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UK Sports Participation Market - September 2012

Alongside these, and to create growth in the crucial 14-25 segment in particular, sport will also have to address a number of more personal issues ranging from physical ability to play – and questions of body image that may affect perceptions of this – to the perceived need to wear the ‘right’ labels and use only ‘fashionable’ facilities for play.”

– David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst

While the original targets for the sports participation legacy of the London 2012 Olympics have long been abandoned, recent trends in playing numbers suggest the Games may have more post-event value as a platform for driving up activity levels than cynics might expect.

Picking up on interest sparked by the Games among young people will be crucial for all sports as recent participation gains have been led exclusively by over-25s and government policy has switched to promoting sporting habits for life among 16-25-year-olds that will see governing bodies supported on a funding-by-results basis.

This report assesses the factors underlying these current and recent trends in sports participation in Great Britain (with a particular focus on England, given the nature of the data available), examines consumers’ attitudes towards sport and identifies ways in which governing bodies, facility providers and sports brands and sponsors can help boost playing numbers in the short and medium term.

Some questions answered about the sports participation market include

  • Are there enough places people can play?
  • How can more people be encouraged to play more often?
  • Can government policy keep teens in the game?
  • How can the entrenched barrier of cost be overcome?
  • Is technology an enemy or a friend?
 

Mintel’s definition of ‘participation sports’ is based on that set out by Sport England, which states that “the purpose of the activity must be sporting and not a means to another purpose” and that it “must have an established structure, defined by rules, and where appropriate, organised national or international competition”.

Mintel’s interpretation of the second element of this extends to the inclusion of athletic activities undertaken for fitness rather than competitive purposes, such as aerobics and/or weight training in a gym, and which are therefore less formally structured in terms of their rules and organisation, but which still have an accepted means of or basis for participation.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel’s definition of ‘sport’ includes all activities listed below, which have been grouped under four key typologies for the purposes of discussion throughout the report:

Individual/keep-fit sports

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Weight training/gym
  • Aerobics/fitness classes
  • Yoga/Pilates
  • Athletics/running.

Team/competitive sports

  • Football
  • Golf
  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Volleyball
  • Hockey
  • Fencing.

Racquet sports

  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Table tennis
  • Squash.

Outdoor/alternative sports

  • Hiking/rambling
  • Fishing
  • Climbing
  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • Watersports
  • Martial arts
  • Extreme sports.

 

 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Consumer expenditure on participation in sport, 2007-17
            • Olympic anticipation drives playing numbers back to 30 million mark
              • Consumer spending returns to growth
                • Market factors
                  • Broader base of facility providers can reduce effects of public spending cuts
                    • Government policy shifts funding focus to youth
                      • Market segmentation
                        • Figure 2: UK sports participation market volume* segments, 2008-12
                      • Regular play leads the way
                        • Quick, cheap and accessible – the fast food of growth sports
                          • The consumer
                            • Figure 3: Sports played in the last six months, June 2012
                          • Others seek a slice of fitness sports’ appeal
                            • Families go outdoors as kids outgrow a game in the garden
                              • Figure 4: Motivations for participation in sport, June 2012
                            • Can competitive sports move in on fitness turf?
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • Are there enough places people can play?
                                    • How can more people be encouraged to play more often?
                                      • Can government policy keep teens in the game?
                                        • How can the entrenched barrier of cost be overcome?
                                          • Is technology an enemy or a friend?
                                          • Trend Application

                                              • Trend: Click and Connect
                                                • Trend: Prepare for the Worst
                                                  • 2015: Brand Intervention
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Investment gives venues with one hand, spending cuts take with the other
                                                        • Figure 5: Public leisure centre and private health and fitness club facilities, 2006-11
                                                      • Free play can go beyond streets and parks
                                                        • Figure 6: Average expenditure at UK leisure centres, per admission, 2006-11
                                                      • Common ground to help clubs shore up member base
                                                        • Figure 7: Trends in sports club membership, 2008-12
                                                      • Sports Makers can become a key London legacy
                                                        • Figure 8: Volunteering in sport, 2007-11
                                                      • School sport focus in period of transition
                                                        • Figure 9: Schools registered for School Games, by region, 2012
                                                      • New strategy targets youth disaffection
                                                        • Retail websites can advise as well as sell
                                                          • Figure 10: Most popular sports websites, by category, May 2012
                                                        • Olympic legacy can defy pre-Games gloom
                                                          • Figure 11: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘The London 2012 Olympics will have a positive effect on ordinary people’s lives’, by gender, 2010-12
                                                        • A habit worth holding on to
                                                          • Figure 12: Leisure activities net spending trend* in past 12 months, by sector, October 2011
                                                        • Goals not dole?
                                                          • Figure 13: Unemployment, by gender, 2007-17
                                                        • Sport can help sugar the weight-loss pill
                                                          • Figure 14: Trends in obesity, by gender, 2008-12
                                                        • Women inspired by the Olympics?
                                                          • Figure 15: Women’s participation in moderate intensity sport, at least one 30-minute session per week, 2005/06-2011/12
                                                        • Playing for longer at lower intensities
                                                          • Figure 16: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2007-17
                                                        • Weekday participants keep one eye on the clock
                                                          • Figure 17: Trends in working hours and leisure time, 2008-12
                                                        • Smartphone growth putting sport in players’ pockets
                                                          • Figure 18: Mobile phone penetration among UK adults, by type of handset, January-March 2012
                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Few television adverts for playing sport
                                                            • Figure 19: Most popular participation, TV and spectator sports, 2012
                                                          • Participation sector quick to recover lost ground
                                                            • Figure 20: Value of the UK out-of-home leisure* industry, by segment, 2006-11
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key analysis
                                                            • Pop-ups need to stay up
                                                              • Culture clubs
                                                                • Training with the stars
                                                                  • Computer as coach
                                                                    • Fitter via Twitter
                                                                      • Increasing the cost of inactivity
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Sport still a mass participation event
                                                                            • Figure 21: Number of adults aged 15+ participating in sport, 2008-12
                                                                          • More regular players – but still a small minority
                                                                            • Figure 22: Participation in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity sport at least three times a week, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                          • Consumer spending moves up a gear
                                                                            • Figure 23: Consumer expenditure on participation* in sport, 2007-17
                                                                          • Forecast
                                                                            • Figure 24: Forecast of consumer expenditure on sports participation, 2006/07-2016/17
                                                                            • Figure 25: Forecast of number of regular* sports participants, 2006/07-2016/17
                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Olympics offer an occasional opportunity
                                                                                • Figure 26: Regular and occasional participation* in sport, 2008-12
                                                                              • Doorstep sports call on more participants
                                                                                • Figure 27: Participation in individual sports, 2007/08-2011/12
                                                                            • Governing Bodies

                                                                                • Figure 28: National governing bodies of most popular UK participation sports*, April 2012
                                                                              • Amateur Swimming Association
                                                                                • Funding
                                                                                  • Participation initiatives
                                                                                    • The Football Association
                                                                                      • Funding
                                                                                        • Participation initiatives
                                                                                          • UK Athletics
                                                                                            • Funding
                                                                                              • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                • British Cycling
                                                                                                  • Funding
                                                                                                    • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                      • The R&A
                                                                                                        • Funding
                                                                                                          • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                            • Badminton England
                                                                                                              • Funding
                                                                                                                • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                                  • Lawn Tennis Association
                                                                                                                    • Funding
                                                                                                                      • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                                        • British Equestrian Federation
                                                                                                                          • Funding
                                                                                                                            • Participation Initiatives
                                                                                                                              • England Squash and Racketball
                                                                                                                                • Funding
                                                                                                                                  • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                                                    • Bowls England
                                                                                                                                      • Funding
                                                                                                                                        • Participation initiatives
                                                                                                                                        • Sports Most Played

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Team and racquet sports take a leaf from fitness activities’ book
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                            • New shared interests when kids outgrow the family garden kickabout
                                                                                                                                              • Squeezed middle market feeling the pinch
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Number of sports played in the last six months, June 2011-June 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Stay in school, stay in sport
                                                                                                                                              • Frequency of Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Fitness-seekers recognise regular play delivers results
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Frequency of participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • New varieties of fitness focus to put racquet sports on the rise
                                                                                                                                                  • Motivations for Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Team sports can muscle in with a new fitness offer...
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Motivations for playing sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                      • ... while fitness sports bring in an occasional competitive edge
                                                                                                                                                      • Barriers to Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Time tops money in stopping us play more sport
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Barriers to participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • It’s not the taking part that costs
                                                                                                                                                            • Teaming up teens to look and feel good
                                                                                                                                                              • Athlete austerity an antidote to Premiership bling
                                                                                                                                                              • Incentives to Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Health benefits of sport in no doubt
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Drivers of interest in playing sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cost concerns unite parents and kids
                                                                                                                                                                    • Social media allows sports to reach to key viewing groups
                                                                                                                                                                      • Twentysomethings seek sporting friends – but not in the club bar?
                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports Participation Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Target groups
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Sports participation target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Low-Impacters (30% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                            • What do they think and do?
                                                                                                                                                                              • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                • Holiday Players (23% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • What do they think and do?
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Paddlers (21% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • What do they think and do?
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Superstars (26% of sample)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • What do they think and do?
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Most popular sports media websites, May 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Most popular sports retail websites, May 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Most popular participation sports websites, May 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Forecast of consumer expenditure on participation in sport, 2012-2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Forecast of number of regular* sports participants, 2012-2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Sports Most Played

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Sports most played, June 2011 – June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Most popular sports played, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Next most popular sports played, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Other sports played, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Least popular sports played, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Number of sports played, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Motivations for Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Motivations for playing sport, by motivations for playing sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Motivations for playing sport, by most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Motivations for playing sport, by next most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Motivations for playing sport, by other sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Motivations for playing sport, by least popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Barriers to Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Most common barriers to participation in sport, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Next most common barriers to participation in sport, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Barriers to participation in sport, by most common barriers to participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Barriers to participation in sport, by next most common barriers to participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Barriers to participation in sport, by other barriers to participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Barriers to participation in sport, by most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Barriers to participation in sport, by next most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Barriers to participation in sport, by popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Barriers to participation in sport, by other sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Barriers to participation in sport, by least popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Incentives to Participation in Sport

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Agreement with the statements ‘Playing sport is a good way of keeping fit and/or losing weight’ and ‘I have been inspired to take up a particular sport after watching it on television’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Agreement with the statements ‘I am interested in trying out a sport because of the Olympics’ and ‘Public sports facilities should be free to use’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Agreement with the statements ‘I would welcome more opportunities to play sport as a family’ and ‘Playing sport is a good way to make new friends’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Agreement with the statements ‘I would enjoy my sport more if I had some coaching to improve my skill level’ and ‘Playing sport is a good way to relieve stress’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Agreement with the statements ‘I would like to have more information about opportunities to play sport near where I live’ and ‘I find it easier to stick with a sport when I play in an organised group’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Agreement with the statements ‘Sports clubs could do more to help new members get the most out of them’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by most popular drivers of interest in participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by next most popular drivers of interest in participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by other drivers of interest in participation in sport, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by next most popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by popular sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by other sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by other sports played, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Sports Participation Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Target groups, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Sports played, by target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Motivations for playing sport, by target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Barriers to participation in sport, by target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Drivers of interest in participation in sport, by target groups, June 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                • BBC Worldwide Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Chelsea Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                • ESPN, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Evans Cycles UK Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Footlocker Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                • JD Sports - Sports
                                                                                                                                                                                                • JJB Sports Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sports Direct UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Wiggle
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Yahoo! UK & Ireland

                                                                                                                                                                                                UK Sports Participation Market - September 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)