Relationship marketing is a paradigm shift and it is associated with the return of direct marketing both in business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets (Seth & Parvatiyar 1995). This paradigm shift in marketing focuses on acquisition and retention in building and ensuring long-term relations with clients and therefor requires the integration of proper communication principles. A long-term relationship is recognised as a very important and basic ingredient of marketing, securing and keeping customers and can be regarded as a tool for the new millennium.
Many relationship marketing definitions are provided in services marketing, industrial marketing, bank marketing, advertising and business strategy. To best understand relationship marketing Morgan and Hunt (1994) propose that ".... relationship marketing refers to all marketing activities directed toward establishing, developing and maintaining successful relational exchanges."
A good relationship is characterised by commitment and trust. According to Morgan and Hunt (1994), relationship commitment and trust is influenced by relationship termination cost, relationship benefits, shared values, communication and opportunistic behaviour. The application of a successful relationship marketing strategy in practice is therefor based on the adherence to the principles of effective communication. In future, effective communication can be regarded a major contributing factor to the marketing effectiveness of enterprises in general and sport unions as a whole. Through proper implementation of the communication principles, the relationship marketing practitioner will in the new millennium, ensure survival in a tremendously competitive environment.