Sir; I was particularly amused by the comment from a Sainsbury spokeswoman that it was “not surprised Tesco is copying our good idea as it has been a phenomenal score” (‘Tesco races after Sainsbury with sports scheme, The Grocer, August 27, p9).
In fact, before Sainsbury launched its Active Kids scheme, we ran an almost identical scheme called Sport Rewards for Schools for sports- and schoolwear retailer Rawcliffes Intersport in the north of England, in which schools throughout the region received sports equipment worth thousands of pounds. Key to the
success of these schemes - and one reason why Sport Rewards worked so well - was the value of the vouchers. These loyalty schemes are often criticised for requiring huge amounts of spend to equate to any real value, acting more as a PR stunt than a worthy cause, so Sport Rewards aimed to give a higher level of reward.
Customers received one voucher for every £10 spent, with each voucher worth approximately 10p towards the value of sports goods for the school. In fact, many schools collected enough vouchers to pay for shirts for two or more football teams.
It would be interesting to see the spend that would be required in Sainsbury and Tesco to earn enough kit for a school football team or netball post.
Getting children more involved in sports is a laudable aim - I’m glad to see that more than one supermarket has jumped on the bandwagon!