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Trends in the Charity and Sports Events Markets

Yesterday morning, at London’s Commonwealth Club, we saw the insight and thought leadership driving the recently announced partnership of ACTIVE Network and Just Giving. An audience of 93 leading organisations heard from both companies and industry leaders before they had their say.

Co-host Keith Williams, Head of Biz Dev for ACTIVE Network, revealed new data showing the endurance sports market (running, cycling, and triathlon) in the UK has seen a 23% growth in the number of events organised since 2008. Cycling and triathlon have shown the sharpest increase, buoyed by on-going success of British Cycling and the publicised achievements of the Olympian Brownlee Brothers. This increase in the number of events contrasts markedly with ACTIVE’s insight into event participation – which has seen just a 1% increase in those four years. There are more people participating but they are being more choosy, meaning competition is intense and on the increase.


ACTIVE Network and JustGiving shared their expectations for the considerable growth of mobile as people’s primary device for accessing the internet. If your participants and fundraisers can’t find, register and activate their fundraising via their mobile phone they probably won’t [1].

Use of Social Media influence in the endurance and fundraising events market was spotlighted at the event with JustGiving, revealing that each individual fundraising page that is shared on Facebook is seen by an average of 562 people [3]. ACTIVE Network published research that revealed Facebook has driven 300% more ROI to event organisers than email communications [4].

Through insight and case studies courtesy of Jo Dyson and Graham Tyrell (Maggies Cancer Care Centres) and Mike Tomlinson (Run for All), the hosts illustrated the importance of engagement with the consumer, putting them at the centre of your organisation. The use of video, social media, mobile optimisation, and accessible intelligence and understanding around your community are areas that give significant return on investment.

“Making Every Step Count” also allowed an opportunity for endurance event organisers and charities to network, share ideas and create new business relations. The benefits for event organisers, corporates and charities teaming up and forging stronger relationships were highlighted by Jenny Baskerville from KPMG who partnered Barnardos on the Big Blue Kick, and by Mike Tomlinson and the story behind Run for All.

Find out more about ACTIVE Network & JustGiving partnership here


[1] Based on past and current analysis of Google analytics and ACTIVE Network data over a period of 12 months.

[2] JustGiving analysed internal data for over 300,000 fundraising pages, with additional data from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. In total, each individual fundraising campaign has an average of 562 impressions on Facebook, through fundraisers and sponsors sharing information about the event

[3] Data verified based on the analytics of ACTIVE Network client endurance events based on the referral links from registrants over a period of 4 months in 2011.




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Trends in the Charity and Sports Events Markets