How do young people feel about sports? When Sport England went about answering that question, it was more complex than you might expect.
FIND WHAT MATTERS
Sport England is on a mission: to get more young people to find sports and activities they love and want to take part in regularly. Having carried out thorough research into young people’s experiences and attitudes to physical activity, the organisation had unlocked vital insights. Next, they needed to convey this information to sports leaders, practitioners and policy-makers who could use it to encourage more young people to get involved in sports and exercise, and form enduring habits.
The research identified six key personality groups and Sport England developed tailored advice on how to engage each of them. It was powerful and often surprising content that we could all see would be invaluable to those delivering sports and exercise programmes. But it was complex and long. We needed striking visuals and practical, accessible content.
MAKE IT MATTER MORE
We worked closely with the Sport England team, drawing on their knowledge and expertise of the issue and audience. The team was extremely passionate about the project, and were looking for external experts to help them prioritise messaging. They knew we could help them focus on what their audience wanted and needed to achieve their goals.
First, we set about understanding and distilling complex research data into clear messaging, being careful not to change meaning or dumb down. Using quotes from young people, key statistics and striking infographics, we transformed dry bullet points into clear, accurate key messages that would stick.
The challenge for us was to think about physical activity differently and stay away from traditional, sterotypical visual references for sport. This style needed to represent a range of young people – not just sports enthusiasts but intellectuals and introverts, into everything from archery to zumba.
We went back to the original interviews with young people from the research to find our creative solution. Each personality group was brought to life through illustrations of relatable and authentic people and objects, which represented their environments – from iPhones to teacups, pets to skateboards. The style felt fresh and energetic, adding to the sense that Sport England was behind a smart new way of thinking about how we reach young people and inspire them to be active.
Alongside the Sport England team, we transformed the research into a series of vibrant and accessible tools and materials. Each item helping to realise the ambition of helping young people find an activity they love, and stay active for life.
Initial feedback has been extremely positive, with the launch on social media creating the organisation’s most shared post ever. We’re now working on a series of animations to raise awareness of the tools.
“Working with Neo really helped us to clarify the key messages we wanted to deliver.
The clear copy and the distinctive illustrations Neo designed for our Youth Personalities are helping more people notice the work, and understand it.”
– Carol Fraser, Business Advisor, Sport England