ukactive launches 2023 Digital Futures Consultation in collaboration with Sport England

ukactive and Sport England have launched the 2023 Digital Futures consultation, which offers fitness and leisure operators, national governing bodies, and active partnerships free digital benchmarking and strategic recommendations.

It is the third iteration of the annual Digital Futures consultation, which has seen the number of participating organisations double since its first year in 2021.

Organisations must complete the consultation by 31 July 2023 to be involved in this year’s programme.

By answering a set of questions designed by digital consultancy Rewrite Digital, organisations receive a digital maturity and effectiveness score; benchmarking against the sector; personalised recommendations; a private consultation with Rewrite Digital; and access to a microsite for growth and resource.

Organisations who participated across both years, known as the Digital Futures Cohort Group, have increased their digital maturity and effectiveness score by 2%. However, the fitness and leisure sector as a whole received a score of 51% in 2022, below the 2021 score of 55% – meaning the sector remains at the ‘Digital Experimenter’ level.

Last year’s consultation showed that progress within the Digital Futures Cohort Group was higher across the board, with 58% of the group responding that they are actively or heavily invested in digital, compared to the average of 46% in 2022. The cohort also cited a significant increase in artificial intelligence and machine learning at 14%, compared to the rest of the sector at 8%.

In addition, members of the Digital Futures Cohort Group demonstrated an increased score from 2021 to 2022 for having a digital strategy linked to their leisure strategy, showing greater levels overall of digital progression than the sector as a whole.

Due to global interest, it has also been possible to extend benchmarking to several global territories through contributing partners such as AUSactive; supplier partners GymSales, OurPeople; and national sports bodies suppliers GameDay and Sport:80.

Marianne Boyle, Director of Membership and Sector Development at ukactive, said: “I’m delighted at the success of the programme. With double the number of organisations having undertaken a Digital Futures Consultation in 2022 compared to 2021, we’ve been able to uncover even greater insight into the sector’s digital maturity and landscape.

“Having now expanded the Digital Futures Consultation on a global scale, we’ll be able to model best digital practices seen across the global fitness and leisure sector, positioning us as leaders in the UK digital space.

“2023 is a critical year for the Digital Futures Consultation, and we encourage organisations to take the opportunity to review their digital strategy, and have a say on future digital polices across the sector.”

The programme was designed in collaboration with leisure and fitness sector operators and the Digital Futures Advisory Group, which comprises of Sport England, and ukactive core strategic partners, Gladstone, Myzone, EGYM, Xplor, Technogym and LesMills. It was also shaped by organisations and SMEs from the fit-tech sector, such as PerfectGym, Leisure Labs, Keepme, Endurance Zone and Move Technologies.

To be involved, complete the consultation by 31 July 2023 here.

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