Rock Sport: Consuming Rock Climbing
Where can one go and relax while having a thrill-seeking adventure? Ever heard of vertical
yoga? Would you, could you, imagine being 30 feet off the ground in a tranquil state of mind,
knowing you have just reached a new high? Tom Rosecrans began an adventure of a lifetime
when he bought out two partners of Rock Sport Indoor Rock Climbing (www.rocksportny.com).
A small-scale facility with varying degrees of difficulty ranging from beginner to advanced
bouldering, the setting may be small in square footage, but it sure fills the desires of
experienced climbers. Never having owned his own business, this high school teacher
powdered his hands and held on tight, taking his venture to new levels ten years later. With
over 36 years of rock-climbing experience, Tom has experienced destinations on a global scale,
including two expeditions to the Himalayas.
Running a business of passion could be overwhelming, so Tom kept things relatively
manageable, never really trying to outdo or grow the business beyond modest proportions,
satisfied to own a part-time “hobby” business. However, the situation has changed and Tom
has decided now is the time for adjustment, and with good reason. A few months ago a newer,
big- ger, brassier indoor rock climbing gym opened just 20 minutes away and is drawing
excitement from Rock Sport’s current customer base as well as the public. With few choices and
immediate needs, Tom must use consumer 4 | P a g e RMIT MKTG 1050 Take-Home Final
Assessment Sem 1, 2022 (MELB) research to determine how to increase Rock Sport’s target
market and client base through innovative new programs.
Outdoor rock climbing, or mountaineering, began in Europe in the early 1800s, though the first
mountaineering club wasn’t started until l857. Rock climbing for recreation came much later in
the 20th century, when styles, grading, and equipment were all brought together and turned
the adventure into a sport. In the 1980s alternatives were made for busy climbers; indoor
facilities that took less time to manage were designed to have different degrees of difficulty and
to allow realistic experiences for the sport enthusiast.
Climbing is both physically challenging and psychologically rewarding. For example, major
progress can be made in improving one’s cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and weight loss.
But one of the great benefits of rock climbing is the thrill and joy it brings, as well as a pure
sense of achievement. Children love the challenge in a risky environment, while parents enjoy
the safety features in today’s indoor gyms. Having fun with family, friends, or finally reaching
one’s personal trail goal is satisfying. A simple focus group conducted at a gym even revealed
customers speaking of “peak performances and experiences,” conditions indicative of the
intrinsically satisfying “How” state of motivation.
However, there are some negative perceptions in society today regarding rock climbing, many
stemming from cautious Baby Boomers. Survey research revealed the following possible
obstacles: fear of falling, fear of heights, low self-image while climbing (embarrassment), and
even the fear of failure. All were cited as reasons why adult participation in rock climbing has
declined over the years. On top of this, cost and time limitations were also mentioned by survey
respondents. Tom’s biggest challenge is drawing in new people or markets to try rock climbing.
He is convinced the sport can be viewed as another “soft recreation” alternative similar to
kayaking and bicycling, In fact, he has made it a personal mission to get more Baby Boomers
like himself to try the sport. The children’s market is not the problem. Hundreds of GenerationY parents are bringing their kids to the facility for birthday parties and non-competitive meets.
In addition, students from the local community college are also regular customers who share
their experiences on social media like Facebook. No, the younger demographic segments are
not the issue. As such, Tom is now challenged to change this negative attitude among the
Generation-X and Baby Boomer market segments.
Other indoor gyms have grown their businesses by making the needed changes in facility
offerings and programs. In the past, strong athletic men were the avid climbers; today the
average climber is in his or her mid-20s, with the number of children right behind and growing
rapidly. There are stories of toddlers climbing indoor rock walls in just diapers, and even fiveand six-year-olds on open mountain ranges climbing better than most adults, which shows how
they will become the new generation of the sport. Women have slowly gained interest in the
sport mainly due to themed nights and special events. Many believe that rock climbing is for
the 130-pound, athletic, out-going type and miss that rock climbing can fit anyone who is
willing to try. There has even been a national marketing campaign introduced to stress the
safety of climbing.
Currently, most of Rock Sport’s customers are the children of Generation Xers in the athletic
programs and some college students. Tom would like to encourage Baby Boomers and parents
of the children that use his facility to give indoor climbing a try. Convincing the older
generations of the health benefits and the fun and exciting adventures is tricky today. Their
opinion of adventurers is young and fit, not parents and grandparents. Changing the views of
these age groups is challenging and can cost quite a bit of money and time if not done correctly.
Soon Tom will pass the business off to his daughter, but not without leaving her a strategy that
ensures sustainable growth forward. Ideas include moving into a larger facility, revamping the
website, increasing social media use, and bringing in yoga and Pilates instructors to lead classes.
Creating large competitive events that showcase the facility and spread awareness are other
possible ideas. As such, Tom is challenged by what the future holds and eager to turn ideas into
• Answer any one Question from below 2 (between 580 to 600
• Write at least 2 reference, Harvard referencing style
• No Plagiarism
“Tom would like to encourage Baby Boomers and parents of the children that use his facility to
give indoor climbing a try.”.. “Soon Tom will pass the business off to his daughter, but not
without leaving her a strategy that ensures sustainable growth forward. Ideas include moving
into a larger facility, revamping the website, increasing social media use, and bringing in yoga
and Pilates instructors to lead classes. Creating large competitive events that showcase the
facility and spread awareness are other possible ideas.”
Yet, Tom’s daughter Sarah kind of disagreed. Sarah has recently been highly influenced by “me
too” movement and became passionate about female empowerment.
Gender is a powerful demographic variable. Using gender as a strategic tool is common in
market segmentation (e.g., Diet Coke for females and Coke Zero for males). Marketers
generally develop strategies in terms of product offerings, marketing communications, and
retail stores in using gender strategies. Explain how Sarah could capitalise on possible gender
strategies in developing Rock Sport as a female centric business without compromising the
male customers. Elaborate your answer with examples. (7 marks).
[wordcount = xxx}
Tom recently read an article about “premiumization”. Contrary to all other promotional
avenues, Tom now believed that premiumization of Rock Sport is the best way forward if they
are to succeed. Having searched online, Tom also believed that Melbourne has a large number
of successful rock climbing/ bouldering businesses, and some of them have uniquely
premiumised their business models; and he excitedly said “Aussies are pretty good at
preimmunizing stuff, and let’s hire an Aussie to premiumise Rock Sport”. Rock Sport has
advertised for a marketing consultant/ advisor who knows about premiumisation. Seeing that
you had studied a case study on premiumisation in your tutorial, you applied for the position.
Upon your application, they quickly got back to you and asked to write a 600-words essay on
“How would I premiumise Rock Sport?”. Write your essay.(7 marks).
[wordcount = xxx}
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