WISLEY, UNITED KINGDOM – January 2017 Leading market research firm SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. announces new results from its ground-breaking participation study across 27 sports in 21 countries worldwide.
The research began in 2014-15 over a two-year cycle, with the 2016 figures offering up to date information on the state of play in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland Australia, USA, Japan and India. 2016’s figures therefore also represent a chance to assess changes over the course of the last two years, bringing trend based information to this vital area of the industry.
“This research gives brands invaluable data and detailed insight into the key question of ‘who is doing my sport’. Understanding participation is critical for demand forecasting, strategic planning and identification of potential areas for growth across many key sports. This is the first time comparative findings on this scale have been available on an international basis. ,” said John Bushell, Managing Director, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.
The findings are essential to brands in understanding the international consumer market in their sports. Meanwhile, federations and governing bodies can explore the starting age and play frequency of current participants while also monitoring the sports competing for players’ time, and targeting new demographics for potential growth.
The robust research, which surveys 3,000 households per country, explores the rates of sports participation in unprecedented depth, showing detailed demographic splits, as well as tracking motivations and other play habits.
A full report costs £650 per country per sport, although discounts are available for multiple sports/countries.
SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC., is a full-service market research agency with offices in the UK and USA. It offers syndicated and bespoke research programmes in a range of sports, working with brands, retailers, venues, events, federations and governing bodies.
Editor’s note: SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. undertook the fieldwork with a leading international research panel provider in the last two year and have completed with SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS USA. over 250,000 interviews in more than 20 markets covering 100 sports on the playing of sport. This programme has been done with the support of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the US TIA (Tennis Industry Association) as part of a wider programme into equipment usage and participation.
SPORTS INSIGHT: TENNIS HABITS
Although we have been very busy this summer undertaking multiple research projects at Roland-Garos and Wimbledon, we have also been working on the 2016 Tennis Participation report. This report measures tennis participation across 21 countries worldwide and uncovers participation rates, equipment sales and much more. We recently shared some of our stats with Sports Insight magazine. See more below:
WISLEY, UNITED KINGDOM – April 2016 – SMS INC. can exclusively reveal data that proves how professional events can affect a nation’s tennis participation figures.
Specifically, the company’s new research clearly displays the positive impact of hosting a Grand Slam tournament.
The four Grand Slam host nations, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, are the countries where adults are most likely to play tennis at least once per year, according to SMS INC.
The same nations also feature in the top seven states where adults are most likely to play at least once a quarter, alongside Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands.
Australia lead the way in participation, with 11% of adults playing at least once a year and 7% playing at least once a quarter. In the UK, 7% play once a year, the same as in France, although the frequency of participation in France is higher; 5.1% of the population (3.09 million participants) play at least 12 times a year compared with just 3.6% in the UK.
Getting players involved during adolescence appears to be fundamental to this success, with a correlation revealed between hosting a Grand Slam and the age at which a nation’s players first take to the court.
Grand Slam hosts Australia, France and the UK all feature in the top five countries for exposing youngsters to the game, with the average current player in each of these countries introduced to the sport before the age of 15. The UK and France are in fact joint second on this measure, behind only South Africa, which has much lower tennis participation overall. The USA lags behind its Grand Slam counterparts in ninth place with an average starting age of just under 17.
By contrast, the average tennis player in Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands began playing in their early twenties. Seven further countries have an average starting age of between 18 and 20.
However, SMS INC. can also reveal that hosting prestigious professional events has almost no bearing on participants’ frequency of playing. The research shows that Argentinian and Brazilian players play more than 50 times a year on average, demonstrating an enthusiasm that will surely only be bolstered by the arrival of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
France leads among Grand Slam host nations, with players averaging 33 appearances on a tennis court annually.
SMS INC’s participation research covers 21 countries in a rolling 2-year programme. The next wave is available now.
For more information or to enquire about purchasing any of SMS INC.’s industry leading participation studies please contact:
ANDY RUSSELL – SPORTS ACCOUNT MANAGER at SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. Tel +44 (0) 1932 345 539 / firstname.lastname@example.org
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION STUDY ACROSS 27 SPORTS
The research has been conducted over a two-year cycle. The figures cover countries in six continents, namely: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA.
“This research gives brands invaluable data and detailed insight into one of the key questions of ‘who is doing my sport’ critical to demand forecasting, planning and identification of potential areas for growth across many key sports. Comparative findings on this scale has not been available in this detail on such an international scale,” said John Bushell, Managing Director, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.
The intricate findings generated by this study are of vital importance to brands in understanding the international consumer market in their sports. Meanwhile, federations and governing bodies can explore the starting age and play frequency of current participants while also monitoring the sports competing for players’ time and targeting new demographics for potential growth.
The research explores the rates of participation in unprecedented depth, delving into details such as age, gender and socio-economic group.
Results from the 63,000 households surveyed or 3,000 per market are now available for interested parties, and reports can be individually tailored to all of the listed countries and sports by request.
Editor’s note: SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. undertook the fieldwork with a leading international research panel provider in the last two years and have completed with SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS USA. Over 250,000 interviews in more than 20 markets covering 100 sports were carried out. This programme has been done with the support of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the US TIA (Tennis Industry Association) as part of a wider programme into equipment usage and participation.
Tennis Europe has published the 2015 edition of the European Tennis Report, based on research conducted by SMS INC. This is the third time that Tennis Europe and SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. have partnered to produce the biannual report, which provides statistical analysis from Tennis Europe’s 49 member nations.
The full report provides in depth insight into the market, highlighting trends in key categories including players, clubs, courts and coaches.
Key findings of the report include:
Slight declines in the numbers of tennis clubs and courts across 49 nations
Stable participation in the five markets that each claim over 10% of European players (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain)
Fastest growing nations in terms of tennis participation are Armenia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Ukraine
Three nations (Austria, Belarus and Ukraine) show increases in club membership of more than 20% since 2012
JOHN BUSHELL SHARES KEY STATS AT THE INAUGURAL TIA TENNIS SUMMIT
John Bushell of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. shares some statistics that delve deep into the state of tennis in the UK, and demonstrates that it is not all gloomy according to some key performance indicators.
According to the Sport England Active people Survey (7), in the 12 months up to April 2013, 424,300 people over the age of 16 played tennis in the UK at least once a week. Back in October 2009 the figure was just over 500,000. So in the last four years there has been a marked and much publicised decline in participation in the sport, although Bushell was quick to point out that this figure only included those who meet the definition of having played four times in the last four weeks – a Sport England measure that is used for all sports, and is the equivalent of playing weekly.
Citing the involvement of young people in the sport as one of the key indicators of the health of tennis, Bushell illustrated how an innovative approach to the sport could be used to engage young people. Sixty five per cent of 16–19 year olds surveyed agreed with the statement that using video games “makes you more likely to play the sport for real”. Interestingly the figure dropped to 56% for 20–24 year olds and 34% for 35–44 year olds. This was also evidenced in an anecdotal response that shows how promoting the sport as “fun” can also help engage youngsters. “You need to promote fun. Then they’re hooked and they want to get better because they want to have more fun.”
The frequency with which core players participate in tennis is also cited as an indicator of the appeal of the sport. In the UK 63% of the core market play several times a week, while for other countries this figure rises to 69%, suggesting there is the possibility to engage these people even more. In the UK the average number of times a core player plays tennis in any given year is 73, compared to 77 in other countries.
Perhaps the most marked difference between the habits of these players inside and outside of the UK is the location of play. Only 40% of UK players take to a public court compared with 57% of players outside of the UK. There is a resource outside of the private members club that could provide a real boost to the game – and getting more people playing on courts in public parks or utilizing facilities further at schools or colleges could be key to unlocking the potential of the sport.
The UK is blessed with the Grand Slam at Wimbledon, which has a high level of interest both within the UK and further afield (4.8 out of 5 was the level of interest score for the UK players). Interest in the UK in the Davis Cup is lower than for overseas countries, however the recent advancement of Team GB to the quarter-finals, Britain’s best result for 28 years, should raise interest in the men’s international team competition.
Of particular interest to the manufacturers operating in the UK were Bushell’s figures for equipment sales in the UK, which have been encouraging in the last two years. Between 2011 and 2013 racket sales increased by 23%, resulting in a 4.1 percentage point increase in share of Britain in the wider European market. Overall UK volume share within Europe is now 21.5% compared with 17.4% in 2011.
Ball sales have increased a staggering 36% in the UK in the last five years since the start of the global economic crisis, compared to a similarly healthy but not so spectacular 17% increase across wider European markets, taking the UK’s overall share of ball sales within Europe by volume to 19.2%. This has been influenced by the tennis ball prices not having increased during this period – so that new balls are comparatively more affordable.
And finally, as an indicator of the health of tennis in the UK, it was noted that in 1993 Britain had six male players in the world Top 300, compared with five in 2013. In the women’s game ten years ago there were four women ranked in the world’s Top 300 and by 2013 this had increased to seven.
Bushell concluded by suggesting some ways that tennis could position itself based on these findings to maximize levels of interest. Getting to new players early – and starting them playing whilst at primary school age is important. Being seen as a fun sport was top of that list for bringing in young players – and the sport needs to work on this aspect. Over 75% of current players see tennis as providing a good workout – and with obesity and inactivity being high on the health agenda of the nation, this is another real opportunity. There are some “givens” for all leisure activities which remain true for tennis, namely the need to be affordable, accessible and welcoming. Tennis has a number of real opportunities to grow participation and importantly as well as improve the health of our sport – improve the health of Great Britain.