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Sport England's new tool will be bringing sporting consumers into focus


A new online tool from Sport England will help sports organisations to know more about their potential customers so they can offer the right sport in the right place, targeted in the right way.

In just a few clicks, sports clubs, governing bodies, councils and other providers can find out which sports local people are likely to play – or would consider playing.

The innovative web tool brings together Sport England’s insight and research on sports participation, with the wealth of information held by Experian and the mapping excellence of Ordnance Survey. It’s based on 19 sporting personality types developed by Sport England to help us understand attitudes to sport and motivations for doing it (or not).

Free and easy to use, our Sports Market Segments web tool will help sports groups to explore and map people's likely sporting habits within a particular street, community, local authority or region.

“People are at the heart of everything we do,” said Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis. “So the more we understand their needs, the more we can do to give them the sport they want, in the way they want it. We believe this simple online tool will help local clubs to get more people playing sport by ensuring they’re creating the right sporting opportunities for people in their communities.”

One of the sports organisations already putting the tool to good effect is Hertsmere Leisure in Hertfordshire. It has used it to design and target a membership drive in the catchment areas of five of its centres. Mailshots were only sent to non-member addresses of residents who ‘looked like’ Chloe, Alison and Phillip. Each group received a different mailshot, based on their Sport England profiles; some promoting family-related services, others group exercise. The result was over 200 new members in just a few weeks.

“We were able to track the results exactly,” said Jude Lewis, from Hertsmere Leisure. “As a result of this campaign membership has significantly increased, with a return on the investment in this campaign in excess of 300%. We’re thrilled to have so many new members and are now planning another campaign using a similar methodology in January.”

County sports partnerships (CSPs) have welcomed the tool too. “We have used the sports market segmentation data extensively to support the development of our strategies and engagement with partners," said Kerry Stewart from Merseyside Sports Partnership. “We welcome the development of this web tool as it will enable clubs, facility operators and anyone involved in sport to get a real feel for the markets they are working with.”

Whether you’re from a governing body or sports club, a local council or a CSP, you can find some quick guides to using the new web tool.