What's behind the new Alliance website?

David Callan, Communications Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance, gives an overview of some of the benefits of the Alliance's new website and why it's an important development in the way the Alliance wants to work.

Can you remember a time when you felt the pressure? Maybe you were lining up a crucial penalty, an opportunity to win the game for your team. A split second. I can relate.

This week saw the new Sport and Recreation Alliance website go-live. It is a project I’ve been heavily involved with and one which has taken a good eight months to come to fruition. At noon on Tuesday, we hit the switch that saw the old website replaced with the one you see before you now. It is a moment I was definitely sweating over. How would our members and others react? Would it be seen as an improvement?

Thankfully, initial feedback has been positive and I briefly want to explain what we hope to achieve with the new website and how it will help our members and the sector.

BIG data

It’s a phrase everyone’s heard of. If you are not collecting data about the habits and preferences of your members or customers, you are missing out on valuable information.

Our new website is synced with our database and this allows us to offer content and insights to members, based on their history and preferences. For example, if you have attended a few of our recent events, we can let you know in advance about upcoming events that will be of interest to you.

Or if you downloaded our Uncovering the Social Value of Sport report, we will now be able to keep you informed about the latest news and our work in sport to demonstrate social good. It’s about being smarter with the data we have, for the benefit of our users and the wider sector.

Demonstrating Value

There’s a good reason to take this approach which goes beyond merely being able to market our services. The Government’s Sporting Future strategy has made a huge play on sport demonstrating its wider value and not merely focusing on participation numbers and we are trying to help our members do that.

At the core of this new website, is a dedicated members' area, where individuals belonging to Alliance member organisations can log-in for dedicated updates and links to exclusive content. There is also a desire from the Government to see the sector work closer together and collaborate to guarantee it is sharing best practice and ensuring everybody can extract the maximum value from sport and recreation in all its forms. To this end, the members' area acts as a networking tool and touch point so our members can quickly communicate with each other.

If you are not an Alliance member, you can find a membership option that is right for you here. Even if your organisation is not in a position to sign-up, there is still plenty on offer on this website that can be of use. From downloading our reports to signing-up to and following the progress of our latest campaigns and consultation responses, you will always be informed about the latest developments in the sport and recreation sector here.

On an individual level, you can develop skills and network with industry professionals as part of our Alliance Directors Club. This is equally as important as organisational development as the sector needs to embrace the skills and knowledge from those areas outside of sport, in business, in technology.

There will be more to learn on matters such as how to evidence data and use insight at our upcoming Sports Summit on 25 May, get your ticket here if you haven’t already booked your place.

Ultimately, we want our website to be quick and easy use, with content that is useful and helps further the development of our members and the growth of our sector. It is part of a long-term plan to ensure that we are fit for the future and can help our members do the same.