Branding and Implementation Strategies

A brand communicates through four different channels; each of which offer value for both the buyers and marketers. Understanding the identity, image, promise and relationships associated with the product or service demonstrates what the seller is attempting to offer. Marketers use a branding strategy to “communicate or promote an association with a sports property by a sponsor to it’s target market” (Fetchko, Roy and Clow, 2013, p. 295).

Organizations can use a concept known as integrated marketing communications (IMC) to define and utilize channels used to communicate to a target audience. IMC integrates every marketing tool, avenue, and other sources within an organization. The purpose of the IMC concept is to create a program that will maximize the message to the audience at the lowest possible cost. The challenge of the marketer is to keep the identity and message of the brand consistent amongst all channels within the IMC concept.

Within the IMC and brand communication are the pull and push strategies. The consideration of how the brand message will be intercepted by the consumer will direct the marketer to one of these strategies. A pull strategy is implemented to entice the consumer to receive the product “by seeking it out through channels where it is available” (Fetchko, et al, 2013, p. 211). A common usage of this strategy is marketing the date, time, and place of an event coinciding with images or references to the stars of the event. Receiving more knowledge of the brand through this channel requires little to no action from the consumer. This creates an awareness of the brand as a whole, while not expecting to immediately transfer into ticket sales for an event.

Manchester United implemented the pull strategy on a worldwide scale, after US businessman Malcom Glazer purchased financial control of the football club in 2005. Creating a Chinese language website was a key factor in the globalization of the sport of football as a whole, yet more specifically created more awareness for Manchester United. The team created relationships with brands such as Vodafine, Pepsi, Budweiser and Fuji which helped the team leverage their brand worldwide (Hill and Vincent, 2006). Manchester United strategized the customer involvement factor to people all over the globe. The relationship between the fan and the team increased as the visibility leveraged from the aforementioned brands.

While the pull strategy does not require action from the consumer, the push strategy relies on persuasion for consumers to take action within distribution channels. Sales forces are typically instrumental in initiating pull strategies; the implementation of building and maintaining relationships with consumers. Major League Soccer (MLS) implemented a ground breaking program in which they developed a training program for incoming sales people.

The MLS National Sales Center in Blaine, Minnesota is the first centralized sales training program offered by a professional sports league. Fetchko, Roy and Clow note that 85% of MLS teams’ sales reps had less than three years sales experience (p. 212). The league took advantage of the opportunity to grow and learn as a unit, while addressing the importance of personal selling and the path to loyal customers. In addition to specialized training, incentives for sales people to reach specific goals is a push strategy often used by sales forces. Organizations can direct these incentives to various product categories with the goal of raising revenues.

Each strategy has strengths and goals within the marketing operation. “Both approaches are needed to advance an organization’s brand and achieve business objects” (Fetchko, et al 2013, p. 212.). Many consumers within a target market are not yet ready to commit to action in terms of brand relationship that a push tactic might elicit. On the other hand, communication from the brand  

is needed to create awareness and build relationships within the market. The steps taken toward relationship progression “result from using both pull and push strategies and lead people closer to taking actions that have business impact such as buying tickets or licensed merchandise” (Fetchko, et al 2013, p. 212).

The brand image is the representation of thoughts or mental associations that people hold for a product or service (Fetchko, et al 2013, p. 119). Cultivating the brand image leads to the brand identity, which consists of associations that a marketer wants to communicate to the target audience. According to Fetcho, Roy and Clow there is a gap between brand image and brand identity that exists for nearly every brand. (2013, p. 119). The goal of the marketer in this case is to align the image with the identity. In doing so, one can drive to establish the image in a multitude of ways.

The term “new media,” as defined by James Shomeier (2006) is “The convergence of telecommunications, computing and traditional media.” These technologies include websites, broadband internet, streaming audio and video content and smart phones. Brands have a shorter distance to customers and the target market than they ever have with the advent of this technology. Because of this new access to potential consumers, sport brands have created integrated and immediate content that projects the brand image.

A partnership between NASCAR and Sprint Nextel allowed innovative new access to live events. With the sponsorship, consumers at an event a handheld device called “FanView.” This device allowed access to telecasts, live audio feeds from drivers and other otherwise unavailable content. The sponsorship was mutually beneficial to both parties and provided value added entertainment and increased non-traditional revenue.

New media leverages brand equity because consumers can be communicated to any time. This access allows brands to mitigate any perceived changes in their identity when necessary. A brand can quickly identify with consumers and maintain brand associations.

References

Fetchko, M. J., Roy, D. P., & Clow, K. E. (2013). Sports Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hill, J. S., & Vincent, J. (2006, February). Globalisation and sports branding: The case of Manchester United. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/293018236_Globalisation_and_sports_branding_the_case_of_Manchester_United

Santomier, J. (2008, October). New Media, Branding and Global Sports Sponsorship. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1012&context=wcob_fac

Ethical and Legal Considerations in Professional Hockey

Sport managers make difficult ethical decisions that may affect the people in and around the organization in the short or long term. Athletic Directors in universities may encourage the usage of painkillers to keep a competitive team in the race for national championship. Team owners of professional franchises may relocate to another city which is perceived to return more profits. The process of making a correct and fair decision is ethical reasoning.

Leaders in sports may experience ethical dilemmas or a practical conflict regarding compelling or competing values or social obligations. These dilemmas are resolved when the leader understand which values take precedent in the current environment. These dilemmas have implications. Because of this, leaders must consider how proposed resolutions will affect different groups of people and individuals.

Morality

“Not all ethical issues represent choices between equally compelling values” (Masteralexis, et al 2015 p. 138). Some of dilemmas leaders may face are a choice between right and wrong, or two opposing choices. Masteralexis, Barr and Hums state that “when the issue is about doing what is right, it is usually a moral issue. (2015, p 138.). Generally speaking, moral issues are considered self-evident or “common sense.” Moral issues are codified in laws. However, moral behavior cannot always be policed. Keeping players as safe as possible can be considered a moral issue.

Player Safety

Professional hockey has garnered a reputation as a violent sport. Current and former players of the National Hockey League have raised their voices in recent years in regard to the increase of concussions and the lack of governance towards repeat offenders. As of this writing, the commissioner of the NHL Gary Bettman denies any connection between hockey related concussions and the deadly, debilitating brain injury CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy.)

While the NHL has spearheaded efforts of diversity and inclusion by spotlighting woman’s hockey and advocating LGBTQ rights and awareness, they have failed – or simply been inconsistent – on how they govern player safety. This issue has boiled over in recent years, with former heavy hitters such as Daniel Carcillo opening up about the inner working of the league and the lack of concern or discipline for their employees.

An incident in 2004 between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks is often cited as the junction between violence in hockey and potential legal issues that can stem from this issue. Todd Bertuzzi of the Canucks failed to instigate Avalanche player Steve Moore late in the third period. Bertuzzi skated after Moore to grab his jersey and land a punch. Bertuzzi landed on Moore as they both fell resulting in facial lacerations, three fractured vertebrae and a concussion for  

Moore. This incident ended Steve Moore’s career and resulted in criminal charges against Bertuzzi, and a civil lawsuit against the Canucks. The lawsuit as eventually settled out of court in 2014.

Ethical Ramifications

This is an ethical issue that resulted in a legal battle. A pivotal point in this incident was the nature of Steve Moore’s injuries. The legal battle and penalties within the NHL became murky because it was hard to fully grasp the full extent and long-term side effects Steve Moore would live through. This extreme example of the complexity of injuries due to the actions of one player is the stake between ensuring morality in the workplace and maintaining an on-ice product that fans recognize as the sport they have always been connected to.

While the NHL does not currently operate under a code of ethics, they partnered with the U.S. Army in 2009 to create themes and values for professional game play. They are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity, courage and dignity. Lewinson and Palma (2012) outline specific ethical issues tied to the culture of hockey. The authors note a fight between Zdeno Chara (6’10, 260 lbs) and Bryan McCabe (6’1, 215). Is this a fair fight?

This seemingly lopsided fight was likely the result of both players working through the aforementioned themes and values. It is common in hockey to retaliate a hit to a team that targets a star player. This is an unwritten rule that teams, coaches, and players maintain in the course of a game. “Any player that fights because (a) his team is losing, (b) a wrong was committed against him by an opposing player, or (C) it is his duty on the team shows no discipline. Fighting for these  causes are not in sync with the definition of a morally correct hockey athlete.” (Lewinson and Palma, 2012).

Caron and Bloom (2015) outline four steps that would improve player health and subsequently realign the National Hockey League’s ethical compass. Eliminate former and current players from the disciplinary committee and replace them with concussion specialists and other physicians. Increase the size of North American professional hockey rinks to compensate for the strength, speed and conditioning of elite athletes. Increase suspension and fines; giving head related contact lengthier suspensions. And finally, and potentially most difficult, eliminate fighting. The authors argue that fighting does not directly contribute to scoring goals and winning games. In fact, fighting and incurring a penalty as a result will put your team at a disadvantage in the short term.

References

Caron, J. G., & Bloom, G. A. (2015). Ethical Issues Surrounding Concussions and Player Safety in Professional Ice Hockey. Neuroethics8, 5–13. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12152-014-9210-7

Lewinson, R. T., & Palma, O. E. (2012). The Morality of Fighting in Ice Hockey: Should It Be Banned? Journal of Sport and Social Issues36(1), 106–112. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1029.4182&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Masteralexis, L. P., Barr, C. A., & Hums, M. A. (2015). Principles and Practice of Sport Management (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Does the NHL have a revenue sharing problem?

The National Hockey League is in a unique position in regard to salary management and revenue sharing.  The league currently sits with a gate revenue sharing agreement as well as a hard salary cap.  The salary cap is adjusted every year based on increases in league revenue. 

Using the facts of league revenue sharing and yearly increases in team salaries, we can assess two teams in dire straits and how the teams reacted internally, and what the league did in response to those internal actions.  For this purpose of this discussion, a comparison will be made with the 2007-08 Chicago Blackhawks and the 2002-03 Ottawa Senators.  There are stark similarities between the internal struggles of each organization and the leagues response to their circumstances.

In 2007 when John McDonough entered the Blackhawks organization from the Chicago Cubs, he immediately noticed deficiencies in the arena and team services and how those factors related to low attendance and poor on-ice product.  He famously asked the veterans on the team what they needed to feel comfortable, and more importantly, what Chicago was lacking after visiting and assessing multiple cities and arenas during the year.

Providing elevated travel services, pre and post-game meals, a professional closer-to-home practice facility, and other amenities quickly turned the Chicago Blackhawks into an organization players wanted to be a part of.  The Blackhawks made their organization desirable, and the on-ice product elevated in response.  Attendance went from one of the worst in the league to sell-out crowds.  Eventually, Chicago became the example of how an NHL team should operate, leading to three Stanley Cup championships in five years.

The changes the organization made internally, grew the product and brand.  From an economic stance, the Blackhawks increased profits and promoted attendance.  The success the team found from this reorganization resulted in the fans choosing to return to the event.  The team did not rely on the economic structure or policies from the National Hockey League.

Feess and Stahler (2005) find that revenue sharing in professional sports does not translate into an increase of talent demand.  The National Hockey League has a unique structure for gate revenue sharing.  “Gate revenue for the NHL is divided amongst the 15 clubs with the lowest revenues in the league, have a payroll below average, and play in a market with fewer than 2.5 million TV households” (Humphreys, 2015).  The issue with this structure according to the research conducted by Feess and Stahler indicates that the league is running an inefficient model of gate revenue sharing.

The Ottawa Senators organization is an example of a team that chose to turn to the league for financial help in a time of crisis.  The 2002-03 Senators ended their season as the Eastern Conference Champions and won the Presidents’ Trophy for being the league leader in points.  Despite the on-ice success of the team, home game attendance was barely in the upper 50% of the league.  The team received emergency financing from the NHL after filing for bankruptcy in January of 2003.

The Ottawa Senators attempted to be a profit maximizing team, while their product naturally skewed to a win maximizing structure.  The deficiencies of the team came in an era of the NHL that predates the salary cap; meaning the organization could players without any built-in restrictions.  While this was only a part of the problem, the league would eventually introduce a salary cap in the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The example of the perplexing Ottawa Senators 2002-03 season reflects the study conducted by Stefan Kessenne entitled “Does a win bonus help to increase profit or wins in professional team sports?”  He notes that if a team introduces a premium system, the organization can expect to increase its profits or winning percentage with a reduced fixed salary.  The tragedy of the Senators is if they would have implemented this system, and keep salaries low, they likely could have saved themselves before the NHL stepped in.

Conversely, it is worth pondering how the team and the league would have responded to a relocation to a different city.  The weak Canadian Dollar, the debt accrued by team owner Eugene Melnyk, and stagnant game attendance despite the wins of the team should have signaled a relocation to a new and receptive market.  The Quebec Nordiques has similar financial and attendance woes before relocating to Denver in 1995; immediately winning the Stanley Cup.  

While the NHL and other leagues have systems in place to prevent financial pitfalls of their teams, the economic solution to regain footing in the market is to do so internally.  Even agreements like the gate revenue share ultimately do not contribute to the product.  Research and practice have shown that low cost incentives have a greater impact than the league can provide.

The 2016 World Series: An Economic Tale of 2 Cities

The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians played in the World Series in 2016. The series went the maximum seven games; four of which were played in Cleveland and three played in Chicago.  The event effected the city’s economy in different ways; while the close proximity of both cities also played a role in the overall economic impact.

Jacob Duritsky, vice president of strategy and research for Ohio-based business development firm Team Neo, noted the imbalance of incoming funds of the two fan bases.  The money coming into the city of Cleveland was a reflection of the spikes in airline travel, bars, hotels, restaurants, retailers, and 2nd party home retailers such as Airbnb.

A common note from several reporters is the value of entertainment budgets.  Local sports fans make the decision to allocate their funds to these types of sporting events, however “the pool of dollars generally doesn’t change” said Duritsky.  This reinforces how any noticeable economic impact to a city hosting the World Series will come heavily from individuals traveling into the city, and the money spent will be focused on the immediate area.      

Cleveland’s major jump in their economy came in the hotel market.  Occupancy rate and revenue spikes were higher than the Cavaliers’ and Golden State Warriors seven-game NBA Finals series.  Laurel Keller, VP of Hotel & Leisure Advisors cites the travel distance between Chicago and Cleveland as the impetus for extremely elevated hotel demand.

The time of year and participating cities are important factors when predicting cities economic impact on sporting events.  A potential log jam is created in October during convention season as hotels can experience a high demand for rooms in the fall.  The distance between the two competing cities, roughly 344 miles and just over 5 hours by car, put pressure on traveling fans to find these accommodations.

Crain’s Cleveland Business points to the influx of Chicago Cubs fans and their hope for an end to the historic 108-year championship drought as the biggest factor in the boost in the local Cleveland market.  On the other hand, the boom in Chicago was focused on local businesses.  The immediate area surrounding Wrigley Field is packed with restaurants and bars, while the hotels are downtown several miles from the ballpark. Most bars in close proximity to Wrigley Field were charging as much as $1,000 at the door watch the game.

To put baseball’s postseason financials in perspective, New York City estimated the Met’s 2015 postseason run generated $81.2 million for the economy of New York. To put that figure in perspective, Jade Scipioni of Fox Business reported that New York City’s overall tourism generated over $61 billion in that year.

Royals win World Series in 5 games against the New York Mets
Source: Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

Lake Forest College economic professor Robert Baade looked at Major League Baseball’s postseason economic effect for all host cities during 1972-2001.  His estimated the impact per home game was roughly $6.8 million. In regards to the Cubs World Series run in 2016, using Baade’s outlook this estimates the impact on Chicago’s economy was 0.003%.

Efficient planning of the World Series can be difficult, considering the many outside factors the host cities cannot control. 

In both cities circumstances, hotel rates and occupancy will be an indicator of how the remainder of the series will affect the city’s economies.  Location of the participating ballparks and options for fans outside of the stadium will play a major factor as well.  While a city cannot build a hotel overnight, cities like Chicago can integrate new methods of cash flow; such as street vendors, expanded menu options at local eateries, or longer business hours.

The year after the Series victory, the Chicago Cubs completed Hotel Zachary. Sitting across the street from Wrigley Field, they can now take advantage of the hotel piece the neighborhood was missing.

Hotel Zachary completed in 2017 as part of the Wrigley Field 1060 Renovation Project
Source: http://www.hotelzachary.com

Most economic impact comes from individuals traveling into the host city. When examining the World Series, the clearest and most predictable rise in economic growth is the immediate area around the event.  Neighborhood bars and other business benefit most from the event; the city as a whole sees little impact economically.

Economic Activity and Structure of Competitive Sports

Many variables contribute to the competitive economic activity of the professional sport market. The simple structure of the sports broadcast market outlines the flow of revenue streams from leagues/teams to media and onto advertisers.  The flow goes back and forth between these three factors.  

The type of sport, the market that sport is played in, and the structure of the league are three variables that carry significance in relation to the economic actively of the market.

Source of Revenue:

Not all sources of revenue are equal across all North American sports.  The National Football League.  “NFL teams derive most of their revenues from national media contracts and those contracts are shared equally among all NFL teams.”  (Humphreys, 2015 p. 29)

The huge and equal influx of national media revenue puts less pressure on smaller markets in the NFL. The NHL, for example, has little national coverage and is able to thrive in smaller markets.

Costs:

The NHL has a hard salary cap imposed on all teams equally.  This means that every team is allotted the same amount of money to spend on players.  The number is determined by the previous year’s league-wide revenue.  By contrast, Major League Baseball does not impose a salary cap on player salaries.  This provides less restriction and therefor more guarantees for their on-field product.

League Structure:

All 4 major North American sports are unionized.  Each league has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the player’s union and the league as a whole that governs the economic movement between the players and the teams as a whole.

Because these CBAs typically last 5 years, renegotiating the arrangement allows for forecasting potential issues.  The NHL has been either completely or partially locked out 3 times since 1992.  The lockout in 2005 was in-part related to the implementation of a league-wide salary cap.  The NHL is currently bracing itself for another showdown with the players association as the current CBA expires in 2022.  This time around, speculation on the work stoppage stems from the freedom of contract structure allowed to General Managers.  Under the current system, teams can “front load” (pay more upfront) to a player, or offer unusually high signing bonuses, which under the current CBA do not count against the salary cap.

These three variables work together to create a unique economic system in professional North American sports.

Branding, Implementation, and Manchester United

A brand communicates through four different channels; each of which offer value for both the buyers and marketers.  Understanding the identity, image, promise and relationships associated with the product or service demonstrates what the seller is attempting to offer.  Marketers use a branding strategy to “communicate or promote an association with a sports property by a sponsor to it’s target market” (Fetchko, Roy and Clow, 2013, p. 295).

Organizations can use a concept known as integrated marketing communications (IMC) to define and utilize channels used to communicate to a target audience.  IMC integrates every marketing tool, avenue, and other sources within an organization.  The purpose of the IMC concept is to create a program that will maximize the message to the audience at the lowest possible cost.  The challenge of the marketer is to keep the identity and message of the brand consistent amongst all channels within the IMC concept. 

Within the IMC and brand communication are the pull and push strategies.  The consideration of how the brand message will be intercepted by the consumer will direct the marketer to one of these strategies.  A pull strategy is implemented to entice the consumer to receive the product “by seeking it out through channels where it is available” (Fetchko, et al, 2013, p. 211).  A common usage of this strategy is marketing the date, time, and place of an event coinciding with images or references to the stars of the event.  Receiving more knowledge of the brand through this channel requires little to no action from the consumer.  This creates an awareness of the brand as a whole, while not expecting to immediately transfer into ticket sales for an event.

Manchester United implemented the pull strategy on a worldwide scale, after US businessman Malcom Glazer purchased financial control of the football club in 2005.  Creating a Chinese language website was a key factor in the globalization of the sport of football as a whole, yet more specifically created more awareness for Manchester United.  The team created relationships with brands such as Vodafine, Pepsi, Budweiser and Fuji which helped the team leverage their brand worldwide (Hill and Vincent, 2006).  Manchester United strategized the customer involvement factor to people all over the globe.  The relationship between the fan and the team increased as the visibility leveraged from the aforementioned brands.

While the pull strategy does not require action from the consumer, the push strategy relies on persuasion for consumers to take action within distribution channels.  Sales forces are typically instrumental in initiating pull strategies; the implementation of building and maintaining relationships with consumers.  Major League Soccer (MLS) implemented a ground breaking program in which they developed a training program for incoming sales people.

The MLS National Sales Center in Blaine, Minnesota is the first centralized sales training program offered by a professional sports league.  Fetchko, Roy and Clow note that 85% of MLS teams’ sales reps had less than three years sales experience (p. 212).  The league took advantage of the opportunity to grow and learn as a unit, while addressing the importance of personal selling and the path to loyal customers.  In addition to specialized training, incentives for sales people to reach specific goals is a push strategy often used by sales forces.  Organizations can direct these incentives to various product categories with the goal of raising revenues.

Each strategy has strengths and goals within the marketing operation.  “Both approaches are needed to advance an organization’s brand and achieve business objects” (Fetchko, et al 2013, p. 212.).  Many consumers within a target market are not yet ready to commit to action in terms of brand relationship that a push tactic might elicit.  On the other hand, communication from the brand is needed to create awareness and build relationships within the market.  The steps taken toward relationship progression “result from using both pull and push strategies and lead people closer to taking actions that have business impact such as buying tickets or licensed merchandise” (Fetchko, et al 2013, p. 212).

The brand image is the representation of thoughts or mental associations that people hold for a product or service (Fetchko, et al 2013, p .119).  Cultivating the brand image leads to the brand identity, which consists of associations that a marketer wants to communicate to the target audience.  According to Fetcho, Roy and Clow there is a gap between brand image and brand identity that exists for nearly every brand. (2013, pg. 119).  The goal of the marketer in this case is to align the image with the identity.  In doing so, one can drive to establish the image in a multitude of ways. 

The term “new media,” as defined by James Shomeier (2006) is “The convergence of telecommunications, computing and traditional media.”  These technologies include websites, broadband internet, streaming audio and video content and smart phones.  Brands have a shorter distance to customers and the target market than they ever have with the advent of this technology.  Because of this new access to potential consumers, sport brands have created integrated and immediate content that projects the brand image.

A partnership between NASCAR and Sprint Nextel allowed innovative new access to live events.  With the sponsorship, consumers at an event a handheld device called “FanView.”  This device allowed access to telecasts, live audio feeds from drivers and other otherwise unavailable content.  The sponsorship was mutually beneficial to both parties and provided value added entertainment and increased non-traditional revenue. 

New media leverages brand equity because consumers can be communicated to any time.  This access allows brands to mitigate any perceived changes in their identity when necessary.  A brand can quickly identify with consumers and maintain brand associations. 

History Favors the Bold; Compensation Favors the Meek

General Managers have the responsibility of creating a winning culture and delineating that culture to fans.

The ethos of the team and brand allows the team to have a clear identity. Organizations with clear identities that are able to communicate it to fans have a higher rate of follower retention.

Building a foundation:

1) Players 
Take a hard look at your main roster and farm system to begin the process of weeding out inefficiencies while elevating strengths of individual players.

2) Culture
Who is this team? What is this team? Our leaders on the ice need to be properly defined. If the team has not found sustainable success in recent memory, I want to take the time to understand what has been holding us back. Are we taking advantage of unique opportunities in our market? What is our repeat guest rate?

3) The Fans
Under the assumption the team has a history of falling short in the regular season, everything we do must send the message that the organization is changing. The trust of the fans is something the organization can never want to take for granted. Is there a memorable player from this team that fans miss? Engaging with fans is vital for our organizations success

4) Differentiation
Small changes from new and unique promotional items to going completely digital with tickets sends the message that the organization is innovating and creating new practices. There are so many other spaces for entertainment today, and differentiation is the key to bring in new fans and keep them as avid followers.

It would be worth the investment to allocate team funds to new promotional items, historical throwback nights with the goal of increased fan engagement.

5) Perceived value
By investing in the in-game experience, we create a more unique product. This serves as a catalyst for creating customer value. Flexible ticket packages (which can include concessions), limited edition merchandise and other activities around the stadium and provides increased benefits to the fan, as well as a reduction in sacrifices required.