Sport England (formerly the English Sports Council) is a non-departmental public body answerable to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It is funded by central government and the National Lottery, and its focus is community sport. Its market segmentation data profiles different population groups in terms of their sports attitudes, behaviours, motivations and barriers. Sport England asked OCC to develop an interactive web-based tool to make this data publicly available.
In 2010, Sports England undertook a large project to refresh the sports market segmentation data which profiles different types of sports users in England. This produced a very large dataset, which Sport England decided to make publicly available via the internet in order to inform investment in and delivery of sports services and facilities.
We used Sport England’s refreshed data to produce the sports market segmentation web tool. This enables users to analyse the general population and their characteristics at different social and geographic levels. Users can find out the sporting habits, lifestyle choices and marketing preferences of people living in different areas. The data is available at a range of geographical areas, from individual postcodes to local authorities or regions.
One important user is local councils, who can use the tool to help plan investment into local sporting facilities. Clubs and sports bodies can learn more about the profile of their catchment areas, helping them produce marketing or develop programmes tailored to current and potential customers. On a smaller scale, a private sports centre that is considering investing in tennis coaching facilities can use the tool to find out if there are enough people in the local area interested in using such facilities.
The website presents the results in the form of downloadable maps, charts and tables, and as an overlay onto Ordnance Survey maps.
The feedback from end users has been extremely encouraging. The tool is intuitive to use and provides valuable insight at a very local level, making it relevant to national partners, local authorities and those working with clubs and communities.