1. Spikeball: “The Next Great American Sport”
Emily Capers, Jennifer Wood, Nadle Denis, Arsenio Watlington, Nick Fulks
May 6, 2016
2. Table of Content
I. Body #1……………………………………. Pg 4
II. Body #2
A. Oportunities & Problems…………………….. Pg 13
B. Company Philosophy ………………………… Pg 15
C. Entry Strategy………………………………… Pg 16
D. SWOT Analysis……………………………… Pg 17
E. Target segment in Home country & new country Pg 18
Eb. Description……………………………. Pg 19
Ec. Size……………………………………. Pg 19
Ed. Customer Types in Each Market segment Pg 20
Ee. Wants and Needs…………………………. Pg 21
F. Customer Analysis in home country and new country Pg 21
Fa. Nature of Buying decision/decision process Pg 21
Fb. Demographics/Psychographics Pg 22
Fc. Buyer Motivations and Expectations Pg 22
Fd. Loyalty segments…………… Pg 23
G. Product Mix and Price……………… Pg 23
Ga. Product strengths and weaknesses Pg 24
Gb. Product Life Cycle Development and Product Management Pg 25
Gc. Brand Name, Brand Image, Brand Equity Pg 26
H. Price………………………………… Pg 26
I. Price, Discounts and Allowances….. Pg 27
3. J. Price Elasticity and Customer Sensitivity Pg 27
K. Break even Analysis………………… Pg 27
L. Geographic Breakdown……………. Pg 28
M. Distribution Channels…………………. Pg 29
N. Physical Distribution………………….. Pg 31
O. Electronic Distribution…………………. Pg 32
P. Promotion……………………………….. Pg 33
Q. Advertising……………………………… Pg 34
R. Media…………………………………… Pg 34-35
S. Competiton………………………………. Pg 35
T. Compare and Contrast Competition……… Pg 35-36
U. Expected Outcomes……………………… pg 37
V. Success……………………………………. Pg 37
III. Work Cited……………………………….. Pg 39-40
4. I. Body #1
Spikeball International: Brazil
What if I told you there is a new sport gaining a lot of attention on the national
scale? Let me introduce to you Spikeball, the next new American game. The inventor of
the game, Chris Ruder, remembers playing it in the early 1980’s when he was growing
up. He saved the game over the years, playing it on vacations until it broke. He could
not find the product anywhere. He claimed the rights to his favorite childhood game. He
renamed, recreated and reproduced the first one in 2008. By 2013, it was a known as
Spikeball Inc. Since then, it has spread like wildfire around college campuses, beaches,
and youth groups.
As described by Spikeball executives, it is like volleyball and four squares on
steroids. Spikeball is played on a net, which is about 4-5 inches off the ground, with a
ball a little bigger than a baseball. It’s a four-player game with two players on each team.
It could be played on any surface. The basic Spikeball rules are that you serve the ball
off the net to the next team. The opponent has to return the ball in three or less touches
without double touches. Once the ball goes off the net, it is a change of possession. The
madness proceeds, as there are no boundaries or sides. The scoring system goes by
ones. Teams can decide game point prior to the match.
Some of the competitive advantages of Spikeball is the fact that it is relatively
inexpensive. With all equipment included, it is sold for the low price of $59.99. Many of
today’s sports require cost for equipment. Spikeball has a one time cost for the net and
ball. Another competitive advantage of the game is that it can be played on any surface,
unlike baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer, which have specialized surfaces
5. primarily for their game. A unique competitive advantage is that Spikeball appeared on
Shark Tank and got a deal with Daymond John. This is significant because it received a
lot of attention and has gained notoriety since then. Another advantage that had made it
successful in the United States is that it is easy to play.
Spikeball has a great following in the US, with tournaments every weekend in
some states and national tournaments. According to Esquire magazine, there are 125,000
players that play in official Spikeball tournaments while many others just play
recreationally. All these competitive advantages are easily transferable when trying to
expand into international markets. Brazil is a sovereign state located in South America
with one of the largest economies in Central and South America however it is still
considered to be a developing country. Even though they are a developing country they
are on the verge of crossing over the threshold and finally becoming a developed country.
Their gross domestic product per capita is still pretty low considering the size of their
population. Within the past two years and into upcoming years, Brazil will have hosted
two mega events; The World Cup and Summer Olympics. They received the bid for
Olympics as a testament to the growth. The World Cup and Summer Olympics act as
potential enhancers for the sales of Spikeball. There will be increase in infrastructure,
tourism and increased interest in sports. Sponsors will be important asset to use as
Spikeball goes international. These facts are all important when conducting business in
an international market.
Brazil like many other countries has been blessed with great athletes with some of
their major sports played being soccer and volleyball, which makes Spikeball even more
appealing to this country. With Brazil on the higher end of the spectrum in developing
6. countries, it makes this product very marketable. Also being known for its tropical
climate, Spikeball is the ideal game for the Brazilian market because it can be played on
the great beaches, the street or even at your local park.
This product has two elements to it; Spikeball the game and Spikeball the next
American sport. Spikeball USA is a governing body that oversees all competitive players,
teams, and tournaments. Spikeball as a product has the capability to make a smooth
transition into Brazil’s market without much modification. It is affordable, easy to play
and closely related to their preferred sports, which are all factors that yield a successful
product. Trying to market it as an American Sport might result in a product that is more
difficult to integrate into the Brazilian market. Many of the best athletes are currently
committed to playing soccer and volleyball. It will be hard to compete with those top
two sports in that country. Currently, Spikeball holds tournaments for competitive
player which has attracted a lot of interest in the United States. A good marketing
strategy for Spikeball in Brazil would be to let the product gain some traction and then
transitioning into tournament options to see if this strategy can be successful. Spikeball
the product will be introduced first with Spikeball the sport following suit, both with the
potential to become a big success in future.
The great thing about a product that is considered a physical activity or some type
of sport is that they are typically very easily adaptable. Spikeball would be culturally
accepted because it draws comparisons from volleyball and soccer. Once Spikeball
penetrates the market and works it’s way into Brazil’s sporting goods stores it will
definitely sell. Brazil will become a perfect hub for hosting tournaments. Picture this,
Spikeball the next great American sport, making waves in a foreign market. Imagine if
7. Spikeball was to one day qualify as a category in the Olympics as a sport especially with
the summer Olympics right around the corner.
Using the PESTEL model, we will break down the potential market problems that
are associated with expanding into Brazil. Our political risk factors begin with our
economic stance with Brazil. Since both countries can and do benefit from each other, the
political leaders aim to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with each other.
“United States and brazil are the two largest economies and democracies in the western
hemisphere. We share one of the most important trade and economic relationships in the
world. Brazil is our 10th
largest trading partner.” (Whitehouse.gov). Since the U.S. was
the first country to recognize Brazil’s independence in 1822 the two democracies have a
partnership that is deeply rooted and committed to expanding inclusive economic
growth.” Ten bilateral agreements signed in March 2011, five more signed in April 2012,
and 11 signed in June 2015 testify to an intensification of engagement in areas of mutual
interest. The two countries have over 20 dialogues at the assistant secretary level or
above, including the Global Partnership Dialogue, the Economic and Financial Dialogue,
the Strategic Energy Dialogue, and the Defense Cooperation Dialogue.”(state.gov) The
two countries have invested into each other and have developed a relationship based on
their history together. Politically speaking, the U.S. is in fantastic shape to do business
but without a doubt are in political risk.
Brazil’s environment is quite suitable for spike ball especially because it can be
played in any place that has a floor or flat playing ground and at least 6 feet of space.
“You can literally play it anywhere, as long as you have room for four people and a net,"
Schwind says. "That's what I like most about it."(Schwind.esquire). Brazil is considered a
8. high contrast country and is very focused on how one cares for themselves as well as a
focus on how nicely people dress. Brazil is an extremely family oriented country far more
so than the U.S. “Family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of
stability for most people. Families tend to be large (although family size has been
diminishing in recent years) and the extended family is quite close. The individual
derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.” (Kwint, 2016)
Brazil holds family above all other things and to be shunned from the family is one of the
worst things that could happen to you.
Brazil is also a very community oriented country and their focus on individualism
is lower than most other countries but above average for Latin countries. Because of this
“1 is not more than the whole” the government is an active part in how laws are created;
however people in Brazil are extremely racist as well as sexist. This creates really big
issues in how marketing is utilized in Brazil and who the target audience is. “Class is
determined by economic status and skin color. In general, people with darker brown skin
are considered to be economically and socially disadvantaged. Although women make up
40% of the Brazilian workforce, they are typically found working in lower paid jobs such
as teaching, administrative support, and nursing.”(Kwint, 2016) Brazil is making progress
in fixing inequality but it is a very slow process, only showing movement in the Public
sector while still considered a growing issue in Private sectors.
Brazil has proved to be a very health oriented society among the middle to upper
classes. This implies that these classes have more of a tendency to focus on indulgent
material possessions, focusing solely on appearance. The majority of Brazil fits into
these two categories with most of them living along the coastal shores of the Atlantic.
9. Outdoor advertising seems to be an effective means in the cities; not so much as in rural
areas. Products that are involved with producing an active lifestyle are picked up quickly
in the market. Introducing a new product into this division of the world requires a lot of
effort. “Brazil has a large and diversified economy that offers U.S. companies many
opportunities to partner and to export their goods and services. Doing business in Brazil
requires intimate knowledge of the local environment, including both the direct as well as
the indirect costs of doing business in Brazil (referred to as “Custo Brasil”). Such costs
are often related to distribution, government procedures, employee benefits,
environmental laws, and a complex tax structure. Logistics pose a particular challenge,
given the lack of sufficient infrastructure to keep up with nearly a decade of economic
expansion. In addition to tariffs, U.S. companies will find a complex customs and legal
system.” (Export, 2016) These complexities are the driving forces behind trying to
penetrate the Brazilian market; once the market is opened to one’s business it becomes a
trusted brand in Latin countries.
Brazil is home to the second largest river in the world the, Amazon River and a
natural Jungle known as the Amazon Rainforest. These are contributing factors in how
Brazil is able to bring in tourism which helps with generating revenue for the country.
“Christ the Redeemer is the famous statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro. Located at
the peak of the 700 meters (2,300 ft) Corcovado Mountain, it provides a sweeping
panorama from the interior of Guanabara bay to the north, to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to
the south.”(Touropia, 2016) This is by far the most famous tourist spot in South America,
and has been in several movies over the years. Due to their beautiful environment, Brazil
has been selected to host 2016 Olympics in Rio; this is a huge honor and an event that
10. generates enough money in the two short weeks of the events to raise the National GDP
significantly. The Olympics is a huge mainstream event that allows significant coverage
of products that are readily available for sale with the potential to reach countries all over
the world, since it is a global event.
Brazil is a renowned leader in The “BRICS” of the global market and is a good
indicator of how this unique group of consumers will act. Brazil is currently on a
downward slope and is facing a negative GDP, which is a direct result from new laws
being enforced to start cracking down on corrupt practices. According to Export.gov,
“Brazil has the highest per capita income of any of the BRICS, with more than half of its
population defined as middle-class, earning between $11,500 and $29,000 per year.” This
is a pretty wide range of income and is a cause of confusion in creating an accurate
market. Current imports, at 14.27 million, are exceeding exports, at 11.52 million, very
similar to the U.S market. However, unlike the United States, Brazil’s Government is the
largest consumer with 66% of the total GDP.
Business in Brazil is a logistical game more so than anything else, due to poor
infrastructure Brazil has a limited amount of resources with which they attempt to reach
many locations along any given road. The current president has set to correct this
continuous issue of limitations within the country; He plans to work on trying to raise a
minimum of 64 billion dollars with the help of many U.S. corporations in order to
attempt to remodel Brazil. “Agriculture: 5.5% (the main products comprise coffee, rice,
corn, soybeans, sugarcane, cocoa, various citrus fruits and beef) Industry: 28.7% (the
main industries within the sector include automobiles, petrochemicals, machinery,
electronics, cement, textiles, food, mining and tourism) Services: 65.8% (e.g.
11. telecommunications, internet, insurance).” (Brazil, 2016) Brazil appears to possess great
promise when looking into potential industries that can be created; Brazil is a very group
focused and has created this skew of services rather than manufacture.
Spikeball, a game that was modernized and reintroduced into the US market in
2012 and is considered to be a creative mixture between volleyball and four square. This
game is the ideal product to market to Brazil mainly because the concept includes one
sport that is near and dear to the country, volleyball. Originally designed to be played on
the beach but over time has become more flexible allowing it to be useable in most other
environments. Economically Brazil is still considered to be a developing country,
however they are making a huge turnaround and are currently considered eighth in the
world in terms of GDP therefore ranking above all other countries in South America. Not
only are they developing an economically advanced market but Brazil is considered the
most heavily populated country in South America with a population of over 200 million
people. Of this population, about 25% of them are under the age of fifteen which has the
potential to breed a young and innovative group of both consumers and sellers within the
next ten years. The combination of a developing country with a rapidly growing GDP, a
young population and a tropical environment creates the perfect environment to introduce
a new and exciting game known as, Spikeball.
The toy/game industry in Brazil has always been somewhat lucrative because the
ABRIN toy fair, one of the biggest in the world, has been hosted in Brazil more than
thirty times. This alone opens up a lot of doors to import new products and ideas into the
country. The biggest market for toys sold in Brazil is in the area of plush/dolls which
accounts for about 20% of the revenue made. This leaves more room to introduce
12. Spikeball into the Brazilian toy market, a game that to date has been very successful in
the United States.
Since Spikeball was introduced to the market in the 1980’s, taken off, and about
twenty years later was reintroduced this took a toll on marketing strategies for the
product. At this current moment, after lots of hard work was put into advertising for
Spikeball, they are finally leaving the introduction stage and entering the growth stage on
the product life cycle. The owners of the game were able to skip a couple of steps in the
introduction phase because the game had already been invented and were able to focus on
growing and marketing the product. There are numerous ways for any type of business to
sell a product in an international market. The most suitable method will depend on the
type of business, type of products produced, the likelihood of the outcome of its
marketing environment analysis and its marketing plan. By utilizing these factors a
company can develop their own competitive advantages against their competing market.
This product is doing great in the United States so far but there is a desire to expand more
internationally and become just as successful in global markets.
Currently, Spikeball is only using direct and indirect exporting
methods. Spikeball produces their own product in their home market, the United States,
and sell them both nationally and internationally. Still the most successful and well
known in the United States as of right now. Spikeball can be purchased directly through
the their own name branded web site, spikeball.com. The game can also be purchased
indirectly at the same price through many other web sites such as Amazon or eBay as
well as many sporting goods sites such as REI, Brookstone, Sporting goods, etc.
13. What I think would help Spikeball grow a lot as a company would to be to focus
on using a joint venture marketing method. Basically, this will allow the two countries to
share the risk of the market entry into a foreign market, in this case, Brazil. Instead of
only having consumers in Brazil to buy the product online, it might be better if the
company actually has the product physically down there. This can be achieved by selling
Spikeball in a variety of sporting good stores or mom and pop shops along the
beach. Also by having our product physically available in Brazil, the company could
advertise a lot more easily by having billboards and direct print ads everywhere in and
around these stores. Also advertisements that are offered on the homepage of sporting
goods company web sites in Brazil is another viable option. All of these marketing
strategies would be greatly beneficial to the company. Since this product will not be the
only one of it’s kind sold in their sporting goods store, they have the option to order as
many as they like and buy more when/if they sell out. Thus, decreasing the pressure of
going internationally with the product. As stated earlier in the paper, Brazil has a huge
coastline which makes the sport of soccer and volleyball very popular. Thus, Spikeball
resembling aspects of both of these well known sports in Brazil will be a huge selling
point for our product.
The Brazilian government’s reaction towards our chosen expansion and export
methods would be a positive one. Spikeball is a company that wants to introduce a new
product into the market that would match with the preferences of the consumers in Brazil.
Basing this assumption off of the fact that it's pretty much a combination of two of their
favorite sports; soccer and volleyball. Also, Brazil gets more than 50% of their toys from
14. companies in other countries meaning that they are open minded when it comes to both
importing and exporting products and services internationally.
II. BODY #2
A. Marketing Opportunities & Problems
Imagine, in this year’s summer Olympics if Spikeball was part of sporting events
in Brazil. Imagine the beaches full of crowds watching intense competition of four
players diving everywhere around a net. This is the possibility and opportunity of
Spikeball. The game is very attractive on the beach. Brazil has very attractive
beaches. For example, the Copacabana beach is often referred to as the world’s most
famous beach. It is in Rio de Janeiro. It would be a perfect host for a Spikeball
tournament. Matter of fact, it is attractive on a grass, in the rain, in a gym, in the middle
of the street, or in an arena. The weather is another opportunity. Brazil has very favorable
climate, making this sport a year round outside sport. Spikeball has an abundance of
other opportunities. Brazilian can be known as sports enthusiast. They are real intense
when it comes to volleyball and soccer. They can gravitate to Spikeball because of its
similarities. In a article by Juliana Mello of The Brazil Business, she states that “The
Brazilians, particularly, show preference for ball sports with movement and collective
participation”. The fact that Spikeball is a sport is definitely an opportunity. It is also a
relatively easy sport to play so that also is an opportunity. The biggest opportunity exists
in people of Brazil. The article by The Brazil Business says “ the sports industry in Brazil
15. has been growing consistently at an average of 7.4% per year”. This reaffirms why Brazil
is such a good idea.
Some of the problems with introducing Spikeball into Brazil included the American sport
bias. Currently, Spikeball is marketed as America’s next pastime. Brazilians have not
shown as much excitement for American pastimes. Spikeball is a sport that the rules are
adaptable can be localized. This problem could be turn into an advantage, home country
rules. Other problems might be the confusion if it’s a toy or actually a sport. This is a
problem that we can control. If we position it right it in the market. We can determine
what it will be. Another problem is the education of the sport. It is rare that a sport has to
be integrated into a country. Additionally, Spikeball is a relatively small company with
limited resources. They currently use a lot free advertising with players who want to get
others interested. With entering a new country, Spikeball will have to find a new way to
penetrate the market.
B. Company Philosophy
Spikeball’s mission statement is “to introduce more people to the sport and to
build and nurture the community”. Their vision statement is “to build a community
around the next great American sport. Some key values that the company lives by is trust,
improvement and bringing people together and building communities. At the corporate
level, Spikeball is a small company who has an array of responsibilities for social media
marketing, and operations just to name a few. The CEO is well infused on the corporate
level, with a flat business model, being able to build a relationship with all his employees.
Financially, they are incredibly stable.
16. According to Spikeball.com, “they average 100% revenue growth each year since 2008”.
Also, since 2013 they have had one million in annual revenue. It is safe to say that things
are moving incredibly fast at Spikeball.So far, they have received excellent public
relations from many satisfied customers. They have been featured on Fox, Shark Tank,
Comcast, and ESPN. Appearing on Shark Tank was a good marketing strategy that has
paid a keep attention on them. Many universities have adopted this sport as an intramural
sport. A big part of their marketing strategy was to penetrate colleges because college
student are a very influential age group. Their long-term goals are to make Spikeball an
American pastime. The steps they have taken to make their long term goals become a
reality are setting up tournament in many states around the US. They have also set up a
“spikeball ambassador program”. This program is geared to spikeball enthusiast that
basically want to promote the game by hosting spikeball events within the community
They realize that the community needs to keep pushing this product and soon it will be
C. Entry Strategy
As Spikeball enters into Brazil, there are multiple strategies they can used to sell
this product successfully. The focus will be on two strategies. Spikeball is not just
simply trying to get people to buy a product. They are trying to encourage Brazilians to
play and fall in love with a game. The first strategy is to simply export Spikeball products
to Brazilian sport stores. As these products enter the stores the Brazilians will buy them.
Research shows that of 50 billion dollars made by the sports industry, 35 million dollars
has come from retail. From that statistics, Brazilians are heavy buyers.
17. The second strategy is a “pop up shop”. This is a fairly new strategy that is used
by artist to sell merchandise. It is an interesting concept that can be used for a company
with limited products. Pop up shops can be closely related to strategic alliances because
they usually use other businesses locations to sell products. The only difference is that
pops up shops are temporary. They range from two days to two weeks. These pops up
shops serve two purposes. It can be an educational tool in which employees come to
Brazil to teach the game to the community. Also, Spikeball can host tournaments and
special events to attract players and even encourage people to advertise for
them. Spikeball can even use their “Ambassador Programs” in Brazil. After a while, the
pop up shops will serve as guide to assist locals in playing and enjoying the game of
D. SWOT Analysis
Strengths: Spikeball, a modern day twist on two games that have been in existence for
hundreds of years; four square and volleyball. A game that is adjustable to almost any
surface due to its swinging legs, a lightweight product and comes with a drawstring bag
for easy transportation. In 2012, Spikeball was given a second opportunity for success
when current owner, Chris Ruder, took over the company and within two years of
business has accumulated around 250,000 new players. Although it was developed in
Chicago, this game is perfect for outdoor usage specifically the beach. Aside from the
multiple beautiful beaches located all around Brazil, another reason that this game has the
potential to thrive in their foreign market is because it is a game that appeals to a younger
crowd and more than 50% of the population is under the age of 25. A huge mission of the
company is to turn Spikeball into a sport as opposed to just a game, which could be
18. extremely beneficial when it comes to expanding internationally. They are in the works
of planning more tournaments, both nationally and internationally with intentions to
establish professional leagues all over the world.
Weaknesses: There is a factor that could be taken as either a strength or a weakness and
this is the observation that consumers in Brazil tend to have a brand loyalty towards their
country’s products but also perceive foreign products as a luxury item; a sign of wealth.
A direct competitor that may make market penetration difficult is a game local to the
country called ‘pevoley’ which literally translates into footvolley. It is a game that is
similar to beach volleyball but you cannot use your hands and an American soccer ball is
used instead of a volleyball. This game is directly competitive with Spikeball and may
pose as a threat when trying to enter this market. Another problem that may affect the
spending habits of consumers is the fact that over the last few years GDP per capita has
been very low. Therefore resulting in low sales numbers which just in this past year has
finally started to see some change. The fact that consumers are just now starting to get
back on their feet points to the idea that Spikeball may not be an ideal material possession
that is in high demand.
Opportunities: The greatest opportunity that lies within marketing Spikeball in Brazil
relies on the fact that it will one day become not just the next great American sport, but
the next sport to expand globally. This game has already expanded to Europe and has
been very successful there which predicts that there could be other potential countries;
especially ones with a tropical climate. Another huge selling point for the Spikeball game
set is the versatility of the game allowing it to be transported anywhere and played on any
surface. The biggest opportune factor for expanding into Brazil lies in the fact that they
19. have plenty of beautiful beaches and a community that thrives around this kind of
Threats: There greatest threat could be a result of a struggling economy and an overall
low income per capita and therefore little money was spent on anything besides necessary
items. Although consumer spending has been down in recent years there may not be as
much of a change in sales that they would like because of a currently young population.
This large group of consumers with little to no professional work experience are living in
an economy with a low unemployment rate which makes it more difficult for the younger
generations to find jobs. Since the economy has recently suffered some problems because
of government intervention and high prices, taxes and tariffs this has resulted in a
struggle for Brazil’s economy to catch back up to speed.
E. Target segment in the home country and in the new country
The ideal target audience, according to the game is that it is made for everyone to play, so
it basically is saying that anyone male or female, young or old whether you are good at
sports or not is invited to play. This is the target market that Spikeball in the United
States and the few countries it has already expanded to typically try to market too.
Although the attempt was to make it a product for everyone, the majority of consumers
range from elementary school-middle school ages up until college age range and maybe
even a little older; ages 8-25. The age demographics between that of Brazil and the
United States is actually more similar than I would have anticipated; Brazil’s median age
being 31 and the U.S. being 36 both with a younger age demographic and similar
20. As mentioned before, the target segment is surprisingly similar in both countries even
though culturally they have many differences. Initially intended to be a game for
everyone, it has been picked up by a lot of middle and high schools as an activity for their
students to play during school hours. This game has also begun to gain notoriety on
college campuses in multiple different states which are also a large reason behind why so
many tournaments take place. I feel like this same route may be the appropriate one to
take when marketing in Brazil because of the large amount of the population being so
young and modernized. About 1/3 of the population, which is the fifth largest in the
world, is ages 18-25 meaning that this is a segment of the market that needs to be given a
significant amount of attention. Spikeball needs to put a lot of emphasis on the market
that falls heavily into the school age range children/young adults because this is the
market they have proved to be successful in so far.
The United States is the third most populous country in the world with 318 million
people and Brazil falling a little bit behind at being the fifth most populous country in the
world with 200 million people. The market that would be the most lucrative in either
country would be the younger age groups ranging from 8-25 and in both countries these
ages make up half, if not more than half of the total population. This makes the available
and accessible market to lie within school age range where parents are more inclined to
spend money on their children. Both of these countries also have a household size of at
least two kids per family, another statistical reason the game could be successful. This
game turned into a sport grasps the attention of younger children who may just play the
game for fun as well as older teenagers/young adults who may be a little more
21. competitive and want to participate in tournaments that are more up to their speed. This
game can be fun for the family no matter if they are large or small.
Ed. Customer types in each market segments
U.S.: Your typical American consumer is the overzealous spender who has a tendency to
buy unnecessary material items just to have them. On average Americans bring in
between $60-80,000 a year and have come a long way since the recession almost a
decade ago. Americans are now finally putting money back into the economy with a
majority of it being spent on electronics/appliances. Another huge sector of the economy
that consumers are finally spending money on again is in the housing industry; the
automobile industry is also finally starting to recover from the recession in the early
2000’s. Americans qualify under the segment of impulse buying customers because a
majority of transactions are last minute but also have the funds available to live this kind
Brazil: Your typical Brazilian consumer has on average an annual yearly income of about
$11,000 which with the heavy tax burdens in place is not a lot of money to spend and a
desire for a luxurious lifestyle. Now that more than half of their huge population is part of
the consumer class there is an entirely different standard associated with shopping.
Typically Brazilians are very brand loyal to local companies especially ones that have a
good sense of corporate social responsibility in their country. However a part of their
luxurious lifestyle revolves around the quality and glamour behind foreign products,
especially coming from Europe or the United States. Consumers in this country fall into
the category of ready-to-buy customers because of their impatience when it comes to
wanting an item.
22. Ee. Wants and needs
Just as the majority of citizens in the United States are programmed to spending money
on luxury items to look or feel a certain way about themselves, Brazilian consumers are
similar in that way. Both countries have a very obvious dual economy which can work as
both a positive and a negative aspect. A dual economy can be defined as an economy that
is split between two distinctive groups; a more advanced capitalist sector geared towards
global marketing and a more primitive labor intensive sector geared more towards
agriculture. The wants and needs of the capitalist sector outweigh the needs of the other
half of the population. While Brazilians tend to invest a lot of money into luxury cars and
the automobile industry, 54% of Americans tend to be more inclined to spend their
money on electronics according to consumerreports.org.
F.) The customer analysis in the home country and in the new country
Fa. Nature of the buying decision/ decision process
Shoppers in the United States tend to be ones to make very last minute impulse decisions
such as grabbing that last item while standing in line to check out and buying just because
someone presented a product well and not because they needed it. Brazilians on the other
hand have very high expectations for sellers. They often find a product that they like and
refuse to wait on it; for instance if they see a car they are interested in and it is not
immediately available on the lot, it will often times not be purchased because of the
impatience. Both countries have high expectations when it comes to customer service and
service after the sale which may be due in part to the desire for a high class lifestyle.
Fb. Demographics and Psychographics
23. Brazil and the United States, as mentioned above both have very large populations and
the potential to be a frontrunner with imports and exports. They both have an overall
younger demographic with the largest age group being 25-69 and the age group of 18-25
coming in at a close second. They have similar populations but the biggest difference that
will affect spending habits and consumers attitudes towards businesses, both domestic
and foreign, is unemployment. The United States has a very high rate of unemployment
and a high turnover rate while Brazil has a very low rate of unemployment. This affects
consumption habits because if you do not have a steady and reliable job then you do not
have the income to spend on material possessions. A high rate of unemployment could
also take a tole on brand loyalty between companies and consumers because this could
cause them to look at certain companies or industries in a bad light. Overall the two
countries have similar demographics, psychographics and consumption habits which
make for an easier transition of selling Spikeball in an international company.
Fc. Buyer motivation and expectations
U.S.: As we stated before consumers in both Brazil and the United States have a high
standard of customer service that is expected when purchasing any and all products or
services. They both expect to be taken care of like royalty when spending money,
especially on luxury items. The only thing that differs is what motivates the consumers in
these countries. Brazilians are motivated by appearance so being well-dressed and having
a nice car rank of the utmost importance in the mind of their consumers. Although
appearance motivates Americans, there is more of a desire to be the most technologically
advanced with access to the latest and greatest equipment. This is largely in part because
of how technologically advanced the country is.
24. Fd. Loyalty segments
Brazil and the United States are two countries that are good about showing brand loyalty
for local and regional companies. Brazil consumers having a huge loyalty towards the
automobile industry with a majority of people driving around in expensive and luxury
vehicles. Consumers in the United States have a loyalty towards the technology industry
because Americans are so plugged into the internet and making sure that they have the
next big thing. This could also be because of the amount of dependence there is on the
G. Product mix & Price
Product mix is defined as a collection of products to be sold in a bundle as
opposed to singly to generate larger revenue. Spike ball is already a product mix because
it is a set that could be broken down, but it is sold in bulk. It consist of a four different
kits or sets. The first and original set is the cheapest and smallest of the sets. It is the
$53.00 spike ball set rated 4 and a half stars counted by 42 reviews on the website. The
bundle consist of the spike ball game. Which is the basic yellow hard plastic stands and a
black 6 ft. diameter circle and the net that goes on top. With an original yellow spike ball
and a string backpack to carry the whole set. Next bundle is the combo meal spike ball set
which is rated 4.8 based on 226 reviews. This package cost $59.00 and it is purchased the
most. The Combo Meal includes a Spike ball net, Backpack (with a pocket for your
phone and wallet inside) l, and 3 balls. It differs because of the custom backpack and
extra balls. Next in the product line we have the Road to victory kit. This kit was rated
4.9 based on 18 reviews. It is an inexpensive kit for what it could be sold for individually.
This kit includes the “Combo Meal kit” with an additional hat. As well as 10 extra
25. spikeball, in which two of them glow in the dark. These features added on cost $132.00,
but the kit sales for $99.00 The last available bundle including the game is the “Spikeball
Pro Set” At a reasonable cost of $120.00 this is the best spikeball has to offer. “This set is
the perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics: Sturdier legs and rims gives you a more
consistent experience every time you play. Inverted colors lets you stand out from the
rest. A newly designed ball allows you to strategically add spin to your hits in ways
you've never done before. An official serving line mentally prepares you for competitive
tournaments. A portable ball pump and gauge keeps your ball's pressure exactly how you
want it. New material for the legs and rims make it 33% stronger.”(Spikeball.com). The
new product bundle is rated 4.9 based on 20 reviews. Besides the gaming bundle, Spike
offers a variety of fan gear and apparel for teams and tournaments. T-shirts and hats
ranging from $18.00- $20.00.
Ga.Product strengths and weaknesses
Spikeball is unlike a typical product, it is more than an average toy. It brings
people together which is a major strength. It does not require much athleticism or energy
as opposed to other sports like volleyball. It is a fairly simple game and easy to
comprehend. There is not much to set up and it only requires 8 ft. of space. It can be
played literally anywhere from the beach to a person’s basement, where the game was
reinvented. It is cost efficient and does not require more money after the cost of a kit.
Spikeball is also a co-ed sport that has a wide range of age groups that are able to play.
This game travels real well, weighing less than 60lbs one could disable it and relocate
with their spikeball backpack. As many pros as there are, Spikeball has weaknesses too.
For the most important, it is easily replicated. Spikeball was reinvented and brought back
26. after over a decade of not being sold. Now that business has picked up, competition has
too. Also because it is so easy to play and does not require much skill, the game has not
picked up continued at its once rapid growth rate. Another weakness, is that it takes more
than one person to play. Meaning one must have friends or others to play with in order to
buy the set.
Gb. Product life cycle development and product management.
2008 is when Spikeball sold its first set in a Toys’R Us in Chicago. Even though
it was reinvent, this moment stamped it in the introduction phase of the product life cycle.
Sales did not really pick up till 2013 to set in the growth phase. Now in 2016 the game is
still popular and played around the nation. Without more innovations or expanding their
target market. Spikeball remains in-between growth and maturity. Spikeball still has a lot
of room to work and time to build revenue if they make more product changes. Since the
completion has already imitated the product, the next step would be to make spikeball
better. The pro spikeball set is reinforced hard stands and a better net. “Making the build
33% percent stronger for more consistent play” This makes the product last longer and
differentiates it from duplicates. This should be the base model for spikeball. It will cost
more unless the owners are willing to take a profit cut or find a cheaper supplier. The
next step is to make a new pro model changing the materials and continuous remakes will
help growth and attractiveness.
Gc.Brand Name, Brand Image and Brand Equity
This is probably one of the most important aspects of sailing spikeball. When they
sell spikeball the brand name and image is what attracts the consumer. A sunny day on
the beach with a typical family of four or a group of college friends on campus. A game
27. that mixes tennis and volleyball with girls and guys that are not to physically fit. As long
as their happy it sends a positive message to everyone in that target market. Images of
different people playing and nobody dominating will create a brand name of unity.
Traveling to different cities and hosting tournaments would also help the brand
altogether. It would help brand equity because it will be spreading awareness and creating
loyalty. Spikeball’s overall brand is a new sport fit for a variety of people.
The price objective as Spikeball enters Brazil is to keep price the same. The fact
that its sporting good is the reasoning behind keeping prices similar. For example, The
price of a nike soccer ball is relatively the same all over the world. Spikeball wants to
promote this product as global as possible. Also, customers have the ability to purchase
items from the online store, so it is important keep price the same. Shipping cost would
be factor in cost.
The pricing method for selling Spikeball products would be cost plus. That
particular method fits our strategy. The cost plus method gives limits the movement of
prices. It gives Spikeball the opportunity to keep a truly global price.
The pricing strategy that Spikeball will be closely related to is skimming price.
Right now if compared to other sports, equipment for the game is expensive. From prior
information, Spikeball has concluded that Brazilians spend money on sporting good
equipment’s. Another reason for the skimming strategy is that the equipment has
longevity. A player of the game will have equipment for usually a year before needing
new items. Lowering the price increment will be an option, if sales are not a success.
There will be no drastic changes in price in Brazil.
28. I Price discounts and allowances
Spikeball is already reasonably priced. The entire basic set is less than most other
sports. For example an official 29.5 size basketball can range anywhere from $15.00-
$129.00 and that is without the basketball hoop to shoot into. The competitors of
spikeball have a set there prices to $30.00s a set in the US. Being made from materials,
when going to Brazil we could offer sales and promotions to sell at $45.00. This includes
minimal profit sharing off the joint venture. We would have first buyer’s sales and
discounts as well as bundle buying discounts. There could also be ambassadors that host
tournaments and they would get discounts as well. Because this project is a joint venture,
if the department stores buy in big bulks, there will also be a discount.
J. Price elasticity and customer sensitivity
With this product elasticity is very malleable, we can go up and down on the price
to fit the market. Since the target market is such a big range, we could aim the different
product mixes to different targets. Like the pro set to the more athletic, serious, sports
players participating in the tournaments. Then the basic model to the rest of the target
market. Spikeball has to make sure they stay above the B-E-P (break even point) and start
K. Break evenanalysis
“It cost us a little over $14.00 dollars to make” said by the owner Chris on shark
tank. $15 dollars per set and the product is on the market for $53.00 for the basic model.
That is an outstanding profit margin. This margin also gives us a lot of flexibility on the
price. The breakeven point will be $15.00 for the basic and although it was not stated, the
pro model will be roughly within $20.00s to make.
29. L. Geographical breakdown
Target locations will be heavily populated cities that have active young adults
(14-28) and cities that do not have low income. Due to cost of the product we plan to
introduce the product in major cities that are heavy tourist areas. Luckily for us this year
summer Olympics is taking place in the second most populated cities in Brazil. This
allows us to create a huge market opportunity. We want all the focus on this target market
because most of the money in the country is coming from people in their mid-twenties
and thirties and have started a family or is young enough to want to invest in a game.
Currently the cost of living in Rio, Brazil is 28% overall cheaper than living in Atlanta,
GA, USA. Now that is the comparison of income to expenses on similar items: Clothes,
Food, Entertainment, Housing, Transportation, and Personal Care. Though the Income of
Brazil is less than that of the average American, Costs are still reflective of percentage of
expenses to overall income. This is saying that for every US dollar Brazil is able to hold
onto 28 cents more. This leaves a little more money to be spent on other things. We are
aiming at the difference in cost of living in Brazil. Several regions of Brazil do not have a
high cost of living but due to the nature of the report it reflects that most are not able to
spend excess money and are only making enough to survive though it is not expensive to
live there in comparison to other Cities.
M. Distribution Channels
The company has several options of achieving success it’s a matter of
identifying which channels show to have the greatest benefit to the company as well as
30. the consumer. We know that distribution makes up nearly 50% of the final product cost,
because of that this American Exclusive is in need to reach the world as cheap as possible
and maintain quality through the channels. We know that an effective channel is being
intensive and using everything that we can to get the product to the consumer. However,
this may seem like the best option, but because this is a blanket coverage approach and a
new product that’s not normally purchased as a necessity; this will only waste money.
Looking into a little more selective approach we find the strongest and recognized retail
company would serve a better means of displaying our product. With the approval of a
larger company in Brazil our product has a much higher means of being recognized.
Lastly we looked into an exclusive type of channel but we knew that this would limit the
exposure of our product, but due to the product’s “American exclusive” charm, we find
ourselves looking at being able to ask for a higher price; also, we find that we limit the
distribution to very limited means. Limitations could cause target market to be missed
and only backfire on sales due to lack of availability.
We have to focus on Selective Distribution and more than likely we will need to
do a joint venture with an already existing retailer or wholesaler. We have to worry about
having too many hands on the product can result in lost profits due to human error and
theft. We will use a distribution channel that is direct and selective, reason for this consist
of problems of reaching all retailers. With creating a partnership with a few of the
wholesalers and warehouses we can broaden or range of clients and customers. Dealing
with taxation and ways to get around said taxation is the biggest challenge of distribution
and exporting to Brazil. We look to focus on the partnership with a company that is a
wholesaler and retailer that is established in the country, if there is a company that is
31. already partnered with American product companies we will possibly attach ourselves to
the same company. We will use seaports as our primary entrance to the country. Using
Seaports unlike land Transit will greatly reduce the needs to pay for middle man transits,
we can use a seafaring company specializing in transit between Ports with little costs
added to product. This allows more means to get product to independently owned
companies further inland. The market for retail stores that are not independently owned
is on 40% of total retail stores in Brazil. However, 40% is more than enough to focus on
at first and in a couple of years with success we can move to more rural areas and move
into the other 60% of the market.
“On the other hand, direct distribution is present in 61.8% of cases, considering,
beyond the direct selling itself, the arrangements for the export market, selling to the
government, selling to our own distribution center and customer. In other words, there
seems to be a general movement toward rapprochement of businesses with their
customers through the elimination of intermediaries in the distribution of products in
Brazil. The importance of retailers and wholesalers in Brazil can turn on the constant
modernization of distribution logistics practices. As an example, the advent of electronic
commerce as an enabler of lean procurement policies and meet the market demands.
Companies that previously had no infrastructure for transport and storage obtained
through the electronic channel one before disclosure impossible to achieve projection.”
Strategic barriers are needed to be crossed for the company to succeed in selling
of SPIKEBALL™ in the Brazilian market. We could always open a production plant in
Brazil and eliminate most expenses, and it would benefit us as a company to do so in
32. time. Brazil’s infrastructure and complexity has us needing to rely on recognized
wholesalers and retail stores to avoid marketing blunders.
“Modern retailers are responding with a segmented strategy. Pão de Açúcar
acquired a line of heavily discounted supermarkets in Northeastern Brazil called
CompreBem to target lower income consumers and another of the same ilk in Southeast
Brazil named Barateiro, whose name was changed to CompreBem to form a national
chain. Wal-Mart adopted a similar strategy with their Todo Dia stores. Carrefour not only
began a discount supermarket, Dia, but allowed independent retailers to join the chain.”
Using established retails allow huge importation fees to be waved, due to the fact
that taxes are more severe for those that only import without the actual selling to
consumers BtoC is more relaxed compared to BtoB. We plan to follow the way these
companies dealt with entering the industries they now are a part of.
N. Physical Distribution
Previously stated above in the last section we want to focus on most seaports;
these ports are normally located in the most prosperous cities of Brazil and are heavily
populated. “As an example, in southern Brazil, where the retail proven to be more active
and influential, found higher means on the perception that there is a scenario in which
major divergence between the partners companies. In order to avoid this type of situation,
the integration of members of the distribution channel can provide a greater alignment
between strategic plans of each company, thus generating an increase in overall
operational efficiency.” (scmconcept) With the use of Warehouses located in these cities
transit cost can be reduced to smaller vehicles and as such easier to make deliveries as
needed to the stores. Using this idea to integrate these channels together it allows
33. significant and greater quality control, and we can create a solid transit channel. If we can
use the same warehouse that supplies these retail and whole sale stores then we can use
the channels already present and receive permission with a small fee to add out wares to
the normal transits. With this small amount of changing locations we have a very narrow
channel to work with and this is good. We know that with the size if something happens
then we also can’t get our product to our customers.
Physical distribution becomes a problem in the aspect of lowering costs if
possible, trying to expand the transit between warehouses becomes a serious problem
further into the heart of the country it gets, and quality of services and road system
significantly decline. If the vehicles can’t drive the road system or the road system is
dangerous this is reflected in the price of the product, in turn this causes serious problems
if the product is limited in selling area. Luckily for us in this era of technology almost
everyone has access to the internet all via smartphones.
This section is focused on reaching more than just what is available in
stores, we look into the ecommerce of brazil. First we have to look at what is the literacy
rate of Brazil; we found that there is a high literacy rate of 94%. This is really good
because we know now that we have a possibility of increasing the sales with creating a
website. With smartphones and internet become more and more available with each
passing year, nearly 83% of people in Brazil have a cell phone. That means that there is a
good chance that they are buying things from their phone rather than in person at a store.
As illustrated to the right. You can see that with new technology and ecommerce growing
34. rapidly each year, there is potential in the market for advertising online and creating
websites to fit the needs of the consumer.
“Double-digit growth in retail ecommerce sales is expected to continue in Brazil
for several years, but it’s already slowing significantly compared with 28.0% growth in
2013 and a 22.0% increase in 2014.”
“Digital buyers in Brazil are keeping their eyes on apparel. According to
e-bit, fashion and accessories made up 18% of retail ecommerce transactions in H1 2014.
The next largest share came from health and beauty aids (16%), then household
appliances (11%), books and magazines (8%), telephones and mobile phones (7%),
computers (7%), home decorations (6%), consumer electronics (6%), sport and leisure
(5%) and toys and games (2%)” (emarketer)
Our aim is small percentage of 2%-5% that is illustrated; it’s not billions of
dollars in gross for the industry but its money that can be tapped into. The growth will
continue and as each year changes so does the wants of the consumer. We hope to use the
ecommerce as a means to further spread our product with the swipe of a finger.
The greatest challenge to SPIKEBALL™ is that it’s not a service or even
a recognized sport in Brazil, even the construction can be duplicated. However, with this
in mind we target the young and active lifestyle. The goal of the promotions is to create a
culture around SPIKEBALL™ that is a positive influence and socially responsible, as
well as create more awareness of the brand. With creating the hype of the new product,
35. we create the competitive nature and the recreational last, maintaining customers and
growing fan base is need for success.
We will approach the market with a “coming soon” idea, much like a pre
showing of a movie. We launch the campaign no more than 3 months prior to having
SPIKEBALL™ hit the shelves. We will have ads in several places that show the product
to be used and enjoyed as a recreational game, and then mix in the competitiveness with
photos and stories from players in America. With the popularity of football in Brazil and
popularity of football players, we look to have one of the famous players endorse our
product with a short commercial having them play the game, and describing the intensity
and joy of playing. Weeks before the release of the product we will have several billboard
surrounding the beach with ads of SPIKEBALL™ and creating a joyful atmosphere.
After initial release we celebrate with the grand release of the product with
promotional sales and package deals with including sports bottles, towels, or discounts on
additional accessories. This promotional time will last nearly a year and with the sales
revenue after this year will give us a rough estimate on expected future sales and high
selling times and low.
Primarily our focus will be on every sports channel Brazil has and to have
short ads with a mixture of playing and competing with friends and family. Showing a
mixture of young and old playing the game, with the moving images and seeing how easy
it is to play, we can expect people to take interest. Our company will create a website that
36. is Portuguese friendly and focused primarily on the active lifestyle around the game
itself. With the ability to access the internet from smartphones we look to have ads ran on
most of the sports websites and possible partnerships with Nike or Adidas.
The real competition is trying to get into the market that is really into football, and
one that is already active in everyday activities. We plan to make a difference in the way
things are done in Brazil and this is a social difference that’s tough to get through. We
also have an issue with anyone who comes in and makes counterfeit products and sells.
Brazil doesn’t have the normal patent laws like America or Europe we had to create a
unique feature to our product. The decision was made and a holographic image much like
the NFL uses to market their products as authentic. Considering how important name-
brand things are in Brazil, we hope this will minimize the loss of revenue due to
T. Compare/contrast to the competition
The best way to increase demand and sell more products is to differentiate our
product from others. We know that we are not the only company in the market of selling
outside games, however we want to make sure that our consumers know the difference
between Spike Ball and others that are on the market. There is only one original Spike
Ball, but there has been a few “copy cats” on our product. They all can be found by just
typing in “Spike Ball” into Google and their ads will pop up. Also those copy cats are
selling them cheaper, with some as low as $25, but the reviews are not as good as the
original Spike Ball. They quality is not as good either. Because Spike Ball did not get a
37. full copy right, it was easy for other companies to mimic their idea. Since Spike Ball is
the original, we do have branding that is in our favor.
Besides our “copy cats”, the only other competition is any other outside game.
Spike Ball has created a new type of game that is very different from the rest, but can
only be put in similar categories of gaming styles. The closest thing that we have as
competitors is volleyball or foursquare. Both in which have been around for many
decades and is well known internationally. This could be seen as a negative
compare/contrast because we are competing with well-known international games, but
since we are adding a specific twist, our sales could soar. We are apart of a generation
that is always looking for something new and interesting, something that is different and
stands out from our past generations. The game is harder and requires more athletic skills
than both of those games combined.
The features of Spike Ball are capable of outshining our similar competition.
What is really cool about Spike Ball is that it can be played anywhere you desire. It can
be played on a soft surface, such as sand, to medium surface like on a grassy field, to
hard surface, such as pavement. Since the requirements of the game is that the ball was to
be either in the air, or hit by the racket or the net that is provided by the game, thus
proving a leading competitor advantage. With our competition, volleyball has to be
played on a specific surface, such as sand to be at best performance. Foursquare has to be
played on a hard surface, such as concrete, since the game is based on bouncing a ball on
the ground to one another.
Our competitors do have a better stance with promotional work. Since both games
have been around for a very long time, they are well known internationally. Thus, saving
38. on marketing expenses. Since we are new to the playing field, we would have to do a lot
of promotional and marketing work to get our name out there to the public. We have only
been on the market for a few years now and mainly in the U.S.
U. Expected Outcomes
In the year of 2015, SpikeBall was able to sale about six million dollars in
revenue in that year alone. While being only a very young company, this is very good. In
three years, I feel that Spikeball will probably triple their revenue by the end of 2019. The
company plans on keeping their product at the same price, even though there are “copy
cats” that sale it for cheaper. Instead, their marketing tactic is to sale a premium that sales
for $100 a pop. This will help their revenue increase greatly. The original product will
stay at the original price. Their revenue will only spike up if they stay in America.
V. How to define Success
How do I define success? I would like to quote some of my favorite philosophers
in the history of time. Mark Twain says he defines success by, “Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did
do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Discover.” This can be related to the creators of Spike Ball because he did almost back
out a few times, but decided not too. It was a hard journey for him and his wife to
overcome all of the hardships of opening up a business. Especially since they both of
them had other full time jobs that they were trying to accomplish. (Keep Inspiring Me)
Another favorite quote about success is by Marcel Pahnol. He was a great man
and very well known in history. His famous quote states, “The reason people find it so
hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than
39. it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” The reason why the creator of Spike
Ball recreated this game because it brought him so much joy and reminded him of his
childhood. This was his favorite game growing up. The game was discontinued a couple
of decaded back, so he decided to bring it back with some improvements. This brought
him his happiness. (Keep Inspiring Me)
Jack Canfield has also quoted one of my favorite success quotes. He states,
“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants
you. But you have to take action to get it.” This relates to the creator of Spike Ball
because he went out to get his dream and become a very successful entrepreneur. (Keep
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