Thursday, April 23, 2009

triathlons are HOT

The passion to swim, bike, and run just keeps getting stronger---study finds

Tri COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 9, 2009) A new study initiated by USA Triathlon has revealed exciting new data on the demographics and spending habits of multisport athletes in the United States.

USAT and the TribeGroup – who conducted the market research study – released the executive summary of the findings this week.

The Mind of the Triathlete study was conducted in October and November 2008 and is the first of its kind to provide a deep analysis and segmentation of the triathlete among new participants and long -time veterans. More than 15,000 triathletes gave an average of 20 minutes describing their experiences, lifestyle, habits and backgrounds.

“When we agreed to exclusively partner with TribeGroup on the study, we weren’t sure what exactly the data would show since we hadn’t updated anything since 2000. We were pleased with the job they have done and are more optimistic now than ever about the future of triathlon and the ability of USAT to continue to improve the experience of members and the community at large,” said Tim Yount, USAT senior vice president for marketing and communications.

The study grouped participants into seven distinct segments according to similarities in their demographics, psychographics and involvement in the sport. On average, triathletes are from high socio-economic backgrounds with median incomes of $126,000, however, their motivators and mindset are different, creating a significant opportunity for the triathlon community to serve them better and in more targeted ways. Unlike many consumers, they are spending cautiously but on average intend to spend as much in 2009 as they did in 2008. In fact, 45 percent would rather spend discretionary income on triathlon with three of seven segments exceeding 65 percent and one nearly 80 percent.

“What is remarkable is the incredible passion of triathletes no matter what the economy is doing. They are increasing participation both in the numbers of races and those moving up in distance. The results and incredible willingness of the athletes to tell us what makes them tick is a testament to how much they want the sport to grow and the unmet needs or concerns they have,” said Jolene Moore, director of sales for TribeGroup. “The opportunities for sponsors, race directors and suppliers to tailor offerings and strategies in this time of limited budgets is clear.”

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