ACTIVE Network and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers’ Association (SGMA) released a new study on the top motivators and blockers for physical activity. Polling millions of Americans (including kids, teens and adults), the study reveals some interesting insights into why we engage in sports and why we drop out. At a time where childhood obesity is a top concern, the study provides clues that could help all of us who are a part of the sports industry take more action.
A few of the highlights are:
- Key blockers for starting and continuing activities in adulthood is a lack of social support and “other priorities.” 35% of respondents indicated that not knowing anyone else doing an activity limited their desire to participate.
- Takeaway: There is a key opportunity for event directors to grow participation by making events more social. Try incorporating training buddies or fun group activities to keep people motivated and involved.
- 60% of adults indicate they’re not more active because they “just don’t like sports.” Which makes us think—what about simple activities like playing with your children or going for a bike ride? Any type of activity will count!
- Takeaway: Try adding less intimidating elements to your events. For example, if you organize a marathon, add a 5K fun run/walk. Or what about a Beach Cruiser bike race? Take the pressure off by including smaller activities within your larger event that may fall outside the traditional box of endurance sports.
- Adults spend more on sports apparel and footwear than they do on sports events, clubs etc.
- Takeaway: Beef up your merchandise! Offer more than just a commemorative event t-shirt. Sell a variety of apparel, which will help you get more exposure for your brand as well.
- Fun is a chief motivating factor for youths and teens, with 92 and 88% of respondents, respectively, pointing to fun as their reason for participating. However, less than 33% of adult respondents selected fun as a motivator for health or fitness. Adults are downplaying fun in their activities and are much less active as a result.
- Takeaway: Get people to remember what it’s like to be a kid. Once again, incorporating fun and social aspects to your event will attract more participants. Add a theme, encourage spectator involvement, offer prizes for costumes.
- 85% of parents with children active in two or more activities indicated involvement in six sports/activities themselves. The more sports or activities in which a parent participates, the more likely their child is to be active.
- Takeaway: Give parents a platform to be a hero! Add events for kids and create opportunities for parents and children to celebrate together. For example, you could have joint awards ceremonies or a special place at the finish line for kids to cheer on their parents. This will strengthen loyalty to your event, get more people active, and create good habits for the younger generation.