Two Circles: Our Sporting Planet

04 Jul 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Two Circles Content Lead Harry Hawkins explains how sport is set to capitalise on the rising global demand for leisure - and more so than any other single leisure pursuit.

Recorded at Two Circles Annual Client Conference in London, the video below entitled ‘Our Sporting Planet’, discusses how increasing engagement with sport will accelerate commercial growth for the global sports industry. 

The world’s population is increasing, growing in affluence, urbanising and devoting a greater share of its waking hours to the consumption of leisure activities. And according to Two Circles research, people are turning to sport ahead of other recreational pursuits to spend this increased leisure time.

The average time spent participating in and consuming sport has grown by 22% over the last 10 years – almost double the rate of overall leisure time growth (12%), according to the Sports Marketing Agency. 

The number of hours spent by the average person playing, watching and following sport globally will reach one hour 46 minutes per week in 2019.

This is compared to one hour 26 minutes a week 10 years ago, representing an average growth rate of 1.8% year-on-year, or 22% across the decade. In the same period, global leisure time increased at an average growth rate of 1.1% year-on-year or 12% across the decade.

The successes of the major US leagues’ international expansion strategies; the Premier League’s continued global viewership growth; and the exponential growth of women’s sport – seen with the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup – are just three prominent examples of sport’s continued penetration into everyday global life.

Gareth Balch, Two Circles CEO, said:“Many areas of the global economy have benefited from population growth, rising wealth and technological innovation. However, sport’s cultural significance, contribution to physical and mental well-being, and unique positioning as the last bastion in appointment-to-watch viewing, mean the role sport plays in peoples’ lives has grown consistently across the last decade.”

“In a world of shorter attention spans and greater leisure time, sport – largely through its ability to deliver unrivalled levels of live content – is winning the fight for relevance. And with almost every area of life and human interaction becoming digital-first, our data analysis shows that sport is primed to be the fastest growing sector of the leisure industry in the next decade.

“This growth will be driven primarily by the fast-growing digital consumption of sport, and we project a rise in the amount of live long-form event coverage available online – and a greater emphasis on ‘outside the ropes’ content away from matchday action – will accelerate the amount of time spent engaging with sport relative to other leisure pursuits.”