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ukactive has today (5 June) launched the 2024 Digital Futures consultation in partnership with the Digital Futures Advisory Group, offering fitness and leisure organisations, national governing bodies and active partnerships, free digital benchmarking and strategic recommendations.

It is the fourth iteration of the annual Digital Futures consultation and organisations must complete the consultation by Wednesday 31 July 2024 to be involved in this year’s programme.

Operators and suppliers across the physical activity and sports sector are invited to answer a set of questions designed by independent digital consultancy Rewrite Digital, which are analysed to provide:

  • a digital maturity and effectiveness score
  • benchmarking against the sector
  • personalised recommendations
  • a private consultation with Rewrite Digital
  • access to a microsite for growth and resource.

This year’s consultation includes new questions to understand how emerging technologies and digital sustainability are impacting organisations in achieving their ambitions and for the first time, participants will be offered a second survey for deeper analysis, as well as tailored resources to support their digital transformation journey.

Participating organisations will benefit from greater insight into the impact digital can have in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion; the role digital services can play in improving consumer experience; and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in supporting growth.

Last year’s consultation saw 316 organisations (204 in the UK and 112 from outside the UK) complete the assessment and the final report presented the fullest picture yet of the sector’s digital maturity levels. There was a 12% increase in the number of private operators taking part compared to 2022.

Organisations that have participated across all three years of the consultation, known as the Digital Futures Cohort Group, have on average, scored 18% higher than the sector average, showing the benefit of continued engagement and participation in the consultation year on year.

ukactive and its partners are encouraging as many organisations as possible to get involved this year, irrespective of participation in previous years, to ensure that the programme continues to present the most accurate picture possible of the sector’s digital maturity.

The Digital Futures programme was referenced in the Government’s ‘Get Active’ strategy for sport and physical activity, which aims to get 3.5 million more people active by 2030. It highlighted the combined work of ukactive and the British Chamber of Commerce’s report ‘Digital Revolution Challenge’ on the growth and opportunity presented by emerging technology.

Dave Gerrish, Head of Digital Transformation at ukactive, said: “Following the success of last year’s programme where we expanded the Digital Futures consultation globally, as we enter the fourth year of the programme we want to help grow the sector’s reputation to become leaders in the UK’s digital space.

“This consultation provides a critical opportunity to review and assess the barriers facing operators and suppliers, and create meaningful change that can support organisations’ digital maturity.

“We encourage all our members, whether operators or suppliers, to take advantage of this year’s consultation and at the same time help us achieve the most accurate picture of the sector’s digital maturity so we can work collectively to drive improvement.”

The Digital Futures programme was designed in collaboration with leisure and fitness operators such as DLL, Everyone Active, Parkwood, Anytime Fitness and Pembrokeshire Leisure. In addition, the Digital Futures Advisory Group comprising of ukactive core strategic partners, Gladstone, EGYM and Technogym. It was also shaped by strategic contributor partners from the fit-tech sector, such as Perfect Gym, Keepme, Leisure Labs, Xn Leisure, Zoom Media and Endurance Zone and specific activation partners fibodo (representing the health sector) and Sport:80 (representing the National Governing Bodies).

To complete the 2024 Digital Futures consultation by Wednesday 31 July, click here.