Sports retailer Decathlon has launched its new Sport Activity and Advice Platform, PLAY, a platform that shares information on every sport, as well as connecting external gyms, studios and sport classes to their large UK-wide database of active sports people.
PLAY is set to be a true ecosystem, promoting sports as an experience and sports advice through connections and interactions between Decathlon customers and partners alike.
Since its founding in 1976, Decathlon has innovated, designed and manufactured its own brands for each individual sport. With more than 1,600 stores in 54 countries around the world, the company offers sports lovers of all levels affordable, quality gear in over 100 sports categories, ranging from cycling, running, and snowboarding, to fishing, basketball and golf.
PLAY’s key technical partner is the London based fit-tech start up imin, an alumni from ActiveLab - ukactive’s global launchpad for innovation in physical activity.
Nish Desai, co-founder of imin, comments: “Our partnership with a household name like Decathlon provides huge momentum for imin and the wider OpenActive community.
“We are very excited to support Decathlon in their efforts to help more people easily and quickly find and book physical activities.”
“Sport and physical activity has the ability to positively impact society across the world, and international brands like Decathlon are perfectly placed to make physical activity accessible to all.”
Gareth Welsh, Head of Partnerships at Decathlon UK, added: “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.”
Decathlon has chosen Fusion Lifestyle as the leisure operator launch partner for its new PLAY platform - a pioneering leisure operator and a registered charity, Fusion Lifestyle works in partnership with local authorities, schools and colleges, and other public sector organisations, to provide recreational sport, health and fitness activities to local communities and offers a seemless booking experience for users of Decathlon’s PLAY platform.
Dean Armoogum, Fusion Lifestyle's Head of Marketing, Digital & CRM, said: " 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"
Since soft launch, the PLAY Sport Platform now has over 800 articles and 5100 activities hosted per week, with this set to grow in coming months.