> Getting Started
The Game Plan
At Hook & Ladder, we believe that the solutions to the problems facing sports organizations are fundamentally different from those of non-sport enterprises. Therefore, we offer research-based consulting that draws upon decades of scientific study from the field of sport management, as well as relevant fields like behavioral economics, psychology, and organizational behavior. This scientific approach to problem-solving allows us to understand and examine each organization's issues from the ground-up, and to work with the organization to generate creative solutions that can be implemented, evaluated, and sustained. While some consulting firms swoop in with pre-fabricated solutions, Hook & Ladder is committed to building relationships and working with you to find solutions to fit your particular organization and budget. When you work with us, you become a member of our Hook & Ladder team. And as your teammate, we work to put you in the best position to achieve your goals.
We first meet with your organization and the relevant stakeholders. This is a crucial step in helping all parties to frame and define the issue. Often times, we help our clients see that the path to a solution directly depends on how they define the problem.
Once we have worked with you to define the problem, we tailor our research investigation to gather the necessary data to be able to understand the specific issue. With research backgrounds in both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we can employ whatever methods are needed to lead us toward a solution.
Following the data collection, we scientifically analyze the results. In our analysis, we draw from our knowledge of both successful industry practices and relevant bodies of scientific knowledge.
After collecting and analyzing the data, we provide more than just recommendations. This is crunch time, so we work with you to develop and implement actionable steps to address the issues. We also assist you in creating buy-in for stakeholders and in developing a clear plan for evaluating the success of your efforts.
Working in professional sport creates its own set of unique challenges and contingencies. For one, professional sports must now compete for consumers who have more leisure and entertainment choices than ever. If that were not difficult enough, the current - and, likely, future - economic climate has left consumers with less disposable income and a greater reluctance to part with what disposable income remains. You need innovative ways to cut through the clutter to connect with fans by implementing the latest scientific research into consumer behavior and psychology. Traditional marketing, PR, and social media alone are necessary but insufficient. Combining these efforts as tactics in a broader strategic approach that integrates an understanding of how and why fans connect with sport organizations as a way of defining their individual and collective identities will give you much more powerful means of boosting both short- and long-term returns.
Intercollegiate sports are a uniquely American experience, and you need to work with consultants who have first-hand experience of the passion and emotion of the college game. Fans of college sports think and feel differently than those of sport at any other level. The connections of fans, donors, and alumni to their universities are fundamentally distinct from those of even professional sports fans. In addition, the recruitment, development, and management of student-athletes place very different demands on those who work in college athletics. As a result, you need to be connected with the research and knowledge that speak directly to your issues.
School & Community Sport
Like many of you, we believe that sports play an important role in bringing together the members of a community. Youth sports - and, later, school sports - are a critical rite of passage for most children. We owe it to them to develop programs and policies that not only offer experiences like those of our youth, but that create a better climate for them to grow as athletes and as people. Sports can be wonderful for children, but we can always do more to help ensure that the outcomes and experiences are as positive as possible. Hook & Ladder brings globally-recognized expertise in the area of youth sports in working with your organization to develop youth and school sport programs that meet the changing needs of your children and your community.
Sports and business have long shared a common language. In any business, negotiators "play hardball," employees strive to be "team players," and we want every presentation to be a "home run." But understanding sports can offer more than simple clichés. Sports and gamification principles can actually provide a unique lens through which to understand business and people. Many of the ways in which we motivate athletes and fans speak to deeper understandings of how humans connect with one another. Taking principles from the locker room and applying them to appropriate aspects of running non-sport businesses can produce exciting results. Whether you are struggling with teambuilding issues or trying to connect with your consumers on a deeper level, sport-related research can offer useful tools to address any number of non-sport business issues.