Consultancy Report for Tough Mudder Pty Limited in Melbourne
SECTION 1: PROBLEM DEFINITION
The 2015 Tough Mudder Melbourne event is managed by the Tough Mudder Pty Limited. The company stages three events in four major regions in Australia namely Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, and South East Queensland, which are parts of its network of 50 events globally. These special sporting events are designed to test the physical as well as mental strengths of the participants. In addition, participants are required to challenge obstacles that are based on common human fears in order to test their physical and mental strengths. These obstacles include water, electricity, fire, as well as heights. The company uses these obstacles to provide one of the most thrilling and fearful sporting event.
The first key stakeholder to the Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event is the Tough Mudder Pty. Ltd. The company is responsible for organizing and hosting the event throughout the three major regions in Australia named above. The event will be held in 2015. They have keen interest on the events and all that pertains to it. Other key stakeholders to the Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event include the public, athletes, sportsmen, as well as the Australian government. Mostly Australian local companies are the sponsors of the event. Top event sponsors include Garmin Australia, Soldier On, Coates Hire, Bosch Blue Power Tools, and Under Armour.
Tough Mudder Pty Limited is facing major challenges concerning proper media management of the planned sporting events. The current level of media management is not optimal and most people are not aware of the event. Besides improving the media management, the company wants to identify ways of using the media appropriately to grow the market for the events. In particular, there is a need to increase media coverage of the events by using both new and old media sources. The problem is that without proper and extensive media coverage, there would be limited awareness of the three sporting events. Secondly, the client’s need is justified because with the current level of media coverage, the sporting event cannot create significant impact hence less profitability.
SECTION 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
The purpose of this literature review is to identify and critically discuss various concepts, theories as well as sport media management practices that are relevant to Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event. It identified and analysed the available pieces of literature about media management theories and concepts of sporting event that would help the company improve its media coverage. The literature review identified only theories and concepts that would help the company achieve effective media management so as to achieve optimal marketing level for the event. It identified various changes that can be made to the current media management to increase the event’s coverage and profitability of the company. Literature was reviewed from credible and relevant sources such as books, journal articles, peer-reviewed articles, periodicals, magazines, as well as eBooks.
Theories and Concepts of Sport Media Management
(a) Media accreditation concept
A sport event media management concept of media accreditation is important for understanding sport event media management practices. Several ranges of literatures have documented the value of this concept in effective media management. For instance, Milne and McDonald (1999), Küng (2008), and Markus (2007) asserted that the concept has greater potential of increasing media coverage of any particular sports event, views which were also expressed by Milne and McDonald (1999). This suggests that the concept of media accreditation is essential for improving the media coverage of Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 events. In addition, as asserted by, it helps ensure the use of appropriately eligible and qualified media for promoting the event. As a result, it can be argued that giving credible media access to sports facilities, event personnel, and resources improves their professional role in marketing the event.
(b) Media centre concept
A sport event marketing concept of media centre is important for understanding sport event media management practices relevant to Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 events. Several previous authors and researchers have documented the value of this concept (De Boer, 2012; Markus, 2007; Küng, 2008; Milena & Sharon, 2013) by stating that large sporting events should preserve physical space for media to increase media coverage. This suggests that the concept of media centre should be used to reserve space for media personnel. As a result, it can be argued that by creating media centre, the company can significantly increase the media coverage of its sport events. This acts as an effective marketing tool of promoting the event. The space preserved for the media should be determined by their technical specification, services, size as well as facilities.
(c) Tribune concept
A sport event marketing concept of tribune is essential for comprehending sport media management practices. Several authors have documented the value of this sport media management concept (Lussier & David, 2014; De Boer, 2012; Slack & Parent, 2006) by starting that it gives media personnel a good viewpoint of the games. This facilitates the media coverage and marketing of the event. Milne and McDonald (1999) explained that tribune comes in two forms namely tabled and untabled platforms. This suggests that the concept tribune enhances effortless coverage and transmission of sports events. As a result, it can be argued that the concept allows the media to increase not media coverage but also marketing opportunities.
(d) News service concept
Lastly, the sport event media marketing concept of news service is essential for understanding sport event media management practices. Several pieces of literature have documented the value of this media management concept; Slack and Parent (2006), De Boer (2012), and Markus (2007) asserted that dissemination and channelling of information is essential for increasing sport media coverage. This suggests that the event organizers use the concept of news service to channel and disseminate official communications to the target audience. As a result, it can be argued that channelling of official information increase media coverage of the event. In addition, Tough Mudder Pty Limited can use this media management tool to increase their coverage by regularly disseminating important information about the event.
The chosen event problem is of great importance to Tough Mudder Pty Limited. This is because, the company is losing out on profitability due to low media coverage of the events. The few people turn out to the event due to lack of awareness resulting in poor company performance. To increase performance and profitability of the company, they need to improve their media management and coverage. In the 21st century, the success of sport events highly depends on proper and comprehensive media management. Media plays significant role in increasing coverage of the sport and marketing to all corners of the world. In essence, media is a critical part of all sports marketing plans.
SECTION 3: DATA COLLECTION AND FINDINGS
At the moment, Tough Mudder Pty Limited is not using optimal media management strategy that would significantly increase the media coverage, awareness of the sport event, as well as profitability of the company. The company is in dire need of growing up its market potential, and media management has been identified as one of the best ways of achieving this goal, which is essential for the existence and continuity of their business. Media management is an essential element of a sport event. Some authors have argued that the performance and success of sporting event such as Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 is a reflection of the media coverage of the event. In addition, what the media chooses to report or not and how they interpret the event greatly influence the success and performance of the event. For instance, it has great influence on the personal identity of the event, the participants as well as the fans.
The media management concepts and theories identified above are best suited for helping Tough Mudder Pty Limited improve media coverage of the Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event at Melbourne, Sydney, and South East Queensland. They would help the company achieve its primary goal of increasing the overall media coverage of the sports event. When the three media management concepts are studied proper context, they provide useful insights into the impacts of media coverage in marketing the sporting event, which is the primary goals of the company. They give the company opportunities to create awareness of the event thus helping promote it both locally and internationally (Markus, 2007). The influence of media in promoting this particular sports event goes beyond the Australian boundaries. When used effectively, these media tools will promote Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event to the international level thus draws participants and fans from other countries.
The literature review provided media management concepts and theories that are justified because of their relevancy to situation of Tough Mudder Pty Limited; the company has acknowledged their need to improve media management, grow market potential, and improve media coverage of the event. The chosen media concepts are media accreditation, media centre, tribune, and news service. The justification of these media management theories and concepts is based on their ability to help the company achieve its goals of increasing media coverage and growing potential market of the event. This will come along with many benefits to the company especially as regards improved performance, increased profitability, and increased awareness and so on. Discussing in detail the advantages and disadvantages of these concepts would also help give a clear picture of their justification.
- Media Centre
A media centre simply refers to a physical space that is preserved for the media activities. The media personnel use that space to station their equipment and acts as the centre of all media communication concerning the sports event (De Boer, 2012). Media centre has been widely used in large sports events such as FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games among others. It is a common practice by most sports event organizers to set aside a medic centre. Therefore, it is recommended if Tough Mudder Pty Limited set aside a dedicated media centre for the 2015 event. This would not only help increase media coverage of the event but also come with other additional benefits of cost saving on marketing. This will give the media easy time in broadcasting the event live from the venue. In addition, the strategy is relevant to Tough Mudder Pty Limited’s situation because of the available enough space at the venue. Media centre strategy has the following advantages and disadvantages.
- It set aside a place dedicated for all the media activities related to the event
- This strategy improves the ease and efficiency of communication and broadcasting of the event
- The media group has freedom to choose what information to pass to the people and what image to portray
- It gives journalists as well as photographers to opportunity to work round the clock covering the event
- It is cost-efficient to the event plan as no additional costs related to media management are incurred
- It may be costly to the media group especially if the venue is far from their main broadcast centre
- Some media house might require very large space depending on the type of equipment they are using
- Insecurity and safety risks of having media equipment in the sport’s venue
- Lack of enough space might make this strategy impractical
- News Service
New service is another essential strategy for improving the media management of a sports event (Byers, Slack & Parent, 2012). This strategy has been used by most sports events all over the world to increase the media coverage and market potential. News service strategy has become a standard fixture of almost all sports event all over the world. Through this strategy, the event organizers, Tough Mudder Pty Limited will be set aside official communication channel. By using this strategy, the event organizers will be providing the media with updated and incredible information about the events to be broadcasted. The information to be provided to the media may include results latest information, statistics, flash quotes, as well as other helpful details. The event organizer may channel to the media any information about the event that they deem necessary and beneficial to the audience. This strategy help increase awareness fop the event and also provide crucial information from the organizers. It is essential for provision of unbiased and accurate information about the event. News service strategy has the following advantages and disadvantages.
- The event organizers use this strategy to channel only unbiased and accurate information
- It keeps the audience with up-to-date information about the event
- The strategy eliminates the need of space for setting up media equipment
- It may lead to bias in what type of information to be broadcasted to the public
- It increases media management expenses to the event organizer
- The media has no freedom and depends solely on the event organizers for channelling of the information
- It limits comprehensive media coverage of the sports event
- The process is slow as the media fully relies on the event organizers
SECTION 4: IN-DEPTH ACTION PLAN OF MEDIA ACCREDITATION STRATEGY
(a) Description of Media accreditation
Media accreditation is one of the best and most effective solutions that can be used by Tough Mudder Pty Limited to realize its need of improved media management. In essence, this strategy is effective in helping the company increase the media coverage of the Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event. It has been successfully used this way by other similar sports events. The primary goal of the company is to achieve improved media management for the planned 2015 sports event across Australia. In addition, the company need to grow its market potential as well as improve its media coverage. Improving the media coverage is beneficial for assuring growing market base, increasing awareness, as well as growing profitability of the company. This section gives an in-depth analysis of how the media accreditation strategy would help the compony achieve these essential gaols.
It is essential to understand first the concept of media accreditation as a strategy for improving sports media management. Media accreditation is understand as an approach or concept of ensuring that only eligible and qualified media are granted access into the event resources, facilities, as well as personnel to broadcast the event. This solution puts much weight on working with accredited, reliable, eligible and qualified media for broadcasting the event (Thornton et al., 2012). This is very essential because the public often rate the media and the information they rely might be perceived differently. In addition, some media have extensive audience coverage while others are only watched by a few people. Therefore, to increase media coverage, the company should choose and grant access to only qualified and reliable media houses. It is essential to choose media wisely. Some of the considerations to make when choosing the media include their news coverage, public following or approval, influence on public opinions, credibility, as well as types of equipment.
During the accreditation process, the company should provide a series of connected stages that are involved in the media management. These stages include scoping of the workspace capacity, developing of an application process, approving of accreditation, production of accreditation passes, distribution of accreditation passes, and lastly access control at the event. These are the major elements of the accreditation process that must be considered by Tough Mudder Pty Limited during the process. When these processes are executed effectively, the media accreditation strategy would certainly lead to increased media coverage of the event and subsequently improved media management. In addition, the company must treat each process independently and provide the right mechanism to achieving full potential.
Scoping of the workspace is an essential of the media accreditation strategy. Tough Mudder Pty Limited should start by scoping the workspace to allow them determine and establish the expected number of media that will attend the event. This is essential in logistic management and planning of the event (Lussier & David, 2014). The company should determine the number of media personal it need for every sports event in the three regions namely Melbourne, Sydney, and South East Queensland. It should also determine the number of anticipated media facilities and equipment. After scoping, the company should continue with other accreditation processes such as developing of application process, approving of accreditation, production of accreditation passes, distribution of accreditation passes. Lastly, the company should decide on and determine the access control of the event. This requires appropriate security measures for the media personnel and facilities.
(b) When to implement the solution
The accreditation process is engaging and time consuming; therefore, the company should give itself enough time to preselect qualified and eligible media to attend the event. The pre-selection and approval of the appropriate media house and personnel for each event might take approximately 2 to 3 months. Because the events are not running concurrently, a minimum of two months is needed for each location to preselect the right media. The final list of approved media should be ready at least one month before the event. This will give ample time for correction or amendment of the list in case some changes are necessary. The company should perform the pre-selection of media personnel for each venue independent to enhance efficiency. Once pre-selected, the media personnel should confirm their readiness to attend and cover the event. The media accreditation strategy involves movement of equipment and machineries. The company should set time for the movement of the media equipment into the venue. If heavy equipment are involved, they should be moved into the venue at least a day the actual event. The company should arrange logistics for transportation of media equipment to and from the venue. This arrangement must be specific in terms of time for executing every activity.
Advantages and disadvantages of media accreditation
The use of media accreditation strategy has the following advantages and disadvantages specific to Tough Mudder Melbourne 2015 event.
- It ensure only use of qualified and eligible media sources to broadcast the event
- The strategy increases audience’s trust towards the event
- It gives the media personal and event organizer ample control and management of the event
- Media group has freedom to choose what information to pass to the people and what image to portray
- This strategy ensures utmost accuracy, reliability, and credibility of the disseminated information
- It provides the event organizers with opportunity to increase the media coverage speedily
- This strategy improves the ease and efficiency of communication and broadcasting of the event
- Media accreditation is garneted free of charge
- The media accreditation process is involving, cumbersome and time consuming
- The strategy requires approval of the media facility and willingness to participate
- It increases media management expenses to the event organizer
- The accreditation process is sometimes slow thus leading to wastage of time
- Insecurity and safety risks of having media equipment in the sport’s venue
- Some media house might require very large space depending on the type of equipment they are using.
(c) How media accreditation fully addresses the client brief
Media accreditation is a powerful tool in managing large number of people that often attends the sports event that is why it is the primary solution that should be adopted by Tough Mudder Pty Limited. In addition, it is an effective tool of improving the sports media management. The company is anticipating 2000 participants who have registered for various sport activities to participate on the day. This number, when added to the anticipated 5000 fans would require effective management and control of the media as well as their movement. The media accreditation strategy comes handy in facilitating secure and fashioned movement. This strategy will allow the complete coverage of all the events despite the large number of people attending (Milena & Sharon, 2013).
For Tough Mudder Pty Limited to be successful in implementing this media management strategy the company must consider many factors such as scope of accreditation quotas, timeframe, as well as production and distribution of accreditation passes among others. The type and scope of the accreditation will be influenced by factors such as event venue, size, and security needs. Given that the company will be holding this event in three different locations in Australia, these factors might vary significantly depending on the venue and timeframe. Therefore, Tough Mudder Pty Limited must critically analyse the prevailing condition in each venue before choosing the media accreditation method to be used. It is essential to not that no single approach will all the three venues in Melbourne, Sydney, and South East Queensland. Through the accreditation process, the event organizer will provide the list of media personnel granted access into the facilities for broadcasting.
In essence, media accreditation will solve Tough Mudder Pty Limited’s brief by (1) growing the event’s market in Australia and beyond, (2) improving the company’s media management strategy, (3) improving the event’s media coverage in Australia and beyond, and lastly (4) effectively improving the awareness of both past and new events.
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Küng, L. (2008). Strategic management in the media: Theory to practice. Sage.
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