Viewing archives for running research



Golf Tourism England (GTE) has announced it has formed a strategic alliance with one of the most respected research and analysis businesses, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. (SMS INC.). The partnership will create a unique bank of research that will allow GTE to monitor the current market trends, identify areas for attention and action, as well as the impact its product development strategy has on the market place. The partnership follows the recent success of GTE, one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by Visit England and we will be working together on a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry.

“SMS INC. are one of the most established and recognised insight businesses in the world of sport and certainly a central figure in the golf industry,” commented Andrew Cooke, Founder & CEO of Golf Tourism England. “Our partnership will enable us to generate unique insights into national golf tourism that will help us tailor and shape the strategy for creating impact for England’s golf tourism stakeholders. Their partnership is of significant value to us and we know this will provide us further strength and depth with our endeavors.”

“We believe it is a very exciting time to be part of the GTE strategy working with the Discover England funding programme,” said John Bushell, Managing Director SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. “Our experience of working with other national tourism bodies on their golf strategies will enable us to create a strong research framework that will benefit GTE and Visit England and lay some strong foundations to develop the domestic and international golf travel market in England. It is an exciting opportunity and one we are proud to be associated with and to demonstrate the strength our data analysis and interpretation can have at a national level.”SMS INC. will conduct a full survey with GTE members and the current crop of golf travellers in England. The process will evaluate the visitor readiness of clubs and their connection to the trade function for welcoming guests. This analysis will afford the team of research experts the chance to qualify their findings and provide clear insights into areas of opportunity and growth. The findings will form part of GTE’s reporting to Visit England, outlining how the product development directive and Discover England fund can unlock national tourism benefits, beyond the direct golf property impact.

GTE has embarked upon amplifying the cluster appeal for many of England’s established golfing regions. The strategy is clear; cumulative attraction will unlock cumulative gains. By bringing together regions, connecting key supplier partners and providing a distinct marketing campaign, England will enjoy a fresh new perception and reap new economic rewards with increased footfall across the countries network of golf, leisure, entertainment and cultural experiences.

“By working together, England can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best destinations in the world,” commented Matt Selby, Director of Operations Golf Tourism England. “By connecting suppliers and uniting stakeholders, the trade engagement potential is far greater. England has never reached its full potential from a marketing stand-point, but the product is world-class. The education process is ongoing, but seamless once we address key issues operators face when trying to create packages and share more details on the actual day-by-day experience consumers can enjoy.”

GTE will be conducting the research program with immediate effect and sharing its findings over the coming months.

Running Retailer Trends: Prize Draw T’s & C’s


Prize Draw Terms & Conditions

1) Promoter:
SPORTS MARKETINGSURVEYS INC. is responsible for running a free prize draw for people who complete the survey. The prize draw will be administered by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.

2) Eligibility:
The prize draw is open to all those who complete the survey.

3) Promotion period:
Entries will be accepted throughout the survey period, which ends on 31st November 2016.

4) Entry:
Entry into the draw is activated on receipt of the survey data by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. following a telephone interview. No purchase or payment is required.

5) Limitation of entries:
Only one entry per person will be accepted. Automated entries, bulk entries or third party entries will be disqualified.

6) Prizes:
Details of the prize are as outlined in the invitation at the point of participation.
No transfer or assignment of prizes will be permitted. SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value.

7) Draw:
The winners will be drawn at random from all eligible entries, which will be witnessed by an observer independent of the research team conducting the draw.  The draw will be conducted within 28 days of the survey closing unless otherwise specified by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.  Prizes will be administered within 28 days of the draw being made.
SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. reserves the right to postpone the draw should the survey period be extended. All decisions are final and binding.

8) Winners
Results from the draw will be posted on the SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. website:


the golf intelligence report

The most recent issue of Golf Retailing magazine featured a substantial report from SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. on the state of the UK Golf industry. The report consisted of information from three areas; Retail Audit, the European Tour equipment census, and consumer data from core UK golfers. The data includes the top 5 brands in each sector by sales, trends and consumer opinion and stats on from the European Tour, highlighting what the professionals are using.

gr homepage

SMS INC.’s John Bushell gave his insight into the market in 2015, and what lies ahead:

Rounds played by the end of quarter three 2015 were up almost 1 per cent in GB, despite a 24 per cent drop in Scotland. Regardless of a potential year-end decline caused by the deluge of rain in December, 2015 represents a good performance as 2014 was the second strongest year between 2010 and 2014.
Encouragingly, the total number of adults playing on a full length golf course stabilised at 3.3 million in 2015, with Core Golfers – playing twelve times a year or more – steady at 1.5m. We did see an increase in the number of avid golfers (those who play 52 times a year or more) up 53,000. Initial analysis of 2016 suggests that whilst the avid golfer number has stayed steady, the regular golfer number (those who play 12-51 times a year) has declined. We know that club members play over five times as many rounds per year as non-members. Given the 22 per cent drop in registered membership in England in the last decade, a challenge is to help players find a golf club and a membership model that suits them. This, alongside increasing play frequency, is critical, since Core Golfers make up 46 per cent of total players, but account for over 80 per cent of total golf expenditure.
Embracing fast, fun and flexible formats of the game is crucial, and initiatives to offer handicaps on the basis of 9 holes, to open competitions to all – irrespective of age or gender – and to encourage family golfing activities is vital.” (Continued in the magazine..)




Some extracts from the report are shown above, but please contact us for more information, or see Golf Retailing for the full report.

+44 (0)1932 345 539



Sports such as swimming, cycling and running are the most popular sports in the UK in terms of participation figures, thus it is no surprise that triathlon is on the rise.





The full infographic by GLUE Studio can be found here




SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. announces the completion of a survey of core runners in conjunction with Runner’s World Magazine.

The report, which is available now from SMS INC., includes data from 2,697 runners who actively engage with Runner’s World Magazine.

“The results of this survey will give running brands unrivalled insight into an important group of consumers, offering detailed data on purchasing habits, differences between demographics and more,” said John Bushell, MD of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.

The survey reveals that the top three reasons for running are to keep fit (76.8%), to improve health (44.6%) and for reducing stress (40.6%).

Those surveyed were also asked to categorise themselves, resulting in 55.7% falling into the ‘Committed Runner’ category, 20.1% declaring themselves as ‘Social Runners’, 8.3% running primarily to train for other sports and 16% for ‘other reasons’.

The results of the survey also reveal that 43.4% of participants are members of a formal running club, with an additional 25% belonging to an informal club. Over 65% of the database claim to run competitively.

Purchasing Habits:

SMS INC.’s report also provides pivotal insight into UK runners’ purchasing habits, revealing that despite recent trends; just 18% of those surveyed own barefoot or natural running shoes.

Over half (55.3%) purchase shoes every 6-12 months, while 29% buy new shoes every 3-6 months. The average price paid for a new pair of running shoes is £80.99.

Furthermore, the report reveals an even split between those purchasing online (49.9%) and in-store (50.1%).

The full report is available from SMS INC. now.


The UK’s Triathlon Industry Association claims that their three-discipline sport is the ‘fastest growing in the UK’. A recent global multisport research project conducted by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. confirms that swimming, running, and cycling are the three leading sports in the UK for participation, and so there is vast potential for athletes to amalgamate their existing participation and become Triathletes.

Swimming is the number one sport in the UK with almost a third of the adult population classing themselves as a swimmer (participating four times a year or more). Running is second with around 10.5 million participants, and cycling third with just under 9 million. Around 10% of the UK adult population participate in two of the three triathlon sports, and over half of those participate in all three activities, thus clearly demonstrating the potential reach, and growth of triathlon as a unique sport.

While each of the three component sports has long been enjoyed by large numbers of people, we are now seeing real growth in participation in this relatively modern combination sport. Although the origin of ‘Les Trois Sports’ is attributed to France in the 1920’s, the first modern swim-bike-run event entitled ‘Triathlon’ was held in San Diego, California in 1974, operated by members of the San Diego Track Club, making the modern event merely forty years old.

Bearing in mind that this first modern Triathlon was administered by runners at a track club, the claim that running is a major point of entry into the sport is not surprising.

The statistics seem to support this: SMS INC. estimates that of the 8% of the UK adult population who are avid runners (running at least once a week throughout the year), approximately 14% of these are also avid cyclists, 16% also avid swimmers and 4% avid participants in all three sports.

However it is the avid cyclist who is most likely to also participate in the two othertriathlon sports. Over a quarter of these cyclists also profess to be avid runners, one-fifth swim weekly, and 7% are avid in all three.

The higher crossover of cyclists to the other sports could be a consequence of the higher costs of cycling in comparison to running or swimming; neither of which necessitate great cost in terms of equipment. The avid cyclist is therefore someone with greater means and willingness to commit cash to their sport as well as time.

The interest in Triathlon in the UK has particularly flourished in recent years following the successes of the Brownlee brothers at the London Olympics in 2012, and subsequently at the ITU World Grand Final, also staged in Hyde Park, one year ago.

The 2013 World Grand Final, supported by the Mayor of London, was one of the first major Olympic legacy events to occur in the capital and welcomed over 8,500 participants from around the globe, competing for Elite, U23, Juniors, Para-triathlon and Age-Group World Championship Titles. It also offered the opportunity for the Open Age-Group to participate, and experience the same Hyde Park fervour as the sport’s elite.

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. also endorsed the event as the approved equipment census provider, conducting a comprehensive analysis of all brands used in each discipline.

Blueseventy and Orca were the leading wetsuit brands counted at transition one after the swim through Hyde Park’s Serpentine, among more than 60 different wetsuit brands present.

Asics was the most prevalent brand of running shoe throughout all five days of competition: 25% of all competitors wore the Japanese running specialist’s shoes making it the leader in all competition categories, despite over 30 other running shoe brands featuring.

Ten equipment categories were monitored in the cycling stage including the bike itself, the shoes, the pedals, the groupsets, wheels, aerobar and eyewear among others. While not all competitors exhibited items in all categories (over half of the competitors did not have a cycle computer, and one third did not have eyewear) the report comprises a comprehensive indicator of the complexity, in terms of kit, of the cycling discipline alone, and the multitude of brands that compete there..

So, while committed participants are not discouraged by the multitude of kit that retailers may offer to aid participation, only certain equipment is fundamental to the sport. Stripped back to the basics of simply swim, a ride, and a run, many retailers can supply a potential participant with the essentials of a swimsuit, bike (plus helmet), and a pair of running shoes helping the sport to continue to thrive.