School Sports Equipment manufacturer & distributor

Overview

Eveque Leisure Equipment was established in 1980 and specialises in the manufacture and distribution of sports equipment into schools, leisure industry, and emergency services throughout the UK and several other countries. The company sells directly to its end users via telephone, the Internet, a large network of School Games Organisers, and also via a number of resellers.

Sportshall Athletics, which is a wholly owned brand of Eveque, encompasses a range of indoor sporting activities run in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK, and its programmes are established within the mainstream of the education sector. A distribution network for the programme has also been established across Europe, North America and South Africa. In addition, Sportshall was the creator of the World Marathon Challenge which was run in conjunction with Save the Children in over 40 countries in October 2012.

Problem

Eveque has been very successful in supplying its many customers with sports equipment and its programmes have continued to be used in schools throughout the UK. Sales of the equipment have not grown at the rate of its competitors due to a lack of creative marketing and innovation and Eveque has not fully embraced the Internet and the growing raft of new technologies available. A reactive sales strategy and a dated website have contributed to lacklustre sales coupled with the absence of a proactive, IT savvy sales and marketing function within the company. In addition, the 2 brands are purchased separately by customers and in most cases are perceived as unconnected.

The Sportshall team who deliver the events operate in a silo, and are not tasked with promoting sales of equipment even though they are in constant contact with existing and potential customers. As most members of the team have been with the organisation for 10 years or more, there is a lack of willingness or motivation to change their approach as their core activities revolve around delivery of the programme and organising of the numerous events. As a result of government cutbacks, school budgets are tight and the purchasing of sports equipment is not seen as a priority.

The IT infrastructure within Eveque was dated and highly inefficient and the valuable data was incomplete, not easily accessible and not used to full advantage.

Solution

A full SWOT / marketing analysis was carried out to identify existing customer profiles, win/loss ratios, new target markets and any barriers to increasing sales. The IT infrastructure was analysed and recommendations were made with regard to upgrading of existing systems and additional requirements. New technologies such as QR codes, gametisation and a Social Media strategy was implemented to target new and existing markets. Other marketing initiatives included telemarketing, email campaigns using Constant Contact, presence at key exhibitions and conferences, promotional discounts, and the implementation of a leasing facility to enable cash strapped schools to purchase the equipment over several years.

Results and Benefits

Sales have started to grow as a result of the above initiatives and the company has achieved a year on year growth in turnover of 19%.