As the Wimbledon tennis championships advance to the finals, the Lawn Tennis Association is aiming to extend the country’s love affair with the sport beyond just two weeks in July by launching a loyalty scheme to encourage Andy Murray wannabes to pick up their rackets all year round.
Trials of LTA Rewards has seen the tennis organisation join forces with a firm part-funded by Oxford University, which operates a digital health app – dubbed Bounts – that incentivises exercise through rewards.
The app uses the GPS and Bluetooth technology, and activity-monitoring devices, to record attendance at gyms, swimming pools and other sporting facilities – including tennis courts.
Every 20-minute exercise session earns points – or ‘bounts’ – which can be redeemed with the likes of Marks & Spencer, Nike, Vue Cinemas and Pizza Hut.
The move is the brainchild of the LTA’s new participation director, Alistair Marks, who joined the organisation in October. He had previously worked at Sainsbury’s on the Nectar scheme.
Under LTA Rewards, users get around a third more points for playing tennis rather than other sports.
Marks told the Telegraph: “I don’t think it’ll be the silver bullet in its own right but it will absolutely help. We need to think differently about how we present sport because there are so many other choices now and there is no reason why people should continue to play things as they have done in the past.”
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