SUpporting decathlon to deliver their brand mission: making sport accessible for the many

Decathlon "aim to sustainably bring the power of sport to everyone, everywhere". Since its founding in 1976, Decathlon has strived to deliver against this aim by constantly innovating. With more than 1,600 stores in 54 countries, they aim to offer something for everyone. Today, they are increasingly looking at digital solutions to better understand and meet customer needs, and have led the way once again by launching Play - it's new Sport Activity and Advice Platform.

the situation

  • Decathlon are a sports retailer constantly looking to stay ahead. In the UK, over the last 5 years, there is a strong track record of digital and data innovation for increasing participation in physical activity. After seeing the momentum of OpenActive, Decathlon started engaging with market players around potential partnerships to help tap into that momentum.

  • After speaking with the team at imin, Decathlon realised that they could create a new type of sport ecosystem, and through the power of open data, tap into existing networks of sport providers to better meet their goal of making sport more accessible to the many.

  • imin was uniquely positioned to help Decathlon deliver this ecosystem - enabling them to build and evolve their own consumer facing platform, whilst tapping into the huge opportunity that OpenActive provides.

  • The ecosystem should also enable Decathlon to gather more data on consumer preferences around sport and activity, by delivering a genuine value-add product to help consumers discover more activities local to them.

how we helped

  • In winter 2019, Decathlon launched Play. Play enables Decathlon users to find and book activities, as well as to explore information, articles and products to help them to be more active. Play will combine Decathlon's own activities (often hosted from within their stores around the UK), with activities from ecosystem providers being delivered by the imin platform, enabling Decathlon to show activities from sports venues and clubs from across the UK.

  • By integrating the imin Platform into Play, Decathlon are accessing real-time, filtered data about activities from their initial launch partners, Fusion Lifestyle. The service initially launched with well over 800 articles and 5,000 weekly activities.

  • Dean Armoogum, Fusion Lifestyle’s Head of Marketing, Digital & CRM, says: "Through our collaboration with imin, we’ve been able to work with a number of public sector organisations in the attempt to reach new audiences - but now, with Decathlon as the first major private sector brand to come aboard, we’re really excited about the potential this holds to get more people more active, and a sign of things to come as OpenActive continues to gain momentum.”

  • imin also provides a branded, GDPR compliant and cybersecure whitelabel checkout to Decathlon - enabling their users to quickly and easily book and pay (without having to leave the Decathlon website). The book and pay functionality is available from venues that are part of the imin's growing bookable provider network.

  • imin continues to lead on partnership work for Decathlon to grow the Play ecosystem to different types of sports providers as well as different parts of the UK, recently adding bookable runs from Goodgym to the platform.

what they said

"In order to make the PLAY project a success, we are rethinking and reinventing new ways to connect with the external world - beyond our stores. This new sports experience platform is our innovative approach to create more value and opportunity to generate more touch points with more sports people. It’s simply impossible to solve this problem alone; therefore we must open up our eco-system, to partner with local fitness providers and find the best solution to ensure physical activity is more and more accessible for all."

Head of Partnerships at Decathlon UK

"Badminton England has worked with imin for about two and a half years. In that time, they have always been extremely helpful and supportive of our ambitions with excellent client management, providing regular updates and clear useful advice. They are particularly strong on ensuring the customer journey and experience is as effective and simple as possible – their advice on the customer experience for our new activity finder (based on their own work and excellent understanding of the sector) has been invaluable in delivering a very clean design that makes finding activity and courts a really simple process for our users"

nick rimmer, head of development at badminton england

how can we help you?

we're dedicated to delivering innovative digital solutions that help people to be more active.

We believe that if we change the way we collaborate and share data in the physical activity sector, we can get more people more active and put an end to the rising global physical inactivity epidemic.

We aim to help all organisations to use digital solutions that help more people to be active. We're always happy to share our experiences and to help provide guidance where we can (even if you don't end up working with us!).

Get in touch today to talk through your project - a free 30 min consultation is available to any organisation looking for help.