How to develop a SWOT analysis like a pro

Business people meeting to discuss the situation on the market

Last week we went over a little bit on what separates Sports Marketing from Traditional Marketing and what exactly is the foundation of a sports marketer. This week we will be looking into building your SWOT analysis so that you can understand the internal capabilities of your team and to match the strengths and weaknesses with industry opportunities and threats.

What does SWOT stand for?


Strengths: This is what we will capitalize on

Weakness: What we need to support

Opportunities: We need to invest in

Threats: We identify

Two halves. Internal and external.

Internal is what we can control with the team. Our Strengths and Weakness.

External are forces we can not control but can influence. Our Opportunities and Threats.

Let’s focus on the internal part of the SWOT first as that is something we can control.

SWOT’s require data. So how do we populate it? We need to get feedback form fans. You can do online surveys, call up season ticket holders, or hold a focus group. However you want to go about getting information from fans, that’s what we need to do. Next step is employees, make sure to do this step! Employees are aware of what’s going on and have great feedback or opinions. They’re close to the fans and the team itself.

What are we looking for?

We need to know about our capabilities that people consider to be either a strength or a weakness. What’s our resources? Money, branding, venue… What assets do we have that are working for us? Then we need to look at our processes. More often than not the first thing we usually hear about is communication. Communication almost always ends up as a weakness. So we need to search these outs and list them appropriately.

Next we focus on our external part of the SWOT

To gain information for the external we need to search out secondary data. The first is usually environmental data and no we’re not talking about global warming. We’re talking about the playing venue, concession stands, economy, etc…. it’s the data that impacts our team. Next is the industry data, this will be what’s going on in our league and the sport in general. Then last we look to our competition, what are they up to and how are they impacting us.

So we have the data, now what? We need to compile it all of it together so that we can create ideas and generate goals. Otherwise this data is useless and we wasted lots of people’s time.

Different formulas to help generate ideas:

Strengths + Opportunities =  Do we have a Strength that could help us invest in an Opportunity?

Strengths + Weakness = Do we have a Strength that could offset a Weakness?

Threats + Opportunities = Do we have an Opportunity that could help eliminate a Threat?

Threat + Weakness = What can we do to make sure a Threat does not become a Weakness?

See how that came full circle there? Now that we have the information to fill in the SWOT it gives a deeper look into our internal capabilities and what issues we need to address. In essence, it provides a structure for our analysis:
• Strengths are resources, skills or other advantages relative to competitors.
• Weaknesses are limitations  in resources, skills and capabilities that inhibit a teams effectiveness in relation to competitors.
• Opportunities are favorable situations in a teams environment.
• Threats are unfavorable situations in a teams environment.


Next Monday we will get into determining the core of your marketing strategy and taking  a look into the sport consumer.

If you’re still hungry for more check out this article by former Stanford lineman Andrew Philps