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Future of Sailing - Liz Rushall

About the Futures project

The Futures Project is highly important for the entire marine leisure sector. Early in 2017 British Marine, the marine industry trade association, commissioned Rushall Marketing to analyse the potenital market trends affecting the future customer for boating and watersports.

The project remit included analysing all existing published data on participation trends and assessing changes in consumer buying habits that will likely affect the leisure boating sector. As well as benchmarking with other leisure pursuits, the report made a series of recommendations for the industry.

Christened the Futures Project, the final report is a substantial document with a section for each activity and includes recommendations for British Marine to take forward with its member companies and other governing bodies. The RYA and British Canoeing supported the project with access to data.

Together with the RYA Sport Participation Team we are running a series of  webinars and conference presentations for sailing clubs, to help understand and respond to the Futures Report implications for sailing, and membership clubs.

Webinars & resources

The Future of Sailing – participation and consumer trends

First delivered at the RYA Dinghy Show, 2018, this RYA webinar summarises the participation and social trends affecting all sailing – cruising, racing dinghy and yachting.

Plus, insights into the consumer and social trends affecting the leisure and purchase habits of the younger generations.

A look at how sailing needs to compete with other activities and improve our overall marketing is also included.

The Future of Sailing - view webinar

Pay on Demand Sailing – RYA Live Webinar #2

In this second RYA Webinar, three sailing clubs share their experience of setting up and running ‘pay on demand’ boating for their members and new members.

Fascinating case studies from Cransley SC, Itchenor SC, Emsworth SC all with different core objectives and models.  With a brief introduction from Liz Rushall summarising the main trends and concerns affecting clubs and their future members.

Pay on Demand Sailing - view webinar

Download the slides and case studies:  Futures Webinar No 2 Exploring ‘Pay on demand’

Look to the Future!

Keynote presentation delivered at the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conferences South and East events, November 2018.

This Keynote talk summarises boating participation, and the pertinent consumer trends affecting how people spend their time. It highlights the challenges for clubs facing issues of falling memberships, and the importance of retaining existing members whilst attracting new members.

This talk offers some frameworks and strategies to use for planning change and adapting your club for a sustainable future.

Look to the Future 'Keynote' - view presentation

Offering alternative activities – RYA Live Webinar #3

This webinar looks at offering different activities as a way to attract and engage more members.  Research shows that many sports are adapting their formats for people with less time, or for different generations to participate. Golf Sixes is a shorter version of the game and Walking Football has been introduced for the over 50s. Also. it discusses the type of activities that younger generations are looking for.

In this webinar three sailing clubs share their insights on launching new initiatives and innovative activities to meet changing demands.

Offering Alternative Watersports & Activities - view webinar

Build club membership with effective marketing communications – RYA Live webinar #4

Hear three sailing clubs demonstrate how using effective marketing and communications, with traditional means, social media, websites and the latest online tools and apps, can result in a significant boost to membership.

Enlightening talks from Dartmouth Yacht Club, St. Denys Boat Club and South Staffordshire Sailing Club with input from the team of Liz Rushall, Mark Jardine and Alistair Dickson.

Sailing Club Marketing & Communications - view webinar

Slides PDF – to follow:

Talking to the young generation – Live at the Dinghy Show

Our young panel at the RYA Dinghy Show debated the Future of Sailing. Hear from Olympic medallist Luke Patience, why he got into sailing and the importance of having fun. Youth sailor Henry Jameson speaks about the challenges of time, and Hannah Cockle explains why she would find pay on demand sailing a way to get off her bike and back afloat again. Fireball sailor Sophia Benson talks about how she started sailing later in life and the importance of social media as a means of communicating.

Live at the RYA Dinghy Show - hear what young people want from sailing

Yachts & Yachting Online

The Future of sailing webinars – 9 Feb 2019

Increasing sailing participation 27 June 18

Time for sailing to adapt – 4 Jan 17


Yachting Life

Read article:

Yachting Life – July & Aug 18

British Marine


British Marine – Futures Summary booklet

Full length British Marine Futures Report researched and written by Rushall Marketing.

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