RAGNAR RELAY. COLOR RUN. DIRTY GIRL. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. SPARTAN RACE. TOUGH MUDDER.
You’ve probably heard of them. The demographics of these races are fairly diverse, however participation is rapidly increasing. Some sign up to feel the burn. Others enter for the experience. Like born again Pokémon players, “groupies” attend to collect their medals.
The booming popularity of pain-inducing endurance runs have been increasing market spending during such events over the past year, and marketers are starting to jump on the bandwagon as well. It’s like Global Guts for adults, and those medals symbolize “a piece of that awesome rock”.
According to research, North American sponsorship spending on marathons and the like will hit $102.1 million this year, up 6.7% from $95.7 million in 2014. With rising interest in health and a balanced workout, more and more people are interested in new ways to make exercising fun, yet remain challenging.
Sponsors are participating in a range of activations, involving six-figure spending down to smaller backing of grassroot events. Some do both. Companies like Nissan, the U.S. Air Force, Motorola, Reebok and Allstate have been consistent sponsors of major endurance events with global appeal.
Some races are gaining immense ground, attracting anywhere from 20-30 sponsors in the same number of race locations.
Desirability for sponsors isn’t necessarily dependent on how traditional an event is though. It’s the size of the event, how well it’s run and if it’s a new and unique race. Participation drives the demographic. Spectators are the icing on the cake.
One thing’s for sure: Participants are loyal, and loyalty drives marketers to contribute even more.
With the rise in popularity of these endurance races, it’s easier than ever to get dirty, challenge your body and be “one with nature”.
Preparing for an event that requires such a diverse array of fitness qualities – strength, explosive power, and cardiovascular endurance – requires a training regimen that is equally diverse.
Since these races take place outdoors, it’s better to get outside to train (no treadmill can properly simulate a hill run). Envision yourself as Rocky, training in rudimentary but effective means of strength and endurance. Walk a sandbag up a steep hill. Push a car across an empty parking lot. Slap some mud across your chest. And prepare to raise that medal high!