Marketing Functions of JJB Sports

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2009

33 Pages, Grade: A



1. Introduction

2. Business orientation
2.1. Product Orientation
2.2. Sales Orientation
2.3 Marketing Orientation

3. Analysis of JJB’s competitive advantage.
3.1. Porters Five forces.
A. Threat of new entry
B. Threat of Substitute products
C. Competitive rivalry
D. Suppliers power
E. Buyers power

4. Marketing Mix & 4P’s
4.1. Product
4.1.1 Brand Management
4.1.2 Product’s life cycle and portfolio planning
A. Product life cycle curve
B. Portfolio planning
4.1.3 Product growth strategy (Ansoff matrix)
A. Market penetration
B. Product development
C. Market development
D. Diversification
4.2. Place
4.3 Price
4.4 Promotion
4.5 Other marketing mix elements

5. SWOT analysis
5.1. Strengths.
A. Stores portfolio
B. Wide product portfolio
C. Strategic procedures
D. Relationship with customers
5.2 Weaknesses
A. Short term trading
B. IT systems and Business continuity
C. Shareholders relationship.
D. Product differentiation
E. Segmentation
5.3. Opportunities.
A. New markets.
B. Upcoming sports events
C. Health and fitness
D. Stumbling competition and core competencies
E. Expansion.
5.4. Threats.
A. Old and new Competition
B. Economic Scenario
C. Environmental issues
D. Foreign exchange transactions
E Regulatory/Government bodies
5.5 Sustainable competitive advantage

6. List of References

1. Introduction

JJB Sports plc is one of the UK's leading sports retailers. JJB Sports has developed sports retailing in the UK with its mixture of high-street sportswear shops, out-of-town superstores, specialist golf outlets and various sports facilities (health clubs, football grounds and golf courses).

JJB was established in 1971, when JJ Broughton acquired the business of a single sports store in Wigan, UK. He established the company's name as JJB in early 1990's. It was then bought by JJ Braddock and then JJ Bradburn. When David Whelan, a former footballer, bought the store from JJ Bradburn, he maintained the JJB brand name. Starting from just four stores in 1976, the number of stores grew to 120 stores in 1994, and company started trading at the London stock exchange in early 1990’s.In 1998, JJB Sports overtook the company 'Sports Division', which was JJB's largest competitor at that time. This acquisition made JJB the largest sports retailer in the UK. Since 1998, the Sports Division business has been merged completely within the JJB group.(Www.Jjbcorporate.Co.Uk)

JJB diversified its business from being only a sports retailer to lifestyle clothing stores, with little success in each of its other businesses like Qube and Original Shoe Company, which were acquired over time. The company also operates a chain of fitness clubs throughout UK. JJB currently has more then 350 stores in all the major towns and cities of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Its product ranges include sports textiles, footwear, replica shirts, sports equipments, casual clothes, golf equipments etc.

The company targets professional sportsmen and women as well as the casual players of various sports. It provides sports gears and clothes to both segments of customers. It aims at providing best options to the customers who like to visit their stores located on high streets as well as out of town stores.

The company made its presence in many sports sectors other then retailing, in early 2000’s. It established a chain of Health clubs, soccer domes and golf courses adjacent to many of its superstores, which are located outside cities and towns. They provide quality services at economical prices, which attract many people towards them. All these supplementary services have been huge hits among masses of all age groups alike. The health clubs of JJB have seen tremendous growth over the years since they came up in UK.

JJB Sports also maintains trading relationships with football clubs such as Manchester United and Glasgow Rangers(Keynote 2007b). JJB has always been actively involved in the sponsorship of various football events. It has supported the leading teams and has been actively involved with various promotional activities of these teams.

The company has always strived to improve the customer experience and its own distribution channels. It uses technology to the max to achieve its goals of customer satisfaction and profit. It believes in building a strong and lasting relation with its customers.

2. Business Orientation

Business orientation can be classified into following types of orientation.

2.1. Product Orientation
2.2. Sales Orientation
2.3 Marketing Orientation

2.1 Product Orientation: A product orientated company produces its products in an interesting and exciting manner and then finds the interest of the market in these products.

JJB always uses its product orientation strategy to include new brands into its stock, so that it can have access of new costumers and compete more effectively with other retailers in the branded life style part of the retail sports trade without compromising their strategy of being “Serious about sport”. To continue with this strategy it acquired OSC in March 2008 which carries a different range of branded lifestyle clothing and footwear products.(Report 2008a)

Apart from its retail business JJB is also engaged in operating fitness clubs in various locations to serve community. Its fitness clubs have played a remarkable role in growth of profits of JJB. JJB has its club orientation strategy. Under this strategy the fitness instructor recommends classes for trial to those who want to join the club. JJB has appointed well qualified and professional instructors to conduct the classes. All the instructors are registered under national trainer register, it is evident from these facts that JJB provides safe, secure and enjoyable environment. This enables JJB to acquire more members every year

2.2. Sales Orientation: Main objective of sales oriented business concentrates on selling all the products it has in hand. Such business pays simply ignore customer needs and wants. These businesses do not try firm to produce suitable products or services.

JJB attracts new customers and maintain its existing customers by using sales orientation strategy. In order to increase the sales JJB recognizes the requirement of the adequate knowledge about the product for retail employees. To fulfill this need JJB sports considers the staff training as most important aspect in order to increase its sales. JJB is running a Training academy to ensure that whole staff is passionate about the products they are selling. The academy has a team of ten dedicated trainers who provides training for all levels of staff with a focus on providing customer service and achieving product knowledge.(Www.Jjbsports.Com)

JJB is also engaged in running fitness clubs along with its superstores. Currently it’s earning most of its revenues from its health clubs. JJB understands the freedom attracts more members towards the health clubs. So to give a hike in the number of its members it does not force them to get involved into lengthy contracts and provides the membership at very reasonable monthly subscription.(Statement 2008)

2.3. Marketing Orientation: In this type of Orientation a company organises its activities products and services around the needs and requirements of customers. It is also known as customer orientation.

Marketing orientation leads to sales growth, flexibility, profitability and new product success. A company in retail business needs to have marketing orientation as it has to deal with customers, if it ignores its customers then it cannot think of growth in future. Because a company may be coming up with lots of new products and offers but if it does not have customers then it cannot last for long. Today in the world of competition by marketing a company expects for the achievement of goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs.

The success of JJB lies with the marketing orientation of its company. It offers excellent ranges of sports and leisure products such as sports textiles, footwear, replica shirts, equipment, accessories, cycles and golfing products to the customers at very reasonable prices. JJB has maintained its market share with its good distribution system. JJB retails its products in both high street and out of town superstores. It displays whole range of clothing, footwear and sports equipment in an attractive manner to provide more enjoyable experience to the customers.(Report 2008a)

JJB maintains enough stock of its major sports brands and other brands and products which are exclusively owned by the company. JJB also provide the facility of online shopping which attracts the customers who do not want to wait for their turn in queue and enjoy the shopping while sitting at their home. JJB knows that customers love to see the stores according to the changing world and modern technologies so JJB carries out important “action to strengthen their store portfolio”.(Mintel 2008)

Creating awareness about its products is one of the primary requirements of a business. JJB has always been on top position among its competitors to make advertisement of its products for this “JJB uses a wide variety of media, from regional television to glossy lifestyle and health magazines.”

JJB understands the need of maintaining healthy relationship with its customers as customers are the assets to any business. JJB runs a Customer service department which is entirely designed to process the complaints and enquiries of customers. Customers can easily communicate with this department via telephone, email and postal system.

3. Analysis of the Competitive Advantages of JJB Sports-

In the competitive business, organizations must possess some strategic advantage by positioning their offerings strongly against competitor’s offerings in the mind of consumers.(Kotlar 2005) These strategic advantages are considered as the particular firm’s Competitive advantage.

JJB Sports plc has established itself as one of the biggest sports retailer in U.K. who is maintaining a large no. of sports stores all over Great Britain with adjacent health clubs, golf centres or soccer domes. With a very high rage of product line, JJB has a great focus on their core business of sports retail and equipments as well as sports shoes, kits, bags, fitness equipments, tools and accessories. For all ages of customers, JJB Sports comes up with the world-class brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma etc, with reasonable prices.

JJB Sports plc has gone through a lot of acquisitions; like In 1998 JJB acquired Sports Division, which had been its biggest competitor at the time. In December 2007, the 60-strong footwear chain Original Shoe Company (OSC) was acquired from its main rival, Sports Direct International for 5 million pound. (Keynote 2008) Also in 2007, JJB Sports and leisure-wear retailer sign up together to loyalty program operator Reward. This partnership was proven advantageous for JJB customers who became eligible to earn more points through purchases that are then exchangeable through online for football merchandise and other offers as well. JJB also holds the highest share of Umbro, the largest and profitable footwear and equipment retailer that operates more than 90 countries around the world and has soccer marketing relationships including with the U.K. national team.(Ebscohost and Jones 2007)

3.1. Porter’s fives forces:

The state of competition in an industry depends on five basic competitive forces that are known as The Porter’s five forces.(Porter 1980) Not only has it helped to understand the strength of the current position of a business but also in determining the strength of the position where the business wants to establish them in future. These five forces shape up the competition level of a strategic business unit and assist managers to find out the keys of competitiveness in a particular industry(H.Graham 2008)

The porter’s five forces analysis is to determine the competitive power of an organization. The five forces are given below:

A. Threat of new entry
B. Threat of substitute products
C. Competitive rivalry
D. Suppliers power
E. Buyers power


Excerpt out of 33 pages


Marketing Functions of JJB Sports
Coventry University  (Coventry Business School)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
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marketing, functions, sports
Quote paper
Sunil Singh (Author), 2009, Marketing Functions of JJB Sports, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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