tournaments. They are insufficient to support flexible and convenient practice schedules. Outdoor facilities are adequate, but the increasing demands of soccer presents concerns in this area as well. New and innovative alternatives must be explored and implemented to provide additional facilities to support the demands of the program. One alternative is to form "alliances" with public facilities to take on the management and maintenance of these facilities in exchange for scheduled use. Other potential options may include establishing relationships with private schools, churches and other institutions with available gym space. For example, successful experiences have occurred where All4Sports has taken the lead in the development and maintenance of outdoor fields on property owned by other not-for-profit organizations.
Training and Education for Coaches and Officials - Individuals often have their first coaching experience with All4Sports. This presents the need to adequately train these individuals to enable them to better understand All4Sports' philosophy, their responsibilities, potential liability issues, and appropriate behavior with participants. A more positive experience for participants, coaches and officials with an increased awareness of responsibilities are some of the goals. The resource demands of this training effort are tremendous.
Staff Challenges and Attrition - The All4Sports' staff experiences tremendous pressure due to workloads, dealing with parents, and addressing the issues of the program. These factors, combined with concerns regarding compensation, have resulted in undesirable turnover in important positions.
All4Sports competes for resources in a community with a high number of not-for-profit organizations per capita. Numerous organizations target personal and corporate dollars to augment other revenue sources. Based on this challenge, All4Sports must continue to demonstrate that it successfully offers a meaningful experience to participants, with short and long-term benefits, in a manner that effectively meets community needs. The following summarizes potential opportunities:
Geographic Serving Area Issues - All4Sports continues to be a precedent-setting organization that attracts attention from surrounding communities. Decisions regarding the serving area will impact financial requirements and potentially open new revenue opportunities. This growth strategy must be managed and orchestrated in a manner that will add strength to the program.
Soccer Interest - Soccer is the single fastest growing sport in terms of participation. With some participation trade-offs with boy's football, this increasing interest in soccer is the most predominant reason for program growth and has added a more even balance to gender participation. There is an increasing demand for indoor soccer programs.
Program Expansion - Program expansion also requires consideration and evaluation. This may include adding sports to the current venue or looking at offering these sports to older age groups, potentially including adult sports programs.
Community Education - All4Sports must continue to tell its story to the community it serves. This message is one that reinforces the philosophy and the purpose for its existence. A well-informed community may effectively ensure public facilities are available for use based on reasonable expectations placed on All4Sports.
The major challenges All4Sports currently face include the following:.
Property Tax Changes - The impact of property tax modifications on the public school systems, their support of sports programs, and their willingness to provide their facilities for use by All4Sports has not been determined. The precise ramifications of this measure may not be known for months, but all potential outcomes must be considered as plans are made for the coming year.
Alternative Programs - The increasing impact from other programs, ranging from organization-sponsored to club sports, poses a threat to a segment of All4Sports' market. These organizations target the highly skilled and committed players and coaches and are eroding the depth and breadth of All4Sports' participant and coach resources.
Legal and Liability Issues - All4Sports continues to be exposed to liability issues in many aspects of the experience it provides. The potential concerns range from health and safety issues to various forms of verbal or physical abuse. In an increasingly litigious society, there is always potential for legal action.
The "Elite/Advanced" Sports Dilemma - Providing competitive environments for athletes with higher skill levels who seek to be in an intentionally competitive arena is in question. The threat of not offering this option is that these athletes may be drawn away from All4Sports by alternative programs. Some of the most highly trained and experienced coaches can also be attracted to these other programs. This issue challenges some of All4Sports' most basic philosophies.
A number of other programs offer youth sports experiences. None of these programs offers the extensive range of experiences or infrastructure of All4Sports. Some programs do, however, offer specific attributes some participants and parents find attractive. This is particularly true for those who seek a higher level of competition and competitive screening of participants.
These alternatives programs include the following:
Other programs are also available through schools and other organizations. Although some variables are now in place, there are questions regarding the future of indoor soccer organizations.
All4Sports possesses a commanding percentage of the total market share. This is based on the estimated number of participants compared to participation levels in other programs, both public and private. This share percentage drops in high school due to increased competition from other organizations as well as in-school programs offered through the public school system.
|Growth and Share|
|Competitor||Price||Growth Rate||Market Share|
|Babe Ruth Baseball||$120||3%||2%|
|So. Oregon Volleyball||$150||5%||3%|
|Oregon Youth Soccer||$110||22%||4%|
All4Sports is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting sports opportunities that are an integral part of each participant's learning experience. This is done with the belief that every child should be able to participate in the program of his or her choice regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, ability, or financial status. This spirit is fostered in an environment where everyone has a chance to play and learn, regardless of skill. All4Sports' long-term goal is to give its participants positive life-long memories of their youth sports experience.
The "All4Sports experience" is designed to offer the following to each participant:.
The parents and guardians of the participants also realize benefits. They are able to offer their children a positive, well-supervised experience as they learn the skills described above that does not necessarily require their time.
Our strengths are impressive. Our weaknesses are identified and have potential solutions. All4Sports could be described as in a "speculative" situation. We are presented with numerous opportunities and also have threats that present a level of risk. However, we have a chance to experience large returns on our efforts if we can continue to capture the largest market share and are not negatively impacted by the alternative programs in our market. We are well positioned in the market. We have the ability to continue to offer the greatest value and we take advantage of our economies of scale.
The critical issues include the following:
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