British Rowing membership insight can help boost participation

Insights providing targeted benefits are vital to attract new members and foster loyalty

Rowing has been a hugely successful sport at Olympic level for Great Britain. It is the result of a relentless commitment to improve that is ingrained in the sport at the highest level. Extending that success in the future will depend, in some part, on growing participation in the sport. British Rowing has partnered with analytics industry leader, SAS, to work smarter to sustain and grow grass root participation and encourage membership at its 550 clubs across the country.

To achieve this, British Rowing uses SAS to garner the intelligence needed to assist them in attracting new members and effectively reach existing ones. Running reports on participation and member activity through SAS Visual Analytics offers British Rowing greater understanding about their club membership and allows them to streamline membership communications - from competition campaigns and calendars, to newsletters profiling team members and detailing upcoming races - more effectively.

Small improvements are often the difference between winning and losing in a boat, and for our organisation small improvements in understanding our members’ preferences lead to significant gains in how we engage with them. SAS has become a vital partner for us.

Richard Stock
Head of Insight and Commercial Development, British Rowing

British Rowing has 32,000 members who range in age from 11 to 80+ years old. Each is linked to a British Rowing club. Active participation in club activities is the way to retain members long-term. SAS helps track how often members row, how many competitions they participate in and if they no longer row, why not? These key insights show British Rowing how it can reactivate members who are not as engaged in club activity and competitions as they could be.

SAS' solutions enable British Rowing to easily map, understand and share key findings about its membership across its team. For quicker analysis, the team rely on this rapid analysis and dashboard reporting to make informed decisions on how to best grow the sport.

"Traditionally, our high volume of data has been difficult to collect, store and interpret," said Richard Stock, Head of Insight and Commercial Development at British Rowing. "But data drives our organisation's strategy so we need smart tools that produce intuitive dashboards for our team and coaches to easily use and understand."

The next stage, beyond reporting on participation and member activity, is building an analytic predictive model using techniques such as regression, neural networks and decision trees to help British Rowing with the crucial work of identifying new members and retaining existing ones.

"There is a growing uptake of sports analytics for obvious reasons," Stock said. "Our data modelling helps British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team develop talent and improve athlete performance. Small improvements are often the difference between winning and losing in a boat, and, for our organisation, small improvements in understanding our members' preferences lead to significant gains in how we engage with them. SAS has become a vital partner for us."

In the early stages of the partnership, British Rowing is gaining invaluable knowledge about its members' needs. "Our data management is smooth and efficient, and we are already making modifications to improve both the membership process and our benefit offerings," Stock said

British Rowing logo


Growing participation in the sport is an important factor for the future success of rowing in the UK. It is important for British Rowing to do everything possible to help grow and develop the sport. When people take up the sport, British Rowing needs to play a role in guiding future champions along the right track.


SAS® Visual Analytics


  • SAS helps grow rowing participation across the UK
  • Insights show British Rowing how to improve member loyalty and community engagement
  • British Rowing communication with potential, new and established members is now more personal and impactful
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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