Marketing Channels and Distribution
Decisions In the Sport Industry
Distribution Defined
Distribution is the process of getting
the product to the consumer.
 A Distribution system is the methods
and channels used in delivering
products from producer to consumer.
 An Intermediary is an individual or
organization through which products
move from producer to consumer.
Product Types
Sports activities are participation products
such as participation in basketball, bowling,
scuba, hiking, sky diving, running, weight
training, sailing, water skiing, golf, and
 The activities are offered—packaged—to
the consumer in a number of ways such as
leagues, tournaments, championships,
races, meets, regattas, outings, and
adventure travel packages.
Sport Business Goods
• Sport Business Services: The cleaning, repair,
and maintenance of sports equipment alone
makes up an important part of the sport service
• Sports Entertainment: The development of
sports as an entertainment product is a fastgrowing segment of the sport business industry.
• Sport Media: Some examples of sport media are
sports magazines (print), electronic sports
businesses (Web-based businesses), and
industry trade magazines. The consumers of
these can be either end or business consumers.
Distribution of Products
Tangible products are physical objects. Most are
manufactured in mass quantities at a factory and
must be moved—distributed—to a place of
purchase—retailer or wholesaler. For example,
running shoes are manufactured in a factory and
must be moved to a retailer to be sold.
Intangible products are not physical objects and
include products such as services, places, and
Shelf Life: amount of time that a product can
remain in a good and consumable condition after
being manufactured.
Time, Place, and Possession Utility
Through Distribution
Time utility is getting the product to the
consumer when the consumer wants it.
Place utility is getting the product to the
consumer where the consumer wants it.
Possession utility is creating possession of
the product for the consumer.
The Distribution System
Types of Distribution Intermediaries
• Wholesaler—a company that buys goods in
large quantities specifically to resell to retailers
or final consumers (Peter and Donnelly, 1993).
• Retailer—a company that buys goods to resell
to consumers (Peter and Donnelly, 1993).
• E-tailer—an electronic retail store.
The Distribution System (cont’d)
Types of Distribution Intermediaries
• Agent—a person or a company who “moves”
products (facilitates the sale) by taking orders
for a buyer and placing the order with the
producer (Boone and Kurtz, 1992).
• Mail order—a company that buys direct from
a manufacturer or producer and offersthe
products through a catalog or electronic system
(Cravens and Woodruff, 1986).
• Distributor—a wholesale intermediary (Peter
and Donnelly, 1993).
Complex Distribution System in
the Sport Industry
The Distribution System (cont’d)
• Selection of a Distribution System: The
considerations of the consumer should be the
deciding factor in the selection of a distribution
• A company should study what the competitors
are doing before making any sort of business
• Exclusivity drives up demand, which in turn
drives up prices.