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community matters Sporta, the membership association representing charitable leisure trusts in the UK, has rebranded as Community Leisure UK. CEO Cate Atwater spoke to Tom Walker about the reasons behind the new name and identity What were the motivations for rebranding Sporta as Community Leisure UK? The main motivations were to reduce confusion, as people often mistake us for a mainly sport focused body, and to better reflect our members. The rebrand will act as a building block for our change of position and approach as an organisation. Sporta has been on a journey of change throughout 2018. The focus of the change has been to really crystallise our position and our services to members. Within this we have adjusted our purpose and how we engage with organisations, form strategic partnerships and ultimately deliver greater impact for our members.

What were the driving forces for the rebrand? As a members’ association we are always driven by member need. Our executive (made up of members) and

Community Leisure UK has members across the leisure industry

membership had been discussing a need to change the name for about two years. However, for me, the name had to change sooner rather than later, so we drove energy and resources into the change. The change had to be evidence-based, so we invested into external, independent research and marketing support. Working with Phil Anderton of Fireworks

Our new name clarifies what we care about and stand for. It is representative of our membership, which is vitally important

Consultancy and Netfluential, they carried out in-depth research through members’ customers and noncustomers, and our stakeholders.

Therefore, to ensure that we deliver the greatest

The research provided unequivocal conclusions and

impact for members, as an organisation we needed to be

recommendations, which formed the proposal back to

able to develop strategic alliances with a number of key

the executive and membership of Community Leisure UK.

stakeholders. As Sporta’s first five letters spelt sport, it often meant we were ring-fenced as sport-focused and not

You said one reason for the name change was a need to tackle “false perceptions” of being a solely sport-focused body?

as key deliverers of public services across leisure and culture.

Yes, we wanted the identity to better reflect our

What would you identify as the biggest advantages of the new name?

members. More than 30 per cent of our members

Clarity of what we care about and stand for. It is

manage cultural services and facilities. Our members

representative of our membership, which is vitally

work in public leisure, focus on communities and – as

important. And initial responses from key stakeholders

independent charities or social enterprises – every penny

have been positive about the change, noting that it

of surplus is reinvested into the communities.

makes clear our purpose.


Issue 1 2019


Profile for Leisure Media