The thinking behind our approach

It’s important to understand the differing motivations and barriers for our target audiences when it comes to football. There isn’t one single answer to helping people play football and stay active. That’s why understanding the people you’re trying to reach – knowing your audience – is so fundamental.

Our programmes have been designed using clear insights. Here are some of the key pieces of research that have informed approach.

Nottingham City of Football

Nottingham City of Football

In September 2014 Sport England appointed Nottingham as the first City of Football. This came with the challenge of helping people across the City to find their football in new and interesting ways. 

Small-sided insight report

Small-sided football insight report (May 2018)

Research was conducted into the small-sided Football market to support with the production of Local Football Facility Plans.


Read report 1

Read report 2


Engaging a lower-seg audience in football (October 2018)

Building on the findings from the small-sided football insight report to focus upon how a lower-seg audience engage with football.

Parks Pilot - Active Through Football

Parks Pilot evaluation (February 2020)

Key findings and recommendations from the Recreational Football in Parks Pilot, summer 2019

Mind the Gap insight webinar

Look back at the presentation and recording from the Mind the Gap insight webinar. Both presentation and video will help you to understand more about the nature of engagement and under-representation of lower social-economic groups in sport and physical activity.

Download the presentation here

Further information about our target audiences is available on the Sport England website.