Shared success: Over 50% of Brits plan to take up a sport this summer

Is a Great British sporting summer on the horizon? Thanks to the upcoming Paris Olympics and Euros in Germany, it sure looks like it!

The UK has become an Olympic heavyweight in recent years, competing with the likes of America, Russia, and China at the top of the medal table. Gareth Southgate, meanwhile, has transformed the culture of the England men's football team – the Three Lions just one agonizing penalty shootout defeat to Italy away from winning Euro 2020. Things are looking up for Scotland too, with Steve Clarke's Tartan Army having excelled in the qualifying stages.

But what effect do sporting successes have on the British public? Harrod Sport asked 500 people across the UK just that! Our findings revealed that:

  • 56% of respondents will take up a new sport if their nation does well at one of summer's big tournaments
  • 51% said that big sporting events encourage them to spend money on sports equipment, or clubs
  • 83% intend to watch Euros/Olympics at home
  • 82% of Londoners (80% nationally) think employers should make accommodations for the Euros and Olympics.

From supporters to athletes: the circle of sport

56% of our survey respondents said that they would be inspired to take up a sport if their nation is successful this summer, perfectly capturing the concept of 'the circle of sport':

First, as a fan, you're inspired by the performance of your country. This, in turn, encourages you to start playing a sport yourself.

For most people, this is where it ends, they will take up a sport and have a happier, healthier lifestyle as a result.

But for some, it is just the beginning. With enough hard work and natural talent, the nation's triumphs propel these athletes to take their skills to the next level. Soon they are the ones on the field, inspiring the next generation of sporting heroes. And so, the circle of sport continues.

Think back to the London 2012 Olympics and the euphoria that came from seeing our nation front and centre of the world's sporting stage. The event was fundamental for sowing the seeds for a new generation of British athletes.

Such up-and-coming sports stars include the likes of sprinting prodigy Serena Grace and paralympic gold medal swimmer Jordan Catchpole. Both of these exciting young athletes are beneficiaries of the Ron Harrod Foundation which, since 2018, has awarded thousands in funding to help young athletes follow their dream in their chosen sport.

This year's Euros and the Paris Olympics represent a chance to successfully build momentum within the circle of sport. And as an official supplier to both the Olympics and Euros, Harrod Sport is honoured to play a part in that legacy no matter if it's hockey success at the historic Yves-du-Manoir Stadium or football at the Frankfurt arena!

Sporty spenders: from gym memberships to new equipment, half of Brits plan to spend on sports

Taking up a new sport is not the only thing that over half of all Brits plan to do this summer. In fact, 51% of respondents to our survey said that sporting events encourage them to spend money on sports or fitness:

  • 14% said they would consider joining a gym
  • 11% said they would try a new sport – the Olympics always provide a fantastic showcase for some lesser exposed sports
  • 10% said they would join or rejoin a sports club, perhaps encouraged by the sense of community brought forth by sports at all levels.
  • 16% said they would spend money on new sports equipment

Not all planned sporting purchases were exercise-related: 11% of survey respondents said that they would purchase branded merchandise related to the big sporting events of the summer.

You only need to walk around any English city during a major tournament to see the abundance of fresh England kits on display with Three Lions shirts a consistent top seller with the 2020 edition smashing sales records with over a thousand orders a minute in the aftermath of England's win over Denmark. Even the furor over the changes to the St. George's flag on the home kit has done little to dampen the usual enthusiasm even if away kits have outsold the home kit for the first time.

What remains to be seen is how the sales of national team kits (and other sporting merchandise) will fair with the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many sports fans. Kits are getting more expensive year-on-year, having already risen by £20 between 2020 and 2024.

Similarly, costs may be a deciding factor for the 16% of our respondents who said they want to purchase new sports equipment this summer. The price of sports equipment varies wildly depending on its type, whether it's tennis posts and nets, hockey goals, rugby posts or football posts.

Of course, thanks to our 70 years of experience, Harrod Sport puts quality at the forefront of everything we do - giving our customers the value for money they deserve and the sporting experiences they desire.

Costs in the capital: Londoners plan to watch at home rather than hit the pub

Going to a pub or other public screening for a football tournament is normally a given; just think back to the pint-throwing craze that started at the Croydon Boxpark during the men's football World Cup 2018.

The 2024 Euros may (thankfully!) turn out to be less soggy – at least in the capital – as only 36% of Londoners plan to watch sports at a pub. The main reason? Costs, that is, according to 45% of our respondents. This fact is perhaps not so surprising when you consider that London's pint prices crossed the £8 mark in May 2024 – it's no wonder that watching the game at home has become a much more attractive option.

It's possible that many of those who said they would watch at home will later change their minds, especially if England find themselves in the quarter and semi-finals. But for the group stage formalities, it's safe to say that fewer pints will be flying.

Choose Harrod Sport – sporting suppliers for 70 years

Since 1954, Harrod Sport has been manufacturing elite quality sports equipment that has graced the biggest international stages, from the men's and women's football World Cup games to the Olympics and beyond.

Such quality and honour can only be gained through decades of experience – and with 70 years under our belt, we certainly know what we're doing here at Harrod Sport.

With our eye-catching Finesse range, we are dedicated to bringing our expertise working at the highest levels of international sport to grassroots communities and families across the UK. With the sporting summer on track to encourage more than half of Brits to take up a sport, the Finesse range will contain the perfect companion for your sporting journey.