That sport has an incredibly important role in our society is nothing new. Research clearly shows that people who are involved in sports are more likely to have a larger network, more friends, better self-confidence, be more healthy, have a better education, and a higher salary than people who never played or practised any sports
In addition, sport contributes to more job opportunities, creates more role models for young people, but most importantly, it creates a sense of belonging.
It is important to highlight that these effects would not be possible without well-functioning sports clubs and teams. As we all know, the two main pillars of a well-functioning sports club are sponsors and supporters (members, volunteers, parents, children, etc.)
Despite the great effect that sports have on our society, the figures show that 2 out of 3 children are too inactive.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ELITE CLUBS
Surveys indicate that elite sports have a direct impact on youth sports. With more and bigger stars, young people have role models to look up to and goals to strive for. Which leads to more children and youth in sports. Sports clubs with elite teams also have a greater probability to attract young people to their clubs for the same reason. In the opposite direction, however, this means that in cities with fewer elite teams, more young people stop playing sports at a younger age due to the lack of role models and someone to look up to.
Keeping elite teams and youth teams alive is hard work. Today, hundreds of thousands of sports clubs work with limited resources, which makes it difficult for them to attract new and retain existing supporters and sponsors within the clubs.
Through several interviews, we came to know that elite clubs primarily focus on sponsors to create economic growth. Because more money = better players = attracts a larger audience. A strategy that hardly creates cohesion because supporters always end up at the back of the line.
Therefore, we believe there is no coincidence that the Swedish Sports Confederation declared that 50% of all young people stopped playing sports due to loss of interest (among other reasons).
When supporters are always made the last priority, it becomes difficult to build loyal supporters. Eventually, they lose their interest. When the youth lose their interest in the sport, the same goes for their parents, potential volunteers, and ultimately the audience as a whole. With a decreasing amount of people in the audience, it becomes even more difficult to attract sponsors because the marketing opportunities for sponsors also decrease.
Sports clubs need a more effective way to build, manage, and maintain relationships with their sponsors, supporters, and especially the youth. They must become better at building stronger relations with their audience and supporters. They need to set a tone that creates a feeling of belonging, an identity that involves and includes everyone.
How to create this is something we will address in our future posts
YOUTH IS THE GOAL - THE ELITE IS THE MEDIUM
FOR MORE CHILDREN IN MOVEMENT
Read more at:
https://www.strategi2025.se/Problemet/ https://www.barnensidrott.se/2-av-3-4-aringar-ror-pa-sig-alldeles-for-lite/ https://www.rf.se/globalassets/riksidrottsforbundet/nya-dokument/nya-dokumentbanken/ovrigt/idrottens-samhallsnytta-kortversion.pdf