The Challenge


Back in 2014, Sport England wanted to find out why growth in sport and physical activity had stalled among young people, and how theY could change this.

The organisation realised it needed to get closer to young people and get them more involved in the way it develops policy and decides where to invest. In particular, it needed to get through to those who were not already engaged with sport.

“This is a sector where a lot of people are passionate about sport. Sometimes there’s a gap between their experience and that of everyone else.”
Andrew Spiers, Strategic Lead, Research, Evaluation and Analysis, Sport England

Sport England Youth Personalities

The Solution


Sport England worked with YouthSight on a series of projects spanning three years.

First, an attitudinal segmentation of 14-25-year-olds identified six personas, including sport enthusiasts, cautious introverts and ambitious self-starters. A panel was recruited to represent these personas, that Sport England could tap into at any time.

We built on this with qualitative work to develop a set of principles for communicating with each of these segments, particularly those who were uninterested in or lukewarm about sport. This was shared with everyone from grass-roots clubs to the Football Association and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Out of that came an online co-creation project where young people helped to come up with new ways of getting active.

The last piece of research looked at transitions from school to college or university, and how this creates opportunities for young people to try out new activities.

The Outcome


The work conducted with YouthSight helped contribute to a culture change at Sport England, grounding its work in a deeper, first-hand understanding of young people.

It fed into Sport England’s new Towards An Active Nation strategy, which focuses on giving young people “a voice and choice” when it comes to sport and physical activity, and includes a specific commitment to supporting people through the transition from secondary to higher education.

What next?

From getting Millennials more active to predicting the future of tuition fees, explore our case studies and see how we helped the UK's biggest brands win over today's youth.

 

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