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Whether it’s running in the morning or playing football with friends at the weekend, being physically active is vital to living a healthy life, but how many of us are participating in sports regularly? Looking at the data provided by Active People Survey we are able to understand what the market and the future looks like for a sports franchise.
We love our sports in the UK and this hasn’t been so prevalent since the 2012 London Olympics when the UK population had the opportunity to witness in person the British Olympic team dominate in a wide range of sports. This was a catalyst for change for many of us, but it appears it wasn’t particularly effective in increasing the amount of participation for every sports franchise, it was more around what type of sports people decided to participate in.
As you can see from the Sports Participation infographic below, running is the favourite sport of choice for the UK population. This isn’t surprising as its low cost, can be done anywhere and the health benefits are obvious. What is surprising is that whilst running is maintaining the top spot, athletics as a whole has seen a large decline. The likely reason for this decline is the rise of sports participation in fitness classes and gym franchises. We derived this conclusion from the fact that gyms and athletics both provide very similar health benefits, but a gym can be low cost, inside a comfortable environment and offer 24/7 access.
The other influential shift in the sports franchise market is coming for the rise in football participation across the UK. Whilst football may only hold 5% market share for sports participation, its important to note that it’s a team sport. This means you need others to play it, which decreases the opportunity for everyone to participate regularly.
In the UK we try to promote everyone to regularly participate in some kind of sports exercise and whilst this is fairly effective, there’s still a few that’s lagging behind. Female activity levels are relatively close to male activity levels with a difference of around -5%. The problem is that this margin has increased over the last 10 years. Whilst sport franchises and the UK government are trying to promote female sports participation with the likes of “This Girl Can” campaign, we still have a way to go.
When it comes to age, it’s not surprising that younger people participate in sport more regularly as they are less likely to have time constraints or health considerations that make regular exercise difficult. The issue here is that whilst it’s understandable that its harder to maintain regular exercise, it doesn’t change the fact that regular exercise is vital for your health and wellbeing. With a 16% increase of inactivity from the age range of 16-24 to 25-34, we need to work harder to find a solution to keep everyone active when their work and/or family life begins.
When opening a sports franchise, you need to understand how large of a target market you have in a territory to evaluate the potential revenue available. With data on sport participation for different sexes, ages, locations and types of sports, you can begin to understand what your realistic franchise target market is in the UK and even in a particular territory.
From the data presented in the Sport Participation infographic, we are able to identify what type of sports franchise has the healthiest outlook in the near future. With a high participation rate for fitness classes, running and gyms, it means gym franchises are in a great position to maintain a very strong hold of the market.
The franchise market that has the strongest signals of continued growth are football sports franchises. This is mainly coming from males in the 16-24 age range, but also with higher levels expected from female participation, the outlook for football sports franchises are very positive.
With all of this taken into consideration, it is clear to see one franchise in particular has a very strong outlook for the future. This franchise is Leisure Leagues. Leisure leagues has been highlighted as its in a growth market, it offers the flexibility of only needing 5 players to participate and it also offers local matches.
If football isn’t for you then there’s many alternatives that also have a positive outlook, here’s some great sport franchises– Sports Franchise Opportunities