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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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A lot of interesting and thoughtful discussion and most of it is just business case 101 (sorry) - entering a market with an established provider and your main differentiator to compete is the niche market (i.e.,101 distance). Assuming some level of business competency and adequate capital funding to give it a chance to succeed, the real question is whether the 101 niche market is viable. I have my doubts. Time will provide the answer.
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Born again Heathen
In Case of Keith Moon - Break This Glass
Ironman Certified Coach
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [jeanneroth] [ In reply to ]
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The cops know where to direct traffic, but at most races it isn't their responsibility to direct athletes though they often end up doing that as well. That's what course marshalls/volunteers should be used for...
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
- entering a market with an established provider and your main differentiator to compete is the niche market (i.e.,101 distance). the real question is whether the 101 niche market is viable.
I hope so, but I don't think so. Too many races for the available racers, and the competition (IM and 70.2) is just too strong to overcome. Again, it's like opening up Joe's Hamburger stand right beside a McDonald's. There is a familiary that goes along with the IM and 70.3 names...call it a "brand" or call it whatever you like, but it will be incredibly tough to overcome. That "brand" has made their races 'destination' races, and have not left many open spots in the schedule. In short, like McDonald's, they've done everything rightto ensure that they'll always be #1.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
the problem with the 101 isn't the distance, it's the newness.

The marketplace clearly thinks that the distance is the problem.

Pre-launch, there was practically zero support for the conclusion that an off-distance race was wanted by the market, and in fact tons of support for the opposite arguement. Then once the product hit the market, the feedback was/is conclusive.

This is 100%, completely, undeniably and sadly a classic product development and marketing case study pointing to failure due to poor market research.

Very few people have a "problem" with what is out there now, and there isn't enough benefit in the new product to switch.

New Coke, anyone?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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[reply][reply]
...call it a "brand" or call it whatever you like, but it will be incredibly tough to overcome. That "brand" has made their races 'destination' races, and have not left many open spots in the schedule. In short, like McDonald's, they've done everything rightto ensure that they'll always be #1.[/reply]

Please explain 'destination' races.

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Markus Mucus] [ In reply to ]
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Destination races...races that people will travel for and book holiday time around, and bring the family to, and probably book their season around. It's worth travelling to, because they know what to expect - they know it's a big event, not just a race. People travel fo IM's, and to a lesser degree, people travel for many 70.3 branded races.

101 wanted their races to become "destination" races, but in the business world, the philosophy of "if you build it, they will come" does not automatically work. With a 101, people don't know what they're going to, and they don't even know if they want it. People WANT the IM and the 70.3 events...the success is overwhelming.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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Arizona and Louisville and Wisconsin are hardly destination races then.

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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Dave

I'm late 50's and would say that I'm fortunate to be able to run distance yet .... but I do see the same age group faces at all the long distance races I do. I did several IMNA events last year as well as many shorter events. I know my time will come that I can't do the longer events ... and I'll probably follow your example then. But not yet....!
I actually enjoy the shorter races and place quite well in them .... I just think my best competition is always at the popular NAS events. I look at ultras as being too long .... that to me is beyond my capacity. ( here's to Nick and friends!)
I respect anyone who competes/finishes any triathlon event period .... but if you ask me what has the most cool and respect .... its still the IM distance. Just my opinion .... but I'm happy with it and what else matters! No ... I won't be doing a 101 ... but I probably will skip IMFlorida next year and do Silverman.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [dcsxtri10] [ In reply to ]
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you won't be disappointed by Silverman. :)

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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"The marketplace clearly thinks that the distance is the problem."

with the exception of quelle challenge roth, which was built as an ironman licensee, the old-nice distance races clearly outperformed non-WTC 104.6 races (where entries were the metric) where both were staged (chiefly europe). don't take my word for it (not that you would). let's let the euros chime in and let's see what they say.

"
Pre-launch, there was practically zero support for the conclusion that an off-distance race was wanted by the market"

there was also zero support for the conclusion that an on-distance race was wanted by the market, otherwise we'd be clamouring for our entries into the great floridian, et al.

"
once the product hit the market, the feedback was/is conclusive."

this is precisely what could've been written about XTERRA. i was its first bike licensee, and was for its first 3yr i think. i was at the first XTERRA, and the second. now, it's no ironman, but XTERRA has a LOT of entrants worldwide. you... have... to... build... the... brand... and that takes time.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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You must not have read the marketing material about why everywhere there is a McDonald's accross the street is a Burger King, Wendys, etc. The fact is, regardless of Hawaii slots or just plain desire to be at an M-Dot event (be it WTC or NA Sports) they have a proven track record in regards to what they offer at their races, e.g. athlete village, jumbotron, Mike Reilly, top pros, destination races, finishers medals, etc.

It took them a long time to build the brand, less you all forget the M-Dot brand in 1999. Only the past few years have M-Dot races sold out in an hour for 2,300 slots at $450.00 a pop. Why has the GFT iron-distance race numbers dramatically decreased each year when it's held in sunny Clermont, Florida (destination race). Who knows? It's been around 20+ years but never, as I know, slotted more than 500 entrants for the full Ironman. Same for the Duke Blue Devil.

With those type of numbers they cannot offer the same "perks" and glitz as WTC and NA Sports, the market speaks, and they get 300 entrants. It's sort of a catch 22 becuase for most, not the ST small group of hard-core atheltes or wannabees, an M-Dot race somehow means true "Ironman-ness". I thought I read back last summer that 50% of M-Dot entrants are first timers which poses an interesting question only NA Sports and WTC can answer...what happens to those 1st timers who don't race again? or how long until they race again? where? I guess USTA not also has that data as does the timing company. But that data would reflect trends in who races where and how often.

Viability is never (wisely) measured on one race or one season. Sadly, most RD's don't have the cash to sustain 2-3 season building the brand with the required "glitz and glammer" to attract those who desire the M-Dot experience.

Contrary to what some other have posted here One-o-One did advertise in Inside Triathlon, Triathlete, and on numerous boards like this forum and had numerous articles written about their races.

Succuess, even for some RD's is not correlated to raw entrants either. Some, like the Survival of the Shawongunks (New Paltz, NY) have been going on for 22 years with a cap of 150 entrants and are quite happy with those numbers.

If we define succuss as 2,100 entrants in a destination city with Mike Riely announcing the race start with a helicopter overhead, real-time internet updates, chip timing, a great athelte village with seminars and a jumbo-tron then One-o-One did not hit the mark as of yet. Really depends on whose perspective you are seeking...the athelte? the RD? the magazine publisher? the investors?

I have always said in this forum that NA Sports (IMNA) and WTC do a great job filling a niche perfectly (i.e. venue, safety, customer service, etc.). The true quesiton for this debate is how we define succuss.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Markus Mucus] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Arizona and Louisville and Wisconsin are hardly destination races then.

Yes, you're right. They're not sold out, not booked solid in terms of hotels, not full of athletes taking vacation time for a race and bringing their families. They're also not races that people book their seasons around, or dedicate a year of training to. They're not big events that treat the average Joe like an Olympian. They're just another local race.

Are you kidding me?

In our current climate, in a north american IM does not qualify as a destination race, I don't know what would. Are there any events that are more successful, and in higher demand?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan,

If you're "angry", I apologize for that ... but I think you've already pretty much stated that you have financial linkage for the services you've given. If you recieved $0.01, you have a financial linkage .... if you provided all that for free, then I applaud you.
As I stated ... I personally don't really care! I only stated that I feel that those who have financial interest should state so when they voice an influencing opinion .... nothing more/ nothing less. Do you really disagree with that??
Dave
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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now, it's no ironman, but XTERRA has a LOT of entrants worldwide. you... have... to... build... the... brand... and that takes time.

But XTERRA has no competition - the off-road triathlon market was/is not saturated. That's the major difference. XTERRA was a totally new product, but the 101 is just a new variation of a product that's been around for a long time. How does that make it special?

Football players dream of playing in the NFL, not the Arena League, and not the CFL. The NFL is the biggest, most polished, most famous of them all. As is IM. If you're going long (and to the general triathlon public, anything over Olympic is long) then you're going to the big show...IM or 70.3. That's what people dream about racing. It's there, it's real, and it's attainable...people won't look for something they haven't heard of, like 101. To the general triathlon public, do you think they realy care about a 101 race?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
But, give me the more balanced Double-O race, and I may step back up to
the longer distance.

Dave

With that incredibly, potentially strong indication of possible interest, I'm sure every RD reading this is thinking they may start a double-o race. ;)

________
It doesn't really matter what Phil is saying, the music of his voice is the appropriate soundtrack for a bicycle race. HTupolev
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry, i read your explanation incorrectly. your definition of a destination race justifies what you said, however, I would define it completely different and say I don't agree.
The IM brand is a beast until itself and they have shown they can pretty much do whatever they want and the lemmings will keep showing up. Personally, i don't believe it is because people want to 'race' a great course, however, that is just my beliefs. Don't kid yourself though, there are MANY more reasons why IM races sell out other than it is well run event.

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [dcsxtri10] [ In reply to ]
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"If you recieved $0.01, you have a financial linkage"

your statement was not that i have a financial linkage. your statement was that i "
seems biased" and that i am not "objective." you're basically saying my opinions are what they are because i'm on the take.

you also said, "
we should just declare financial bias when it exists right up front." that's precisely what i did. you're insinuating i've not done that, but i've done so several times, and this dates back awhile.

the things i've contracted to do basically defray my expenses associated with the work i have to do for them. i make a lot more money doing other things. i make essentially zero doing this. perhaps you think there is no free lunch, nobody works for free, everybody's got an agenda, everybody's on the take. is that the way you operate? me, shit, i don't know, a collie was running in heavy traffic yesterday, i stopped the car, chased the thing, caught it, threw it in the car, called the number on the tag, and delivered it home 3mi away. you would've done the same thing, right? but you wouldn't have gotten paid, and wouldn't have accepted payment had it been offered.

no, these guys aren't a lost dog. well, in a way they are. and that's why i'm helping them. i'd also help graham if he asked.

"
If you're "angry", I apologize for that"

i would rather you not hinge your apology to my view of what you said. i would rather you hinge your apology to your own sense of your own words. man up and say you didn't write anything you shouldn't have, or man up and say that you did.

"
As I stated ... I personally don't really care!"

yes, well, i personally do really care, because i'm the one you slandered. perhaps if i slander you to those inside your circle of work, you'll care.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
In Reply To:
the problem with the 101 isn't the distance, it's the newness.

The marketplace clearly thinks that the distance is the problem.

Pre-launch, there was practically zero support for the conclusion that an off-distance race was wanted by the market, and in fact tons of support for the opposite arguement. Then once the product hit the market, the feedback was/is conclusive.

This is 100%, completely, undeniably and sadly a classic product development and marketing case study pointing to failure due to poor market research.

Very few people have a "problem" with what is out there now, and there isn't enough benefit in the new product to switch.

New Coke, anyone?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Tri-Atlanta] [ In reply to ]
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You've heard of Nice Triathlon? Want to take a guess at what the distance was before it became an Ironman, and check who came to Nice to race?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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The feedback that I have received is that the 101 serie, once (hopefully) it starts in Europe, will be awfully popular. A lot of the Euros like this distance better. Shorter recovery period, training similar to an IM, etc.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
the old-nice distance races clearly outperformed
this is precisely what could've been written about XTERRA. you... have... to... build... the... brand...

Dan, we all like the idea of the 101 and admire the efforts and risk that the organizers put out, but it is called the "old-nice distance" for a reason.

Using Xterra as an example of "brand buidling" building a business is a real mistake. Xterra is an example of product differentiation (off road triathlon with somewhat different audience) which captured the market opportunity and then created the brand.

you... have... to... build... the... product that the market wants...
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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"the 101 is just a new variation of a product that's been around for a long time. How does that make it special?"

you could say the very same thing about the ironman. why wildflower and not world's toughest? it's about brand building, and it's about the chasm that exists between the half and the full IM.

i don't know why i'm spending my time debating with people who just have no concept of brand building. do you not think the market has enough soft drinks? candy bar companies? cell phone makers? before geico, were there not sufficient opportunities to insure your car? prior to capitol one, were you not able to get a credit card? before google, did you not know how to search the internet?

in every one of these cases, the market was 'saturated.' yet all these brands found a way to differentiate themselves, and to make the experience special. now, another guy is coming in and trying to give YOU an option, spending a lot of money to do so. perhaps i see it through a prism that is different, because i did the same thing.

i don't know about everybody else, but you and reggiedog deserve to have your $450 taken from you a year in advance.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Markus Mucus] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Don't kid yourself though, there are MANY more reasons why IM races sell out other than it is well run event.

Of course there are - they sell out for a combination of all factors, most of which IMNA control, and excell at. The IM events offer the total package, moreso than perhaps any other amateur sporting event.

I've been to multiple World Championships, Pan-Am games and Commonwealth Games (no Olympics, sorry) - go so a North American IM event, and there is a bigger buzz there than any of these events, because they're full of verage Joe's doing something special. As a comptitor at an IM, you are the reason for all of it, and unless you're an Olympic caliber athlete, you won't experience that 'big event feel' anywhere else.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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Has anyone ever replied to themselves? Well, I just did.

Here is one data point for whatever its worth. After I posted I went to the 101 website and saw that the Woodlands Texas race is on November 11th but then went to see the date on the Silverman 1/2 – same date. Both are far enough from IMOO to be doable if the wheels are okay, can be booked at the last minute and are far enough from January 2008 when I am doing my last expedition climb (under penalty of divorce if there is another one and I am kind of fond of her after 29 years so there won’t be) and I need healthy, strong and rested legs. If I were going to do one (and I probably won’t do either and will be in Stairmill Hell sporting a pack instead) it would be the Silverman 1/2. Why? Shorter distance given IMOO, hills and it has that certain “gene se qua.” If you are going to go, might as well go big. It is the latter factor that concerns me about 101 and brand building. I hope I am wrong.
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Born again Heathen
In Case of Keith Moon - Break This Glass
Ironman Certified Coach
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Last edited by: cooterbob: May 8, 07 12:20
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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>>Are there any events that are more successful, and in higher demand? <<

ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ

clm
Nashville, TN
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