Sport England has invested £450,000 of National Lottery money to fund a new free resource that'll help people, clubs and organisations use digital marketing tools and techniques to encourage more people to play sport and be physically active.
The Digital Marketing Hub, which is delivered by The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and is powered by the Digital Marketing Institute, launches on 14 September.
Designed to help the sport and physical activity sector recover and rebuild from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the hub will be launched with a webinar hosted by BT Sport presenter and The High Performance Podcast host Jake Humphrey.
The hub is tailored to small businesses, self-employed professionals and volunteers at frontline clubs and groups, as well as marketing and communication professionals at larger organisations.
It contains a wealth of resources including expert-led video lessons, toolkits, templates, webinars and walkthroughs.
All of the content is on-demand, meaning participants can curate their own training, scheduling and focus on the areas most valuable to them.
A strategic partnership with Google means that anyone signing up to the hub will also benefit from:
• tailored one-to-one mentoring from Google experts
• a bespoke series of 11 webinars designed to get your business viewable on Google
• signposting to specific and relevant courses available in the Google Digital Garage.
Al Strang, Sport England director of strategic marketing, said the launch of the Hub had come at the perfect time as the sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our research found that many people and organisations who are working to help people to be active are doing so without the knowledge or confidence they need in digital marketing,” he explained.
“It’s important that this skills gap is addressed so that the sector can emerge stronger than it was prior to the pandemic.
“The Digital Marketing Hub is part of our strategic ambition to tackle inequalities and ensure every single person in the country has the opportunity to be active. It will play a key role in upskilling those organisations involved in the delivery of sport and physical activity – including local clubs, charities, community groups and organisations with national reach."
Tara Dillon, chief executive of CIMSPA, believes the Digital Marketing Hub is a fantastic opportunity for individuals to gain skills and knowledge from experts from across the marketing sector, as well as those specifically positioned in sport and physical activity.
“Digital marketing has an increasingly important role to play, especially for self-employed and freelance professionals who rely on it to reach and engage their customers," she added.
"In the last 18 months it has become even more important to develop these skills, with many businesses and individuals needing to rebuild as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The hub comes as a direct response to research funded by Sport England which found a significant opportunity to improve digital skills within the sector.
More than 80% of respondents to Sport England’s survey said that attracting new participants was very or extremely important, but 63% said they don’t have a clear plan to deliver that through digital channels.
This research also highlighted that the digital skills gap has always existed within the sport and physical activity sector, but the pandemic has exacerbated the issue and made engagement more important than ever before.
The Digital Marketing Hub is aligned with ReTrain to Retain, an ambitious £5m job retention and support package for sport and physical activity, also funded by us using National Lottery funds.
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