London’s Orbit Tower reopens as scalable action sport.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, which was built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, has reopened this year as a visitation centre, a restaurant, a viewing platform – it is the tallest sculpture in the UK, after all – and, starting next year, as a place for abseiling. Operators are charging £85 per person, or £130 for the addition of a GoPro camera to record the descent.

Inspiring Play

The lure of extreme sports is nothing new and the challenges continue to get bigger and bolder. Much of this has to do with the glow of professional sports as people, especially young people, feel inspired to take risks for the glory of the game, or spectacle in this case.

Mintel’s British Lifestyles UK 2014 report shows that the 2012 London Olympics inspired 7% of adults to take up a new sport; they were particularly successful in encouraging greater participation among younger 16-24s (14% have taken up a new sport as a result) and 25-34s (12% have also done so). Around two thirds (65%) of adults do some kind of sport, a figure which has risen slightly since the Olympics took place in London in 2012. The most popular sports are swimming (29% of adults do it), cycling (16%), weight training/gym (15%), jogging (15%) and aerobics/fitness classes (11%).

Clearly, professional sport inspires amateurs to take up more physical activity. Thus operators need to create images and messaging that aligns both worlds.