Foosball Hall has identified two target customer segments which are particularly attractive. The first segment customers are the more casual players who are looking for some sort of activity (such as foosball, pool, darts) to occupy their time as they socialize and drink. The second group comprises the competitive foosball players. This group travels to where ever there are tables.
While the two groups share the same interest in foosball, they are distinct groups and each one will need to be reached via different methods. Foosball Hall participates within the general pool hall industry, businesses that offer beer and pool typically. The foosball parlor industry is too small and new to have its own industry classification. While foosball is a very popular table game, there are just not enough foosball dedicated halls to have its own industry. Here lies the attractiveness of the industry, most of the foosball playing occurs on college campuses, there are few outside establishments that offer a pool-like foosball hall.
Foosball Hall has identified two distinct customer segments that they will target:
This segment is typically made up of college men who enjoy playing foosball with their colleagues. This group of individuals typically plays to pass time and have fun as opposed to playing at a competitive level in tournaments. Characteristics of the individuals that make up this group are:
This group plays to win. Foosball is not about a fun way to pass time but a serious game at which they work hard, developing competitive skills. This group is far smaller but the individuals are active participants. There are two different manufacturer based associations for foosball and numerous different player based associations. In fact, as a testament to the level of seriousness, size and participation levels of these players, almost all states in the U.S. have their own associations. It is this group of people that will be the most active participants in the offered tournaments.
The bulk of Foosball Hall's customers are casual recreational players.
Foosball Hall will successfully target two distinct segments of the market. While both groups play foosball, the reasons that they play are different. Understanding this will help Foosball Hall accurately target the specific group. The first group while smaller in size is far more organized and will therefore be much easier to reach. Although seriously competitive players are growing in number, it is a select group of people that compete in foosball. With the advent of the Internet, this group has become quite organized in terms of associations, tournaments, and general awareness of each other. This being said, it is easy to reach this group through advertisements and networking with the different associations. The competitive players are always looking for new places to play, there are generally not enough tables to accommodate them. This will be the easiest group to reach. This group is talkative amongst themselves and always looking for new places and new tournaments.
The casual players will be more difficult to target. This group of people comes from a fairly large cross section of the population, people that like some sort of table game while they hang out with friends and drink beer. The obvious group to try to reach are college students. Madison was chosen in part because of its population of foosball players as well as the huge student population to draw off of. Students are the perfect segment of the population that likes to drink, play games, has disposable income, and has extra time for leisure activities. Additionally, foosball is a social game that requires two- four players. Even beyond the requirement for multiple players, when people play foosball it is typically in a social setting with socializing occurring during play. While there are some other casual players, most are or recently were college students.
Foosball is an untapped game market. While it is not uncommon to have a foosball table in a fraternity house, it is far less common to have one in a public place such as a bar. Most bar owners rationalize that not a lot of people really know how or care to play, therefore if they have to come up with a large capital expense of several thousand dollars, they would rather spend it on something that will appeal to a larger population. It is this mentality that has created the current state where there are many active players that play in one or two places all the time, and generally do not have other options of playing venues. The situation can be seen from a microlevel if you observe party goers at a party that has a foosball table. With one table at the entire party, the table is always in use. There are always more people that want to play than can play. It is a popular, fun game and there are never enough tables available.
There are few commercial playing areas for foosball. Most foosball tables reside in private settings, either a home, fraternity house, etc. The real competitor in terms of industry are pool halls. While the games themselves are not similar, the reason people play and the type of people that play are quite similar. As mentioned previously, people play either as a source of game competition, or they play as a way to have fun and socialize. The users are quite similar as well, however, pool tends to attract an older crowd, or at least some older people. The pool hall/ table game hall industry operates primarily by selling beer and alcoholic beverages. Food and fountain drinks generate supplemental income. Most business occurs in the evening/ night time, as people use the occasions as a way to relax.
Competition is predominantly from pool halls and foosball tournaments.
The pool halls are the alternative places, other than typical bars, that people go to to socialize and play games to pass the time. There are many different pool halls that serve the Madison student population. They are typically grouped by some sort of theme, maybe concentrating on the lower price point beer selection, maybe on the music, sometimes on the quality of the pool and billiards tables (typically a function of the skill level of the players and the use of the tables for tournaments). The pool halls are competitors for the casual players, people that are playing as a way to socialize, have fun, and pass the time.
Currently, the several tournaments that are held for the Madison area players take place in a community center recreation room that has six tables. There are no other public or semi-public areas that have more than a couple of tables available for play. So while the community center will still have tournaments, the facilities at Foosball Hall will be nicer and have more things to offer such as food and beer. By virtue of more and better tables, Foosball Hall will be able to attract plenty of people for the tournaments.
Indirect competition comes from other evening recreation activities, such as bars, movies, theatres, bowling alleys, etc.