The increased engagement of the toy industry with the UK skate scene is one of the many factors contributing to an increase in participation in the sport, especially among young girls who are starting out for the first time.
According to Skateboard GB, the official body for skateboarding in the UK, the past year has seen a resurgence of the hobby across the country, driven by a combination of factors, including the inclusion of the sport. at this year’s Olympics, new audiences discovering the hobby and a natural return to the pandemic hobby.
Most notably, Skateboard GB told ToyNews that the biggest audience growth came from young girls, citing contributions from the toy industry as a factor behind the rise.
In recent months, the toys space has leaned into sports, as evidenced by a series of partnerships with young British skateboarder and Olympic hopeful Sky Brown. At 12, Brown is the youngest British athlete to travel to Tokyo this year, where hopes will be high for a silver or even gold.
Brown has been the subject of a number of toy partnerships in 2020 and 2021, most notably with Mattel who developed a Barbie doll in her image, making the skater a role model to “break down borders for the next generation of girls. “. She also lent her name to a campaign with Spin Master fingerboard brand Tech Deck last summer, and was recently named Ambassador for Plum Play’s new BOWL Trampoline.
The popularity of the young sportswoman has contributed to what Skateboard GB estimates to be a 20% year-over-year growth in female skateboarding, which in turn has fueled an increase in targeted events such as dedicated sessions. girls in skateparks across the UK.
“I think sometimes girls can feel a little intimidated when there are a lot of boys around, so it’s good to see a lot of influencers come up through the ranks and inspire them to play the sport themselves,” said Skateboard GB’s head of digital engagement. , Neil Ellis told ToyNews.
“It’s great to see Sky Brown partnering with the toy space, because it’s a great way to introduce young people and girls to sports, through these role models, and to help play sports. part of their conversation.
“Moms and dads aren’t considered cool, are they. You must also have these other people to involve the children in the sport. “
Skateboarding in the UK is currently enjoying increased popularity, with hobby adoption expected to grow between seven and nine percent. These statistics are calculated by Skateboard GB which takes figures from independent skate shops and skate parks across the country.
The pandemic has been cited as another major factor behind the current surge in popularity, and last year the skateboard industry saw its sales sell off for the first time in its history.
ToyNews will explore the resurgence of skateboarding in the UK in depth in the upcoming Spring / Summer issue.