The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) was established in 1916 and it is one of the most respected and oldest leagues in the country. The establishment came into being as a direct result of the comradeship, friendship and concern that was displayed by the concerned people for the wellbeing of their mates at the time of First World War (RSL National 2017).
Political – Gaming machines have received caps on them and gambling revenues have suffered because of regulations for clubs (Godfrey 2017). There is fierce competition among the providers and revenue is low due to regulatory constraints. The whole industry is mostly capital-intensive.
Economic – Inside this industry, there is not company that holds a dominant market share. The whole industry is on a revenue generation of $11 billion. From 2013-2018 the projected annual growth is -0.7%. The industry employs approximately 60,000 people in Australia. In total, there are about 3000 businesses in this social club industry (Ibisworld.com.au 2017).
Social – Clubs like RSL fall under the social club segment and come under the wider category of hospitality services. There is the presence of both licensed and unlicensed clubs.
Technological – Apart from including social media sites, the industry has simply made use of labor service for delivering core services. There is a high need of using digital promotional methods for the development of those industry and RSL too.
· Passionate members
· Rising support of the Australian citizens in honoring service people
· Support from Veteran Affairs
· Making Australia a world leader in helping service people
· Provision of support and counselling services
· Working with local high schools and scout groups
· Maintenance of local greeneries
· Aging and declining member base
· Inability of attending functions by the aging members
· Lack of awareness among the new service people
· Lack of proper governmental support
· Completely reliant on volunteer support
· Lack of proper office equipment
· No presence of current serving members or young members
· Lack of awareness in the community
· No partaking members have computer literacy
· High operating costs
· Backdated amenities
· More and more fundraising events all around the year
· Promoting of RSL events in the community
· Engaging community members and promoting social activities
· Fundraising for office kit
· Encouragement for members in continuing with membership as soon as help has been acquired
· Increase in awareness and communication
· Encouragement in membership from ex-service people from the local regions
· Working together with other organizations for sharing responsibilities and volunteering
· Membership for registered nurses, SES, Ambulance, Police and Fire
· Community perception regarding the club
· Cost of running all the branches of the club
· Historic issue traumas limiting membership opportunities
· Competition from other venues and clubs
Table 1. SWOT Analysis
Source: (Barossa.org.au 2012)
The different RSL branches have found out a number of organizations and community groups in their areas who are competing for the time and money of local people. The Community Sporting Clubs have entry for all the home games, takes part in social functions and posts regular newsletters. Guardians of the players can also participate with the coaches. RSL Club can take this lead and provide entries to the family members of the service people who are members of the club. Rotary Club holds evening meetings, along with their fundraising activities and regular newsletters. They raise their funds for different projects and programs that have benefits for the community and the global communities. RSL can invest in beneficial projects and use the funds raised for community development. The Lions Club is involved in holding fortnightly meetings and publishing regular newsletters. Similar to Rotary Club, they also raise funds for community projects. This example can be followed by RSL so that they can give back something to the community for its development (Clubsqld.com.au 2016).
If there are no negative diversions, then in the next decade, RSL can reach new heights in the Australian social club industry. More members would join the club, and maximum of them would be young people. The lack of community awareness would be handled with a little help. In this way, RSL would be bringing together the community in an environment that would be beneficial for social interactions at all ages, which would ultimately bring more funding for community projects that support membership (Cornwall 2013).
It has been understood from different market researches that younger members must be more encouraged to join the club. For reaching this target market, some aspects can be taken into consideration. This includes –
For attracting more people to join the club, awareness should be increased to make sure everyone knows that it is not just for elderly people but also for younger demographics. There is a high need of increasing the awareness for shifting perceptions and highlighting benefits of becoming a member of the RSL club. Different offering and improved awareness programs would help bring the necessary attraction for RSL (Assets.sportstg.com 2017).
The first thing to disguise the unappealing interiors of the club would be to use decorations to cover them. The beer-soaked carpets need to be changed and replaced with fresh ones, which would require regular cleaning. The subsidized meals can be improved by including some fresh but inexpensive items. The lighting requires changing and replacing with brighter lights and decorative bulbs. The club is in a need of a strong identity, which changing the decorations would help bring for it (Wang 2016).
As today most of the youth is busy on their phone, the best way to reach out to them is through messages or social media posts. Links to polls and information can be send to the potential members and the existing members (for further circulation). Notifications about trainings and events would help make the event a success and simultaneously improve awareness. These messages can be shared over social media sites and their inboxes too (Tiago and Veríssimo 2014).
At RSL, an issue has been found that there is a lack of awareness regarding the different, programs, functions and events held at the club. To manage this gap, an information document can be developed and distributed at community events and functions. To make the funding available for all the clearers, more investment needs to be done in visible signage for advertising when the different club branches are open and who all can attend the events. Annual family days would further raise awareness regarding the club and also help build relationships with local schools for raising more fundraising initiatives. Even support can be asked for maintaining and updating websites with information and events.
After thorough analysis of the current local RSL branches, their situation in the market, their internal condition, clear objectives and promotional methods, different strategies have been recommended that can be considered by the relevant committee. The stress from the start has been on giving more importance to awareness among the community members so that more and more young people join the club.
Assets.sportstg.com. 2017. By-Laws for Sub-Branches of RSL. [online] Available at: https://assets.sportstg.com/assets/console/document/documents/Sub%20Branch%20By-Laws%202%20July%202011.pdf [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Barossa.org.au. 2012. Reinvigorate Barossa RSL. [online] Available at: https://www.barossa.org.au/assets/Uploads/Barossa-Future-Leaders/2012/RSL-Project-Business-Plan-FINAL.pdf [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Brown, J. 2015. The Club with cheap beer and pokies no longer focusses on the war veterans whose names it invokes. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-club-with-cheap-beer-and-pokies-no-longer-focusses-on-the-war-veterans-whose-names-it-invokes-2014-3 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Clubsqld.com.au. 2016. Impact of new casinos on Queensland community clubs. [online] Available at: https://www.clubsqld.com.au/CQDocuments/news/Finalcasinoreport_sml.pdf [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Cornwall, D. 2013. NSW RSL branch pushes for split from iconic clubs. [online] ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-22/nsw-rsl-branch-pushes-for-split-from-iconic-clubs/4644566 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Godfrey, M. 2017. Future of RSL clubs is in doubt. [online] Dailytelegraph.com.au. Available at: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/fraud-scandal-throws-the-future-of-rsl-clubs-in-doubt/news-story/94afd3896c6de409e6e28f8dee219f17 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Ibisworld.com.au. 2017. Social Clubs in Australia Market Research | IBISWorld. [online] Available at: https://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry-trends/market-research-reports/accommodation-food-services/social-clubs.html [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
RSL National. 2017. RSL National • Returned and Services League of Australia. [online] Available at: https://rslnational.org/ [Accessed 15 Sep. 2017].
Tiago, M.T.P.M.B. and Veríssimo, J.M.C., 2014. Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?. Business Horizons, 57(6), pp.703-708.
Wang, M., 2016. A Study of the Status and Marketing Strategies for Qingdao Shibei Fitness Clubs. Asian Social Science, 12(9).
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