Essay on The Science Behind Sports Authority

Essay on The Science Behind Sports Authority

Length: 700 words (2 double-spaced pages)

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Samantha Ureno
Professor Zia
English 99
22 January 2016
The Science Behind Sports Authority
“Nothing in a grocery store is where it is by accident. Every item on a shelf has been planned” (Paco Underhill). In the articles, “The Science of Shopping” by Malcolm Gladwell and “How Target Knows What You Want Before You Do” by Charles Duhigg, these authors exemplify effective marketing strategies which were composed by Paco Underhill and Andrew Pole. Underhill is an environmental psychologist; additionally he employs the basic idea that one’s surroundings influences ones behavior and invented structuring man-made environments to make them conducive to retail purposes. Pole was a statistician and revolved his entire life around using data to understand people and their shopping behaviors. With that, the sporting goods store, Sports Authority, portrays the effectiveness of the marketing strategies developed by Underhill and Pole successfully.
One of the several marketing strategies Underhill has developed is petting. Gladwell states that, “It would never have occurred to me to wonder about the increasingly critical role played by touching-or, as Paco calls it, petting-clothes in the course of making the decision to buy them”(Section 2). Petting is just like the idea of a dinner table where one would pick up their food; retailers would set up a table for the consumer to pick up an item to convey the same idea. Sports Authority generates this idea successfully by allowing their consumers to “pet” their fitness machines, athletic equipment, and clothing. They encourage their consumers to pick up a golf club and take a swing on the green. They allow consumers to “pet” gloves and bats on a baseball mound to help increase the chances of purchas...


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...person shopped” (187). Every time one goes shopping, they share intimate details about their consumption patterns with retailers. Many of those retailers are studying those details to figure out what consumers like, what they need, and which coupons are most likely to make them happy. Sports Authority provides this “Guest ID” method by offering their consumers to join free rewards program called “The League”. They encourage them to create this membership and give them benefits such as coupons and update them on the newest discounts. Also, the rewards program is based off a point system and when one has earned a certain amount of points they send them a gift card to spend however they wish. Though, what the consumers don’t know is that by applying for their free rewards program is that their collecting data and constructing analysis to make them into loyal consumers.

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