What is the core market?

The core market describes a group of people who already build physical activity into their daily lives

People who are regularly active already have the habit we are trying to promote and share. They are what we call the ‘core market’ for sport and activity. But they can’t be taken for granted.

Even for the most committed, big moments in life can get in the way. Leaving school, moving house, starting college or university, retirement, injury or illness – they’re all major changes that can put the brakes on what people usually do.

We want to focus on these key moments in life and support people to stick with it.

We know that some people drop out of sport and physical activity more than others and are underrepresented in the core market.

What is the core market?

The core market describes the people who tend to build activity into their everyday lives and take part in some form of activity throughout the week.

They often do a mix of sport, fitness and other physical activities and their choices change over time. It may be that they play football in the winter, then tennis in the summer, while going to gym throughout the year. This on top of building walking or cycling into their travel.

Around a third of the population aged 16 and over – 14.9 million people – are within this market at any one time. People from all backgrounds sit within this market but the numbers are slanted towards the male, under-44 years old, with no limiting disabilities and better off financially.

We want to help everyone stay active but are especially interested in helping those who don’t fit that dominant description.

What is the challenge?

People in the core market are often described as being sport’s most loyal customers. Yet, we know that even when people have built a strong habit, they cannot take it for granted. Our insight shows that even the most committed person can falter when life changes.

Examples of life changes that can disrupt sporting habits include:

  • Serious injury or illness
  • Retirement from work
  • Changing/leaving school/college and starting university
  • Loss of income or a change in job.

Our evidence clearly shows that women, people with a limiting disability, those less well-off and people aged 55+ are the most likely to stop exercising regularly and drop out of the core market. This is often due to practical barriers or to having particular needs that are not being met. We're looking to change this.