Power of Inclusive Sport

Trends / Wellness
Jacqueline Bourke
Jul 27, 2021
As the world begins to open up a little more, sport becomes a key means of bringing people together, both virtually and in real life.  The Olympic Games, for example, celebrate human‑centered stories of perseverance, determination, struggle and support which unite and engage people the world over.  Across all industries, sport is a powerful and emotive means for businesses to better connect with consumers.

According to Getty Images' Visual GPS, an overwhelmingly 81% of people globally stated they want to develop daily wellness and exercise routines. Customer search data shows that terms such as ‘outdoor fitness’ and ‘sports coaching’ have increased by 140% and 76%, respectively.
Here are four tips to help brands effectively capitalize on the power of sport visuals to better and more meaningfully relate to their customers. 
"Inclusive Sport is a powerful and emotive means for businesses to better connect with consumers."
Ensure your sports visuals are inclusive and relatable
Make sure you are inclusive when selecting visual content by showing people of all abilities and body types participating in sport or exercise and avoid relying only on visuals of toned, young athletes. And when it comes to selecting visuals of athletes, help foster diversity and inclusion with your choices. Think about the full range of sports and exercises and consider visuals of both individuals and groups taking part in activities. Ensure you are also including intersectional identities such as body shapes, types, sizes, abilities, age and gender and you are demonstrating the wellbeing and fulfilment many people experience.

Celebrate togetherness
Every summer, but especially during the Olympics, people want to get together, celebrate, enjoy each other’s company and cheer on their favorite athletes. Our Visual GPS research shows that overwhelmingly, 86% of people globally look for ways to celebrate the good things in life. This could be anything from a barbeque with friends or watching the Olympics in a beer garden. Consider also visualising the ways in which people are connecting virtually and celebrating with loved ones from afar.
Consider fitness more holistically
Mind, body and soul— 93% of people believe it is equally important to take care of themselves emotionally, as well as physically. When thinking about fitness, take a holistic approach in your visual choices and show the emotional rewards participation can have on people’s wellbeing. Include visuals that represent a broad spectrum of proactive self‑care moments, this could be eating healthier to working out with a friend in the garden.

Get back to nature
Getty Images' customer searches for ‘family outdoors’ have increased by 60% and searches for ‘mother nature’ have risen by 131%, reflecting the desire many people have to re‑connect with nature now that Covid lockdown restrictions are easing and people can venture further afield. This could be a hiking trip with friends, camping out with the kids or even just playing a game of table tennis in the garden. Particularly visualising the mindful ways in which people are engaging in outdoor activities will resonate with your customers of all ages.
Remember, the power of sport visuals can help you promote your brand, amplify messaging, and connect with consumers around the world.
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