Business Strategy of SeaWorld


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A business strategy is the way through which it sets out to achieve its desired objectives. In simple words, it is long-term business planning. It covers a time period of 3 to 5 years and sometimes it may be extended. The major issue concerned with business strategy is regarding resources i.e. raising the finance(Hyde, 2014). They are also concerned with the allotment of the resources. Seaworld Entertainment is a theme park and entertainment company in the United States. It also has water parks and adventure islands. The company has created many parks which connect guests with marine life in innovative ways. The animal encounters, educational attractions, and innovative entertainment are designed to entertain guests of all age groups to celebrate, enjoy, and make connections with the natural world around them.

Task 1

Seaworld having 12 parks across the United States has faced heavy criticism for poor treatment of the captive orcas also called killer whales. After this, the company has decided to put an end on the controversial orca breeding programme(Breaking News: The Last Generation of Orcas at SeaWorld,2016). They are trying to find new methods to continue to provide their purpose to encourage all their guests to take action to protect wild animals and wild places. The whole issue came into the limelight when three years back, a documentary called Blackfish examined the death of the Seaworld trainer Dawn Brancheau who was killed by an orca named Tilikum.

After that through a social media campaign critics demanded the company to end its orca breeding programme. Then the company made an agreement with the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle declared that an era of captive display of orcas will come to an end. In the same press release, Seaworld President and CEO Joel Manby said that is a historic change and they will now focus on rescue operations so that many marine mammals who cannot be released back to the wild will get a place to go(SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas following controversy,2016). This agreement resolved an issue regarding the expansion plans of the company.

To bring change is an approach to shift or transition individuals, teams, and organisations from their existing status to a desired future status. For example: organisational change consists of strategic, operational, and technological changes emerging from outside or inside the organisation. The key external forces of change in the context of the company Seaworld are described below:


The economic collapse that occurred in 2008 is a strong example of the importance of adaptability. The consumers tightened their hands for purchasing due to which the organisations had to either apply the same and lower the supply to match lowered demand or come up with new products to entice them. For a successful change in SeaWorld, the key strategies can be the creation of new affordable services or more efficient operational paradigms. However, migrating from one volume to another can be financially challenging.


New incumbents, mergers, acquisitions, new product offerings, and bankruptcies are the competitive landscape which substantially impacts the strategies and operations of an organisation(Kiptoo, and Mwirigi 2014). For example, if the rival company releases new theme parks with new services it is a threat to steal market share, the cited company must be ready to change and adapt to retain its customer base.


Changes are a constant threat in the case of technology. Embracing new technologies in the competitive world requires adaptability. If one company goes for a strategic change, the other adaptable companies find quick ways to evolve their operations to stay in the competition and those companies who are unable to do so, quickly fail.


Capturing new markets in the global world needs adaptability of products, culture and communication. Handling new demographics and identification of the opportunities and threats appearing in the global market is an integral part of optimising value for the company Seaworld.


Whenever there is the introduction of new laws and legislation it dramatically changes the operations. Companies that affect the environment must constantly strive to adapt to responsible and accountable operating methodologies. If the cited company fails to keep pace, it would lead to substantial fines and financial detriments. Also, it will result in negative branding of the company giving advantages to its rival organisations(Njeru, Stephen and Wambui 2014). As was seen in the recent controversy with the company Seaworld. It had to bring a historical change in the case of Orca's breeding programme.

Marketing Conditions

The marketing conditions are never stable and static. The needs, tastes, preferences, desires and expectations of the customers change very frequently. Also, the market is flooded with new products and innovations every single day which creates tough competition in the market. New and innovative ways of attracting customers are used today as they are considered Kings.

Social Pressure

The culture and the society also bring some changes that the organisation has to adjust to. Due to the spread of education, knowledge, government efforts, social media etc., a lot of social changes have taken place. The societal pressure and pressure by organisations like PETA and HSUS made the company Seaworld change the programme of breeding of the Orcas.

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Task 2

Every business organisation adopts some strategy in order to survive in the competitive market and compete with rivals. Business strategy is an attribute through which a company develop its strategic position in the market and competitive advantage for its success and growth. In other words, it can be said that strategic positioning is the positioning of business enterprises in the future while taking into account the changing environment, plus the systematic realization of that positioning (Leitner, Meissner and Martyna-David, 2015). In the context of SeaWorld is a United States chain of marine mammal parks, oceanariums and animal theme parks owned by Seaworld Entertainment. The park features killer whales, sea lions and dolphins shows and zoological displays featuring various other marine animals. This SeaWorld was opened in 1964 by Milton C. Shedd David Demott and George Millay. The four graduates of UCLA originally set out to build an underwater restaurant and marine life show. With only a few dolphins, sea lions, 6 attractions and 22 acres, the park proved to be a success and more than 400000 guests visited in the first 12 months. After considering other locations in the Midwest, including the Lake Milton/Newton Falls area west of Youngstown, Ohio, it was decided that Aurora, Ohio would be the new home of a sea world.
As per the discussion, it can be said that Seaworld is the largest tourism and hospitality sector which has 11 different parks throughout the USA. Further, there are three SeaWorld parks at three different locations in the US thus widening the customer base. The most visited SeaWorld park, SeaWorld, Orlando welcomes more than 5 million guests annually and is the 9th most visited amusement park in the USA. In order to evaluate and assess the strategic position of Seaworld, the VRIO model is very effective. VRIO framework is the tool used to analyse a firm's internal resources and capabilities to find out if they can be a source of sustained competitive advantage. By use of this model, the strategic position of Seawolrd is as follows-


Resources of organisations are valuable if they assist firms in increasing the perceived customer value. This is done by increasing differentiation or decreasing the prices of the product. The resources that can not meet this condition, lead to competitive disadvantages. Seaworld has adequate and effective resources which assist in meeting the needs of the organisation in order to change internal and external conditions (Kernbach, Eppler and Bresciani, 2015). It is very important for cited ventures to continuously review the value of the resources because constantly changing internal and external conditions can make them less valuable or useless.


Rare means that resources which can be acquired by one or very few companies are considered rare. The assistance of rare and valuable resources grants a temporary competitive advantage. On the other hand, the situation when more than a few companies have the same resources or use the capability in a similar way Leads to competitive parity. Seaworld have that extreme resources than any other firm like Seaworld. It has different theme parks and the largest zoological collection which has no other company than SeaWorld. It has a strong competitive position in the market due to its extremely differentiated image in the market.

Costly to Imitate

A resource is costly to imitate if other organisations that don't have it can not imitate, buy or substitute it at a reasonable price. Imitation can occur in two ways by directly imitating the resources or by proving the comparable product and services. Seaworld has a strong brand in the market which is tied to its business model and core product offering (Amran, Ooi and Devi, 2015). If the product or service becomes less relevant, marketers have two options reposition the brand away from the offending product or service elements like Kentucky Fried Chicken did in the 90s when it renamed itself KFC, to minimise fried connotations and started offering healthier grilled chicken offerings. The other option is to identify and introduce a new brand differentiator that will resonate strongly with consumers. Seaworld is already a well-developed and popular brand in the market so no other business organisation like this can imitate its product and services (Ferrell, and Hartline 2010). Seaworld has aggressively been improving its product offering, including adding theme park styles thrill rides, making marine life more interesting through more engaging shows, integration of education about sea life and deepening their credibility by highlighting the research being conducted at the Hubbs SeaWorld Institute.

Organized to Capture Value

In order to organised to capture value, the firm must organise its management systems, process, policies, organisational structure and culture to be able to fully realise the potential of its valuable, rare and costly imitate resources and capabilities. A per the above discussion it has been ascertained that Seaworld have a strong competitive advantage in the market and its products and services can not be imitated by any other firm like this. Its extreme quality and differentiation may make it popular in the United States. In addition to this its internal management system, culture and structure also make it successful and competitive in the market (Staake, Thiesse and Fleisch, 2012). It has well-settled and systematic management so its function and activities are determined to attain its desired success. Management of the company is required to analyse the external factors which includes the PEST that is explained below:

Political- This factor includes the tax policy and any other which is formulated by the government. Organization follows the tax policy and employees also pay the amount of the tax. In this way, government increase the tax rate under which the company increases the product price which directly affects the activities at the workplace as well customers purchasing power.

Economical- The government formulates the interest rate, GDP, inflation and recession which affects the activities of the firm. In this context, good economic condition positively affects the company image under which they easily produce the products and services.

Social Factor- The organization is required to produce the product as per the customer's needs and preferences. In this way,v if the changes in the tastes and preferences of the employees impact the activities managers are not able to manage their work.

Technological- Under this factor, the company is required to adopt the advanced technology which helps employees easily produce the product and services.
Apart from this, managers identify the current position in the market under which they use Poter 5 Forces which are given below:

Power of the Buyers- The power of the buyers is moderate and the company is not able to provide the best service in this situation, consumer shit in another brand.

Power of Suppliers- Also average company requires to maintain the relation with the suppliers and if they do not provide the raw material on time which company shift to another.

Rivalry Competitors- The company faces many issues because many competitors deal in the same industry.

Threat of Entrants- The threat of new entrants under which it is low.

The threat of Substitutes- There are various competitors that provide the same product in the market which moderate the threat of substitutes.

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Strategic position is the implications of the external environment, internal resources, and competencies, and the expectations of stakeholders on the business strategies. It is important for the cited company to take account of the future and assess the current strategy to know whether it is a suitable fit with the strategic position of the company. If not, then the organisation is required to determine the changes needed to make and whether it is capable of effecting such changes(Parnell, 2010). The strategic position of the company is an integral part of the strategic management process. It gives the information about the strategic choices that are needed to be made and subsequently implemented. Analysis of the strategic position is vital for the company as it is serious about remaining relevant with its guests. The methods for performing strategic assessment are different, but there are many areas that any organisation doing a strategic position audit simply can't ignore.

1. Product Performance

It is a major consideration in the assessment of strategic position. Here we can talk about services offered by the cited company as it is an entertainment company. If the services offered are performed in a manner that is consistent with the strategic positioning, then the company is done with its job. But if the services offered are not performing up to the standards then something is out of kilter and further analysis of the strategic position is required.

2. Core Competencies

Is the company's strategic position consistent with its core competencies? If the competencies have shifted, it may be possible that the desired strategic position has become incompatible with the company's business model and it needs to be reconsidered to leverage the company's strengths (Rumelt, 2010).

3. Resource Allocation

Strategic assessment and evaluation must be capable of addressing the company's current resource allocation. It is particularly necessary to ensure that the resources of the company are able enough to maintain the position of the company.

4. Competitive and Market Pressures

External drivers also play a major role in the analysis and assessment of strategic positions (Henriques and Richardson, 2013). Competitive positioning and changing market conditions affect the outcomes or results of the company's brand strategic position in a dramatic manner, even if the company's strategic position is already entrenched in the consumer consciousness.


As per the above discussion about the strategic position of SeaWorld World, it can be said that it is the world's largest entertainment company which provides extreme entertainment to its customers. It has three sea world parks at three different locations in the US, thus widening the customer base. The parent company operates as many as 11 different theme parks throughout the USA. The most visited sea world park, sea world, Orlando welcomes more than 5 million guests annually and is the 9th most visited amusement park in the USA. All set out to build an underwater restaurant and a marine life show (Doeksen and Symes, 2015). With only a few dolphins, sea lions, 6 attractions and 22 acres, the park proved to be a success and more than 400000 guests visited in the first 12 months. It has a variety of species of aquatic animals in the park has the potential to attract many visitors. The parent company these parks which the parks can take advantage of. With various promotional offers like annual passes, discounts on hotel stays and multiple visit passes, the park can try to increase its customer base (Wesseling, Niesten and Hekkert, 2015).In addition to this by introducing new attractions from time to time, the park can attract more and more visitors. The company has focused on all levels of consumers such as children, youngsters and families. The parks offer a world of exploration for all the lovers of aquatic life.


The above report highlights the importance of business strategies in the cited company Seaworld and also focuses on the strategic position of the company in the current situation and ways or methods by which the company can achieve the desired strategic position in the near future. It discusses the current controversy of the company and the external drivers of change affecting the company. It is analysed from this report that strategic management plays a key role in determining future plans regarding the growth and expansion of the company.


  • Amran, A., Ooi, S.K. and Devi, S.S., 2015. The Impact of Business Strategies on Online Sustainability Disclosures. Business Strategy and the Environment.
  • Doeksen, A. and Symes, D., 2015. Business strategies for resilience: the case of Zeeland's oyster industry. Sociologia Ruralis.
  • Ferrell, C. O., and Hartline, D. M., 2010. Marketing Strategy. Cengage Learning.
  • Flander, J., 2014. Great strategists say “no”. Strategic Direction.
  • Henriques, A. and Richardson, J., 2013. The Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add Up. Routledge.

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