Sports Marketing Surveys has acquired data preparation and visualisation business Culture of Insight (COI). Culture of Insight is a trusted name in the market research industry, having worked with brands including Formula 1, Hearst, BT, Eurosport, Global Media, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Financial Times. Its expertise includes dashboard portals and apps, as well as automation, API development, and coding training and the business was a finalist in insight management in the Market Research Society (MRS) awards.
As part of the acquisition, COI staff will also be integrated into the SMS team.
Previously, SMS had an expansive partnership with COI to enhance in-house visualisation capabilities across a range of projects. The collaboration covered bespoke work in running, cycling and tennis, and SMS’ multi-sport participation research.
The acquisition had been discussed over a couple of years and was agreed with Culture of Insight’s late founder, James Smythe, a longtime friend and partner of SMS, before he passed away in April. John Bushell, Managing Director of SMS, commented: “While the circumstances are obviously not the ones in which we would have wished to take this step, it is the logical progression in our long-term partnership with COI. SMS will continue to service existing COI clients and contracts as James wished. The acquisition will enhance our capabilities, skills, and culture, and we look forward to exploring with new and existing clients how data visualisation can enhance the insight that they rely on.”
Keith Storey, President of SMS USA, who also worked with James and COI, added, “we look forward to continuing to build on James and COI’s legacy, and doing so in the same intelligent and thoughtful way that has characterised the business over the years.”
Data visualisation makes insight easier to access, understand, and use. Current examples of SMS / COI visualisation in sport include the Physical Activity Council study of US Sports Participation, which tracks annual participation over 100 sports and fitness activities in the USA, and retail audits such as the Bicycle Association Market Data Service.
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