Dear Mr CEO,
Now that your business is up and running and you have thought about your vision and aligned your upper management, its now time to create a strategy to get your brand noticed. To get out of the box quick and get yourself in a position to succeed lets talk about developing a Marketing Strategy.
The day comes and you finally realize that you possess the skills needed to play college baseball and you are now determined to make it happen. But you have no idea how or what to do next, just as I did. Well, first, before you can market your business (yourself) you have to understand and assess your business. One way to understand your business is to conduct a SWOT analysis, which will outline your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Since you are the business you are essentially conducting a SWOT analysis of yourself. When conducting a SWOT analysis you have to be as honest with yourself as you can. so you know exactly where your business is at. By answering, what are my strengths? weaknesses? opportunities? threats? regarding baseball, both on and off the field, and academics, you will have a greater understanding of where your business is at.
Now that you sat down for about 45 min to an hour to truthfully answer the SWOT analysis questions you still have one more to answer, and its the most important one of all. Do I have the resources (people) around me to be a college/professional baseball player, or successful business? This is a tough question for everyone. And the biggest question that I failed to answer. Truthfully, I never even knew that I did not have the resources (people) around me until it was too late. Yes my parents were there to support me but they had no idea of what being a professional athlete was all about, which I would guess 95% of parents don’t. One thing that I had to learn the hard way is, without the right resources around you you will fail. It is imperative that you, parents and players, educate yourselves on the recruiting process and surround yourself by honest coaches who will give you honest feedback and advice.
So you figured out who you are from the SWOT analysis and determined that you have the resources (people) around you to succeed, now you need to determine the level of school you can play at and the marketing strategy to get your brand in front of those coaches.
If your a mid to high level D1 baseball player (the 10 percentile) you need to develop a marketing strategy that will get your brand in front of D1 coaches by the summer leading into your Sophomore year. If your a low level D1 or D2 player you have a little more time to build your brand. Your strategy needs to prepare you to get your brand out to those coaches by the summer leading into your Junior year. If your a D3, JuCo, NAIA or committed walk-on player your strategy needs to aim to get your brand noticed by college coaches by the summer leading into your Senior year.
Now, the biggest question that needs to be answered, how are you going to market yourself to the coaches? Are you going to play on a “showcase” team, attend college camps, participate in showcases and/or create a skills video and send it to college coaches? This question will be different for all players based on their financial situation. Your CFO (parents) will have to determine how much money you can invest in each area.
The biggest mistake some players and families make today is assuming that since their son is on a “showcase” travel team that college coaches will see their son play. I will tell you from first hand experience as a coach and player, that is 100% incorrect (This is another topic that will be covered in the upcoming weeks).
Now that you have a vision of where you want your business to go, you found out who you are, you understand that you need educated resources around you to help you succeed, and you have a strategy to market your business, its now time to think about Where To Invest Your Capital. Part 3 of Attention Youth Baseball Players! You Are a Business will focus on just that.