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New survey shows potential of events to connect cities with hard-to-reach groupsDecember 19, 2023

Findings from new BCW Sports survey shows potential of sports events to connect cities with hard-to-reach groups

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Findings from new BCW Sports survey shows potential of sports events to connect cities with hard-to-reach groups

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BCW Sports, the sports practice of leading global communications agency BCW, today published a new study exploring the role of sports events in government communications with hard-to-reach groups.

Inspired by the recent Leaders’ Report from WPP's Government & Public Sector Practice, the study shared today is the result of a global survey among 100 cities worldwide on how they use sports events to engage groups that are often difficult to reach by traditional government communications, known as hard-to-reach groups.

Notable results of the survey showed that:

  • 84% of cities believe that sports events could serve as a platform for reaching out to hard-to-reach groups.
  • 62% of cities factor in reaching out to hard-to-reach groups when deciding to host events.
  • 47% of cities already use sports events to communicate with hard-to-reach groups.
  • 53% of cities are willing to allocated additional resource for developing communication campaigns targeting hard-to-reach groups through sports events.

Based on the findings of the survey, three key learnings were drawn:

  1. Cities recognise the potential of sports events for outreach, yet only half are seizing the opportunity.
  2. Hosting smaller scale events can be a better platform to connect with hard-to-reach groups.
  3. City sports units, often without dedicated communication teams, pursue partnerships to broaden their outreach.

Lars Haue-Pedersen, BCW Sports Managing Director, said: “We hope that these key learnings will provide valuable insights for cities around the world seeking to enhance their communication strategies, engage hard-to-reach groups, and contribute to a more inclusive society.”

Download the BCW Study: Can sports events play a role in government communication with hard-to-reach groups?

About the study

BCW Sports conducted a comprehensive methodology for the study, including an online survey completed by over 30 host cities spanning all five continents, in-depth interviews with representatives from more than 10 active host cities, and a review of current knowledge and initiatives complemented by best-in-class communications and sports insights provided by BCW.

The term 'hard-to-reach,' as defined in the study, encompasses segments of the population with lower levels of engagement in social, political, or economic activities. These groups include young individuals, those facing disadvantages, the homeless, people living with disabilities, those with mental health challenges, linguistic minorities, indigenous populations, and ethnic minorities.

For more information, contact Héloïse Signe, BCW Account Manager, Switzerland, [email protected].