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Leisure Opportunities is published 26 times a year by Te Leisure Media Co Ltd, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ, UK. Te views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher Te Leisure Media Co Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recorded or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, Cybertrek Ltd. Printed by Warners Midlands PLC. Distributed by Royal Mail Group Ltd and Whistl Ltd in the UK and Total Mail Ltd globally. ©Cybertrek Ltd 2015 ISSN 0952/8210


SPORT Man United: most valuable brand

Manchester United has been ranked as the world’s most valuable football brand, over- taking German giants Bayern Munich at the top of the table. The annual Football 50

report by consultancy Brand Finance estimates that United – which has failed to win any major trophies for two years – has a brand worth of £789m, ahead of Bayern Munich’s £612m and Spanish club Real Madrid’s £572m. Des p i te comp let -

ing a historic treble this year (winning the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish champion- ship and the Spanish cup), FC Barcelona has slipped down to 6th in the brand value table. Te English Premier League is still seen

as the most valuable domestic league in the world, with six of its clubs (Man Utd, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham) placed in the top 10 most valuable brands. The highest placed club outside of Europe is Brazilian Sao Paulo FC at 43 – just behind clubs such as Leicester City FC and Portuguese champions SL Benfica.

Manchester United has a strong fan base across the globe Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said Man

Utd’s top spot is down to excellence in mar- keting – rather than on-pitch success. “United’s success has been masterminded

by executive vice-chair Ed Woodward, the Ronaldo of football’s commercial sphere,” Haigh said. “As Sir Alex Ferguson developed United’s world-beating reputation, Woodward capitalised on the brand’s power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsor- ship deals unrivalled in number and value.” Details:

Swimming, gym and sports participation fall

The number of people engaged in regular physical activity in England fell 1.4 per cent between October 2014 to March 2015, with swimming and fi tness suffering the largest exoduses. The latest figures from

Sport England’s Active People Survey show the number of people doing “some kind of sport once a week, every week” fell to 15.5 million – 222,000 fewer than six months ago. Despite being the most

Empty swimming pools are becoming a more common sight

popular participation sport in England – with more than 2.5 million adults taking part in 30 minutes of moderate intensity swimming at least once a week – swimming was once again the standout casualty. Te figures showed 144,200 fewer people taking to the pool in the last six months and 390,700 in the last year. Te long term trend shows 729,000 people stopping swimming in the last decade. “Tese are really disappointing results. Tis

is especially the case for swimming, where a serious, long-term decline needs to be reversed,”

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said Sport England CEO Jennie Price. “Whilst we’ve seen the number of people playing sport increase by 1.4 million since we won the right to host the London 2012 Games, these results highlight that our current investment model has delivered all the growth available in the traditional markets for sport.” Te other significant drop was seen in the

‘keepfit and gym sector’, which fell 153,000 – the first dip in numbers since counting began in 2005. Details:

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