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BAME and lower socioeconomic groups' activity levels were disproportionately affected by covid-19
BAME and lower socioeconomic groups' activity levels were disproportionately affected by covid-19

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Successful campaign shows power of digital marketing in promoting activity

A successful campaign by London Sport and Sport England has demonstrated the power of digital marketing in supporting Black, Asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) and lower-socio-economic groups in London to be more active.

Facebook advertising throughout the first two weeks of July reached more than 1.2million Londoners with more than 50,000 clicks to download the Couch to 5k app or find out more information.

London Sport also worked with partners from across the capital and saw 750 downloads of a toolkit to further support Londoners increase their activity levels in the wake of the covid-19 lockdown.

This led to multiple London boroughs, including Camden, Hounslow, and Southwark, to run local campaigns on their own social media channels and covid-safe activities from community centres.

Sport England data showed that, during the lockdown in April and May, BAME and lower socioeconomic groups (LSEG) activity levels were disproportionately affected by the restrictions put in place due to the covid-19 pandemic.

In response, London Sport worked in partnership with Sport England to launch a campaign to promote the Couch to 5K running app to BAME and LSEG communities.

The campaign used assets for Facebook and Instagram to form the content for a paid social media campaign and wider community engagement across London.

Campaign messaging was designed to tone down the Couch to 5k messaging around ‘running’ and ‘5k’ to ensure getting active felt achievable to less active and inactive people.

Our campaign, working simultaneously to BBC, Public Health England and Better Health campaigns, took place over a six-week period in the summer during which the Couch to 5k app was downloaded 245,649 times.

Chris Norfield, Digital Marketing Lead for London Sport, said:

We were delighted with the results of the first part of our digital marketing campaign to support two very specific audiences to be more active with encouraging and achievable messaging.

“This year has seen existing inequalities in physical activity exacerbated so it was great to be able to work alongside Sport England and community partners on this successful campaign.

“Taking a targeted approach to support communities we were able to tackle the barriers that prevent them from enjoying the huge mental and physical benefits of an active lifestyle.

“We think this is a really exciting opportunity for the sector to reach all kinds of different audiences and encourage them to be active in a way that works and is enjoyable for them.”

Chris Perks, Executive Director of Local Delivery, Sport England, said:

"This campaign in collaboration with London Sport has targeted important audiences, Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and those from lower socio-economic groups.

“It’s been great for Sport England and the National Lottery to be able to support this initiative, which has had a demonstrable impact in helping us to reduce the inequalities and empower these communities in London to be active.

“With England now back in lockdown, the good habits we’ve been encouraging will be more important than ever to enable people to look after their physical and mental health at this difficult time.”

Phase two, the development of an 'At Home' fitness programme called 'Couch to Fitness' with Our Parks to promote to the same audiences began in late July and ran through August.

It offered an accessible way for Londoners to become physically active while social distancing measures remained in place. The full results of this campaign will be released in the coming weeks.




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London Sport aims to ensure Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity

About London Sport

London Sport aims to ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit

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House of Sport, 190 Great Dover Street,
SE1 4YB London