Spectator Sports - UK - April 2013
“The 2012 Olympic Games provided a range of learning points for all spectator sports in terms of how they can enhance their appeal and grow live audiences, whether at events or via media. However, their ability to act on these remains limited by challenges including lack of regular events, football’s continued dominance of sports media and the ongoing financial pressures that are restricting consumers’ ability to spend on leisure activities such as spectator sports.”
– David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- What has been the early legacy of London 2012 for Olympic sports?
- Are fans beginning to turn against ticket prices?
- How can other sports step out of the shadow of football?
- What will be the role of mobile in spectator sport’s media mix?
- Where can spectator sports gain most value from social media?
The year 2012 proved a major one for the UK spectator sports market in both its event attendance and live media segments, thanks to London’s hosting of the Olympic Games and continued strong interest in the country’s most popular sports.
The market’s worst fears around the potential crowding-out effects of the Olympics were not realised, with the summer sports suffering attendance downturns – principally horseracing and cricket – affected as much by bad weather as rival attractions. Tennis was the year’s big winner, but it remains to be seen whether the UK’s more niche sports can capitalise on the Olympic opportunity as spectator interest quickly turns back to its staple diet of football.
This report examines current trends in the ways in which UK consumers watch live spectator sport, assesses their experience of the 2012 Olympic Games and attitudes towards both Olympic sports and spectator sports more widely, as well as identifying ways in which venues, clubs, governing bodies and their commercial partners can respond to the opportunities and challenges emerging.
This report focuses on UK adults’ experience of watching live spectator sport, either at an event venue, on television or via the internet. Listening to live radio commentary and watching television highlights or live coverage on a time-shift basis are not included in the core definition of the report.
Market value estimations comprise consumer expenditure on sports event tickets only. Spending on sports television and internet service subscriptions is excluded, as is secondary expenditure at spectator sports venues (on food, beverages, merchandise etc).
Value figures throughout this report are at retail selling prices unless otherwise stated. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
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