What cultural factors must U.S sports franchises overcome to increase the popularity abroad? Why?
The U.S. sports sector entails a countless list of sports and activities ranging from football to electronic games. People engage in these sports for different reasons; for example, some use it as a strategy to lose weight, some do it just for fun, and some others engage into sports because they are passionate about a particular sort of entertainment. The United States has grown its sport activities to an extent of franchising them. It, however, faces several challenges that affect their popularity abroad. These problems are associated with the culture of the people of the United States (Giulianotti & Robertson, 2007). One of these factors is the US names for their sports. For example, football is known as “soccer” in the U.S., whereas in European countries people refer to it as just “football”. For the U.S., football is a very different game, since the foot does not form the biggest part of the game. It leads to certain problems, since many people have traditions that are associated with soccer; therefore, do not warmly welcome the idea of soccer sport.
Another culture that calls for attention, as far as American sports abroad is concerned, is the issue of already existing rivalries. America has several rivalries with the countries abroad that can do anything within their power to bring them down. This problem needs to get a solution to ensure that the U.S. sports become famous in other countries. The main proposed solution is through ensuring the establishment of a good relationship between America and these countries. Good relationship is a fundamental requirement for the success of any business. The top government leaders should engage into talks to come to an accord and determine their conflicts. In addition, the issue of cultural differences is another cultural obstruction to the U.S sports. Each state has its own inimitable artistic practices. For example, the American culture could be different from that of the countries abroad; therefore, what they term as fun might not be that to these countries. It will affect their sports and other products in the overseas markets. Language is another issue as well. America is an English-speaking nation, while some of the overseas countries speak different languages; for example, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and many others. It will make it difficult for adoption and understanding of sports rules and other sports dynamics (Giulianotti & Robertson, 2007).
How can franchises ensure their products are appropriate for international markets?
It is important that franchises ensure that their products are appropriate for international markets. There are numerous ways of doing this: the first one is to make certain that their products are of the best quality and that they can compete with other products. Customers always look for a high-quality product and, therefore, franchises should aim at meeting their customers’ demands in order to secure large market opportunities for their products. In addition, franchises should produce unique products that will not have much competition. By so doing, they will be able to benefit from monopoly. Although it is not easy to achieve, since it needs creativity and innovation, as well as sophisticated technology and research, to produce new products, it can be a strategy to thrive both locally and internationally (Thompson et al., 2008).
Franchises should also endorse their products as well as advertise them, as this will increase the popularity of the product. The research shows that the best endorsers of products currently employed by several companies and organization are the celebrities; for example, actors, artists, athletes, and other famous people (Thompson et al., 2008). These celebrities have several fans who believe in them; therefore, they will believe that the products they endorse are of a good quality as well. They will also buy the products just because they want to be associated with that particular celebrity. An example of this is the NIKE Company. It uses athletes and football players in order to advertise their sportswear, for example, shoes. It is significantly effective in reaching international markets even though it is a very expensive method. It is imperative to note that most celebrities receive much money from such endorsements, as compared to what they get from their actual work. Similarly, promotions are a necessary step, which can be conducted through the ways of selling products at a discount or offering prizes to those people, who buy a certain amount of their product. It will attract many customers and, hence, enlarge market to their products.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, franchises should also maintain a culture that is friendly for their customers. For example, traditions, morals, values, and norms among others should not be despising or arrogant. Negative cultural practices will cause a negative impact to the relationship with their target country markets. It does not imply that they should revolutionize their way of culture to suit their customers, but they should adopt a culture that is respectful and appreciative. By so doing, the countries they are targeting will feel that there is a good relationship between them and, hence, promote their products more willingly.
Should governments protect their industries by placing tariffs on imported products? Why? Why not?
According to Shadlen (2005), imported products sell better than the local ones. It is because foreign products are cheaper than the ones that are locally produced. It affects the local industries in a significant way, since they suffer the lack of market for their products. It is, consequently, important that the administration intercedes through imposing tariffs on the imported goods. In so doing, the prices of those products will increase; therefore, the imported goods will become more expensive as compared to the local ones. It will attract local clients as well as international ones, since the prices will be customer-friendly. Local industries are building blocks to the economy, and failure to support them can result in the poor economy in the country. In addition to imposing tariffs on the foreign products, the government can also take part in ensuring that qualitative and competent products come from the local industries through encouraging research and development, as well as through providing the required technology in the industries. Customers do not always look at the prices of products, but largely on the quality of those (Shadlen, 2005). Therefore, producing high-quality products will also increase the market opportunities for the local industries.
In conclusion, American sports franchises need to come up with the ways of dealing with cultural issues that act as obstacles to their sports overseas. It is because culture is the biggest player in determining the way people perceive a community and its products. In a more general way, it should also take appropriate actions that will ensure that its products have proper reception in the international markets, and that they are able to compete healthily with other products from the different countries abroad. Franchises should employ activities like advertisements, promotions, and endorsements in order to enable their products to penetrate into the new markets. It is also important for the government to guard the local industries by commanding tariffs on the imported goods, because it will increase the market for home products produced in the local industries.