York Urbanist

Marketing For a New Curling Facility – a Brief

This is the marketing segment in a series of creating a hypothetical and entrepreneurial approach to rebuilding the sport of curling in the fictional community of Aasvogel, Ontario. It follows from:


Market Segmentation

The general demographic, according to CCA information is that the curling participant demographic is in a higher income (+$60,000), higher participation of males with an age gap between 21 and 41. Curling can be segmented into three comparators, upon which to position your facility: Price/Fees; Quality of Service/Facility; and Social/Competition.

In the GTA, there appear to be groupings of facilities, based on the comparators:

  • High priced, high quality, more on the social side of the social/competition scale. The age demographic is skewed toward older participants (+50 years), with a higher than average income and more males. (7 facilities)
  • Medium-low priced, medium –low quality, social predominant. The demographic profile of participants in this type of facility is different. Although average income is high, there is a closer balance between male and female and an average age in the late 40’s. (9 facilities)
  • Medium-low priced, medium quality, trending to competitive nature. The demographic profile has more males and an average age in the mid-40’s. (2 facilities)

Price competion Quality Competion Quality PriceImportant to the marketing of this new facility is to find a market segment not currently occupied by existing facilities.  The population within 20km is over 50,000, which can derive 1250 active curlers.

The most populated facilities are medium priced, medium quality facilities trending to the social aspect of the sport.  A gap exists in the medium-high priced, medium-high quality facilities that finds a balance between social and competitive trends. The target market that would be attracted to a higher priced facility will be upwardly mobile and higher income, likely toward the median of age in the GTA. If the facility was skewed to sport competition, a younger demographic could be attracted, and that would help to sustain the membership.

quality gap  competition gapPrice gap







Another important element is to locate near a population centre external to the geographical influence area of other like facilities. The influence area is a 20 minute drive, however, the closer to the club, the higher the density of participants. The optimal location is therefore 30-40 minutes from other facilities, in a population centre.

Societal Marketing

Determine the wants and interests of the target markets and deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that enhances the consumer’s and society’s well-being.

Marketing Strategy

The Curling Market is mature in Ontario and in Growth throughout the international community.  For the mature Ontario market, there needs to be differentiation from the existing facilities. Expanding into related services such as the fitness market will differentiate.  Applying technology further differentiates. The addition of related services will allow a greater than medium price point. 

Pioneer Marketing – for starting a new business

Encourage other sport participants to adopt a winter sport.

Encourage other curlers to join a second club with advancement advantages.

Encourage non-curlers to enjoy a social environment.

Encourage corporations to use curling as a marketing and team-building event.

Fee Structure

Introductory fees will be offered to Early Adopters. Reduced fees for out-of-town participants will compensate for the distance traveled. A special Intermediate fee will attract 21-30 year age group to help fill the market gap. The fees for curling, fitness and social activities will be unlike those for a ‘curling club’.  An annual fee is only one option.  There will be a fees which will provide flexibility for snowbirds, families, professionals.  An innovation to provide a league that will be bi-weekly will provide a less onerous schedule particularly suited to new curlers.

Innovation will be promoted to differentiate: Digital scoring, connected to the lounge; cameras at each end available to spectators and players; scoring analysis facilities ‘behind the glass’; and effective video analysis with professional advice. 


Direct mail Targets: existing curling public; golf members

Direct mail Message: innovative facility offering cross-training benefits at an introductory / trial fee in a competitive environment. Golf members are specifically offered recoverable investment in the facility.

Direct Mail Goal: 80 annual fee-paying participants

Print Media Targets: early adopters; family; 30-50 year males and females; service clubs; corporations

Print Media Message: Trial memberships and lessons; community activity; fitness; fun

Print Media Goal: 120 annual fee-paying participants; 40 corporate events

Social Media Targets:  early adopters; 30-50 year males and females; corporations

Social Media Message: Innovations; leading edge; and entertaining

Social Media Goal: 50 annual fee-paying participants

Community event presentations: Service Clubs’ meetings; sponsorship in fitness events; School presentations

Community event Message: Curling brings fitness without strain and in a community environment.

Community Event Goal: 80 annual fee-paying participants; 30 business events and meetings 

York Curling Club 3D View

Once the patrons are in the door, how does the facility operate…. Next issue