Millennial 20/20 Summit: Sport and Fitness for Millennials

Detox, repair, revive or blast? That was the first choice I faced on arrival at Millennial 20/20 and seated myself at the summits Oxygen bar (no free pens and dodgy lanyards here). As I’d spent the evening before at the launch of Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection, scrumming down to bag a large logo sweatshirt, I plumped for a much-needed cocktail of revive and blast and prepared myself for a day of millennial thinking.

Millennial 20/20 is the world’s first summit on Millennials with speakers from the fashion, travel, beauty and active industries sharing insight on how brands can stay relevant in a millennial-driven market place. For me of course, it was all about the sports perspective and the inclusion of a whole day dedicated to sport and fitness reflects the increasing importance of health and well being right now.

And with Millennials expected to have a global spending power of around £8.9 billion by the end of the decade, its imperative that sports brands adapt and develop new strategies for this very different, tech-obsessed sports consumer.


Speakers from across the sports industry shone a light on some of the innovative ways they were engaging with the fitness millennial and what factors unique to sport they considered. James Balfour, co-founder of boutique gym 1Rebel talked about the importance of strategic disruption,

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while CEO of Formula E racing Alejandro Agag focused on the ‘enhanced experience’ technology can provide for sports consumers. Accenture’s Nick Millman and rugby player turned commentator David Flatman delivered the most entertaining presentation of the day and showed how data analysis and digital can be used to ‘support the romance of sport’, while ex-footballer and founder of 5 magazine, Rio Ferdinand surprised and impressed with his understanding and savvy use of multiple social platforms.

All in all it was a fascinating and informative day – utter heaven for a sports tech geek like myself. So here are my 5 key takeaways and learnings from the summit:

Digital won’t replace the ‘live’ sports experience – while social platforms and VR are exciting, they can’t (currently) replace the real deal. What digital can do though, is support and enhances the experience, amplifying the stadium experience for example and taking it to a greater global audience.

Data informs content but in sport, data is content – stats and data analysis is now a given in all areas of sports. To maximize it brands must ‘democratized’ it by making it applicable and relevant to their sport audience.

Make experience your product – while experience is king for all Millennials, its especially important for the Fitness Millennial. Experiences need to ‘shop-able’ and part of a more connected eco-system.

Video, video, video – It’s no big surprise that video content generates the greatest traffic and most conversation but once again, its even more important for sports Millennials. The ‘action-based’ format is a natural fit for the active audience, whether its used for sharing live action or showcasing dynamic performance product.

Millennials are ‘platform promiscuous’ – sport is now consumed and watched across multiple platforms, often simultaneously. Sports brands shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different formats and emerging platforms and should listen to their consumers about which ones to use.


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