Page 1: Introduction
The Internet has been around since 1969. It started as a defence network that linked the computers of a few researchers and military bases. Today, it is widely accessible, providing a broad range of services and opportunities to people and businesses across the world.
The Internet has become a magnet for some of the world’s major businesses, who have seen opportunities for this form of communication to create a whole new world of e-commerce. A key element is net shopping, an area that has opened a wide range of opportunities for businesses and customers. The Internet provides an opening into a shopping, entertainment and social environment unrestricted by geographical or cultural boundaries. Many users of the Internet are able to bookmark their favourite sites based upon their interests and their browsing. A large number of these are sports fans. More than 33% of all UK Internet users visit at least one online sports site a fortnight.
The Internet’s dynamic and ever-changing qualities make it the perfect medium to keep up-to-date with sports. As well as providing these important services, the Internet puts buyers and sellers in touch with each other, wherever they are, simply by pointing and clicking a mouse. More than 46% of sports site visitors have shopped online. In addition to providing them with increased choice, the Internet enables fans to make rational decisions within the comfort of their home where they can compare prices and products. Today, this is one of the hottest areas of the Internet.
This case study focuses upon the exciting development of a sporting e-business called
UMBRO.COM. It shows how, as an independent and fast-changing Internet company, it has created new business opportunities for the football specialist Umbro.
Umbro has been making football equipment for professionals and football enthusiasts for 76 years. April 1999 marked the beginning of a new era for Umbro when new owners of the company were ready to prepare the business for the new millennium. With the change of ownership the company embarked on a new direction, with a focused objective giving it a clear idea of where it was heading.
With its commitment to just one game, football, the new company vision was to position Umbro as 'The Football Authority'. The positioning of UMBRO.COM is to be the 'Future of Football'. At the forefront of this development was the need to keep up-to-date with different groups of football fans by creating a unique type of marketing relationship.