Sport England set for local amenities direct mail push

LONDON - Sport England is gearing up to run its first direct mail campaign, aimed at encouraging people to lead a more active lifestyle.

The government-backed sports body is spending nearly £1m on the drive to promote www.activeplaces.com, its online database of regional sport and fitness facilities.

The website, launched last year, enables the public to search for local sports facilities from a database of more than 20,000 amenities, including gyms, swimming pools and golf courses.

The promotion, which has been created by Benchmark Sport, will be sent to 110,000 recipients nationwide, including first-year university undergraduates, specifically targeting the 10 biggest institutions in the country.

New homeowners will also be targeted through tie-ups with a number of leading estate agent chains.

Launching next month, the campaign will feature three creative executions -- "supermarket golf", "garden pond swimming" and "train station bowls" -- showing various sports being played in unusual locations.

It is being supported by regional press activity starting today.

The direct marketing activity, which will run throughout the summer, is intended to build on the theme of Sport England's "Everyday Sport" campaign, which ran last year and was devised by Team Saatchi.

Designed as a response to the growing obesity crisis, the drive encouraged the nation to exercise through everyday activities such as walking to work and participating in team sports.

Last month, Sport England announced it was planning to invest some £315m over the next four years in 32 priority and development sports in the country.

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