UK Sports Participation market report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sports Participation market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?
Covered in this report
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:
- Weight training/gym
- Aerobics/fitness classes
- Rugby (union/league)
- Table tennis
- Watersports (eg windsurfing, canoeing)
- Martial arts (eg karate, kung fu)
- Action sports (eg BMX, skateboarding)
What you need to know
The UK sports participation market continues to grow in value but, with participation rates static, it is increasingly dependent on current players spending more, on membership subscriptions and facility fees. That is creating a twin pressure to expand the player base and reward current participants for their continued willingness to spend – a task made more complicated by priorities for future investment in sport being guided by self-interest across all playing groups. In the current funding climate, many sports will have to choose one or the other. Of those options, bringing in new players is likely to be the priority for most, particularly if they can demonstrate to their core participants that a bigger player pool will have a positive effect on their own experience too.
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by David Walmsley, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
With participation rates effectively static, growing the player base is now a common challenge for all sports. Breaking down barriers to play, however, will require an individual rather than collective approach as their strength and nature vary significantly from activity to activity.
Senior Leisure Analyst
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