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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I think that great alternatives to other great brands are fantastic.

We seldom hear people criticize BMW for offering an alternative to Mercedes Benz, or Pepsi to Coke...So why should anyone bemoan a long-distance race series as an alternative to IMNA?

I want to one day race at Kona, so I'll cough up the dough one more time to try and get there. But I'm really excited about this race distance.

I like different race distances though, I like Muskoka, I like the Around the Bay 30K in Hamilton and the Soldier Field 10M in Chicago. Sure, the races are longer than your standard Oly or 10K, but they don't present the incredibly difficult, and risky challenge in preparation that characterize Ironmans and Marathons. Its difficult at best to keep the preparation for an Ironman from consuming the life of a working triathlete...And a marathon isn't a piece of cake either. We're pretty much betting all of our marbles when we sign up for IMoo, IMLP or CdA...

Maybe Tri 101 won't ever be the elephant in the room, but it would be nice to have that race series out there.

Since doing my first 30K, I thought it was a great distance because I can do a lot of 2 hour runs. They're manageable week in and week out, but once I try and hit the 2 1/2 hour runs for a marathon prep I really start to feel the pressure and I suspect most have the same experience. If it were possible for a running race and a triathlon to be related, I think the 30K and the 101 distances are.

So we have a challenging event that isn't Ironman. Fantastic. If Tri 101 is trying to be Ironman they'll fail and I really doubt that's their goal. But if they want to take something from Ironman, they should take the spirit of the World Championship venue--racing in paradise. Paradise, The Woodlands, Texas is not.

Really, I hope that the distance and their brand isn't "too smart" for their customers.

And paradise, er...I mean, The Woodlands is on my calendar.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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"you... have... to... build... the... product that the market wants..."

like... a... what? a cup of coffee? who knew beforehand that starbucks would sell $3 coffee on every streetcorner? any pent up need for that expressed in the marketplace prior to starbucks' launch?

what we have now is that pent up need, in fact people are standing in line a year in advance for that cup of coffee. there certainly is the need. and the market. the question is, will 101 be the answer? i don't know. it depends on how well they execute.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan,

I re-read my post that offended you and I honestly don't see what "slandered" you. I have no intention to do that. I have not seen a prior disclosure of your interests with 101 but I don't read every post by a long ways ... if you say you have declared, then thats fine by me. You clearly are an advocate of 101. I have no financial interest at all in any event except as a competitor.
You and I would both save the dog for free ... we could both agree on that! If you feel that I need to man up for something ... I apologize for what you feel slandered you ... that was not my intent.
You must be a good guy because you obviously could just delete me from your site if you chose. Not being on ST would clearly have saved me some time this morning!!
Best Regards,
Dave
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [show pony] [ In reply to ]
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The bottom line is that in a race, field size does matter... there are minimum costs to put on a race regardless of field size (you still need XXX number of various things people, official (paid) support, etc. whether you have 140 or 2000+.

Small field size puts more pressure on sponsorship money...but sponsors expect large numbers of racers, spectators and publicity in return for their investment...small field sizes dissuade sponsors, which leads to a vicious financial downward spiral...

first year races tend to haver lower registration, and educated sponsors know that and will let it go and grow with the event if it grows as well....

Obviously the sport is starting to get satuated with races...as another poster stated, a "contraction" in number of races should be expected (not necessarily 1 o 1).

What RDs / new races need to to is some actual market research before starting an event....this is a business and if theyr run it like that, their chance of succeeding will increase

"We will either find a way, or make one." -- Hannibal, General of the Carthaginian Army
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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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? And these are products that hundreds of millions of people use daily. Average people. EVERYONE eats candy bars, drinks pop, uses cell phones, insures their car, uses credit cards. Poor comparison. i see it through a prism that is different, because i did the same thing.
"Did" the same thing. No offence Dan, but you did it at a time when the climate was different. These guys aren't pioneers of the triathlon industry like you were. They're not on board when a sew sport is growing, and they're not one of the only providers of races. You did your thing when there weren't more options than athletes. You keep bringing up the old days...old Kona, Old-nice triathlon, QR days, Xterra. But this is a different climate, and there is a major brand out there now that commands all of the attention. Ironman is a household name, and that's what people associate with triathlon. It's branding at it's finest. 101 is a flawed business model, in almost every way. Do you think it would would be as easy to build QR now, as it was 20 years ago? Instead of building a new product, you'd be trying to take market share away form established guys like Cervelo or Trek, for what is essentially the same product. It's a different climate in today's triathlon world. Remember the "24 Hours of Adrenalin?" It was a huge mountain bike race series, responsible in large part for the mountain bike boom. It build up a brand, but in the end it went bankrupt because it didn't realize that even with thousands of new MTB riders, there were only so many who were interested in endurance events. How many of these new triathletes that are part of this boom really care about long course? And what percentage of them, if they do a long course, will NOT choose an IM or 70.3?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [ironclm] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
>>Are there any events that are more successful, and in higher demand? <<

ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
Another destination race.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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This been one of the most interesting I have seen in a long time, and no real personal attacks. Amazing.

I wish any RD who tries to start a long distance race, or series, all the luck in the world. Just seems like ST is a good place to start to test the waters.
If this group, with the majority, does not get excited and SIGN UP for the events, not a good sign. As I said, I cancelled my IMcda and lost big bucks
to go to something that fit better into my goals. Shorter with top notch competition, and close to my home. It is my goal race to try and get into
for next year to, since it will still be on the west coast.

Maybe there is no more room for another "brand" event for triathlon? But, it has to be more than distance, or I just do not see how it can succeed, but
it is not my money making the bet.

I wish the 101 folks the best of luck. Shall be an interesting business case to watch, succeed or fail.

Dave

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
In Reply To:
>>Are there any events that are more successful, and in higher demand? <<

ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
Another destination race.
Not for all the NorCal people clammering to get into the race.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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You're right, if you can't get a rush of people on ST to race, then it's a pretty fair indicator of how it will go out in the triathlon world.

I'd be willing to bet that if IM branded a 101-type race, that it would experience more success than what we see. At least the people would have something to identify this distance with, and that's the IM brand.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [GearGrinder] [ In reply to ]
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[reply]You're right, if you can't get a rush of people on ST to race, then it's a pretty fair indicator of how it will go out in the triathlon world.

I'd be willing to bet that if IM branded a 101-type race, that it would experience more success than what we see. At least the people would have something to identify this distance with, and that's the IM brand.[/reply]

I would agree with you on the branding side of things. The IM brand and name are quite powerful and recognizable. In terms of their product though, I can't understand why people want to continue to enter races where there is rampant drafting, overcrowding on the swim and bike and a horrible refund/transfer policy.
Like Dan keeps saying though, this series wasn't built overnight and the desire for the 101 distance is there. Like Francois pointed out, there is a stir over in Europe for a race like this since the ITU ditched it.
I will go on record and say they will succeed and I will be racing Halifax next year. Can't wait!
Mark

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [sdmike] [ In reply to ]
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That´s beacuse the Almere organizers for 2008 will cancel their hosting of the ITU Worlds LD if ITU wouldn´t let them run it on its original 4-120-30 which was the distance in effect when they bid for Championship.

That, and the massive support for the 4-120-30, have caused ITU to review their decision to shorten their longdistance. The jury is still out on this but Worlds for 08´will for certain be on the "old" distance.

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I think I got some of my info incorrect. Funny thing is, the ITU website www.triathlon.org has the 2007 long course champs as double olympic and the 2008 long course champs in Holland as triple olympic....hmmm.
Last edited by: Jonas: May 8, 07 13:12
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Weighing in as the minority, I try to do at least one different event every year (not limited to triathlons). I do come back to a few that are fun but I like trying different things. At least with the 101, you can say " I haven't done that before." Who knows, maybe it will suit my physiology perfectly.

On the other hand, I don't think they plan to have beer at the end like Crazylegs (anyone else miss having the mass start?).
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
who knew beforehand that starbucks would sell $3 coffee on every streetcorner? any pent up need for that expressed in the marketplace prior to starbucks' launch?

what we have now is that pent up need, in fact people are standing in line a year in advance for that cup of coffee. there certainly is the need. and the market. the question is, will 101 be the answer? i don't know. it depends on how well they execute.

Now Starbucks as a model for 101 sucess?!

Every example you have used to support the 101 plan would flunk a first year business school course. Xterra is a different product; Gieco is a marketing machine (with truly lower rates); Starbucks is an "aspirational" brand (people pay money, instead of earning it, to feel richer) and a meeting place.

The guys at Tri1-0-1, bless their efforts, are losing a boatload of money based on an incredibly flawed analysis of the marketplace.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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People want:

A challenging race.

A safe course.

Stocked and staffed aid stations.

Great Schwag.

People cheering them on.

To say the did an Ironman.

Crap. Well it seems Tri 101 endeavors to provide all except one. And 5 outta 6 ain't bad. Right?

Tri 101 will have to tell people what they want. And then tell people why what they want is Tri 101.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Jonas] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
That´s beacuse the Almere organizers for 2008 will cancel their hosting of the ITU Worlds LD if ITU wouldn´t let them run it on its original 4-120-30 which was the distance in effect when they bid for Championship.

That, and the massive support for the 4-120-30, have caused ITU to review their decision to shorten their longdistance. The jury is still out on this but Worlds for 08´will for certain be on the "old" distance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for the update. Have you ever done the race in Almere. Do you recomend it?
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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"The guys at Tri1-0-1, bless their efforts, are losing a boatload of money based on an incredibly flawed analysis of the marketplace."

you and i have never agreed on anything else, bless your heart, so why would we agree on this?


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Nacho cheese] [ In reply to ]
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"On the other hand, I don't think they plan to have beer at the end"

i know i plan on having a beer at the end. and a couple during (but then i'm doing the play-by-play, and i suspect it'll help my spontaneity -- tho probably not my speling).


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I think one of the other things to think about is this....

Do IM in North America selling out in hrs mean that there are thousands of additional people banging on the door to race? Or, does it mean that there is the hype that makes people think there are thousands waiting to sign up?

I'd venture to say that it's the latter. Great races, but I'm not so sure that just because a race sells out in a couple of hrs, that means there is a much bigger demand. We'll see, if more IM's come on line. If there were thousands of additional athletes REALLY wanting to compete at the longer distances, you'd see them at Silverman, GFT, etc....

I'm not convinced that the IM market isn't close to being saturated. I'm sure everyone will disagree because of the almost immediate sellouts, but the IM market isn't that big.....What will be the tipping point? 1 more IM? 2 more????

Guys and gals, there AREN'T that many of us out there. Being in the ST bubble colors our logic on this stuff....imo...
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [KJ] [ In reply to ]
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Yep, I see a number of races that used to fill up, or fill up fast that no longer seem to. Wonder why?

Wildflower, Donner, SJIT are ones that come to mind.

Dave

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [KJ] [ In reply to ]
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"Do IM in North America selling out in hrs mean that there are thousands of additional people banging on the door to race?"

let me put it this way. baby boomers populated triathlon in the 80s. then they got older, and triathlon ebbed. now baby boomers' children are in high school, or college, or out of college. they are about ready to join, and are joining, this sport. this in part accounts for the run-up in triathlon in this decade. demographics alone will help push this sport upward, we just have to be smart about how we manage our growth.

were there to be another ironman, and another, so that we eventually had 12 north american ironmans, i think 10 or 11 would sell out, and rather quickly. maybe all 12 would sell out. i think each of these races absorbs its field as they are incrementally added.

graham fraser has been saying there is a limited number of people, much smaller than anyone thinks, who wants to do these races, and he's been saying that since there were 5 of them in north america. maybe he's right. but that limited number keeps growing. it's always going to be a finite number, but, it keeps growing.

me, i believe in our sport. i think it's a great sport, for a lot of reasons. perhaps i have more faith in our sport than others do. maybe more faith than i should have. a few years ago a guy who occasionally writes for us, jeff henderson, decided to put on a half-IM. it's not a 70.3. he was and is on his own. i knew he would be a success, because he's a quality guy. last year he got 550 in his half, along with 450 in his sprint. actually 1,043 altogether. this year he's expanding a bit, hoping to get 1200. his race is musselman, in upstate NY.

if you're smart, patient, quality-minded, shrewd, ambitious, and service-oriented, you'll succeed. it may take you several years, you have to be prepared for that, but you'll carve your niche. it's not about having it be the right distance, or your date on the calendar. it's about working until your property is built. jeff will eventually have 1500 people at his race weekend, i have no doubt. there's room for good races and good RDs.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Case in point, IM Canada and Ironman Louisville, same date 2007, 08/26/07. First year for KY race and 25th for Canadian race. Canada by NA Sports and Louisville by WTC. Both sold out. I beleive KY sold out in 7 weeks or so. That means, given the typical 10% overage for "no-shows", 4,600 paid entrants. Cleary, the demand for M-Dot races exisits, be it same date or same city. And your right on with buidling a quality race as Timberman sells out consistantly, even prior to M-Dot affiliation. The question is why do so many top AG's, pro's and the locus of the sport (MOP/BOP) continue to enter M-Dot races at such speed to the loss of other non-M-Dot and long distance races. Will this occur with 70.3 brand and Clearwater in 5-10 years? Is it the perception of the race or the actual race that matters. Only WTC, NA Sports, Lifetime, etc who do serious "exit polling" and analyze the results really know the true buy-in trends.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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With the latest hubbub over Basso's admitance/non-admittance, Floyd's ongoing saga, the Barry Bonds thing, etc., why weren't the pros at Bradenton tested? With that type of prize purse it'd be awfully tempting for someone to take advantage of the situation...
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [reggiedog] [ In reply to ]
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Your opinions & viewpoint about marketing are well-supported in this statement: "Every example you have used to support the 101 plan would flunk a first year business school course". Interesting that you'd compare sitting in a classroom with actually being out in the real world and running a bonafide business.

One of the first things I learned in econ 101 was the theory of supply and demand. When Starbucks started there was not a market for coffee like there is today -- they capitalized on what was existing and grew demand via product offering (e.g. there's a different fuffy drink for everyday of the week). Coffee used to just come a couple ways, and everyone was ok with that until Starbucks came along and offered something else.

With triathlon it appears that there's currently plent of demand for well-run longer distance races; now it's a matter of supply. How do you capture the demand? Build a brand. Any successful marketer will concur. Few more close-to-home examples: How did Zipp get so big? Haven't there always been wheel providers? How about Cervelo? Seems like C-dale Trek have been around for a long time. And Hed? Zoot? Could it be the brands they developed?

BTW, I worked on the first Xterra USA Championship race (from a marketing side, no less) and saw how limited (and very local) the first race was. The growth they accomplished via creating really solid awareness - top tier races & destinations, gear, lifestyle TV show, "tribe" website, etc -- is a model for any niche company to follow.
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [KJ] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Guys and gals, there AREN'T that many of us out there. Being in the ST bubble colors our logic on this stuff....imo...

This is the smartest statement in this entire thread. KJ gets it, but unfortunately most others here don't.
Last edited by: GearGrinder: May 8, 07 22:30
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Re: We can all complain about IMNA, but... [Carl Spackler] [ In reply to ]
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Coffee used to just come a couple ways, and everyone was ok with that until Starbucks came along and offered something else.
that's the point that the market is saying about 101...it isn't much different...or different enough than what is already in the market...starbucks offered something truly 'different'; pre-starbucks there were generally two options: non-make your own or buy 'diner' coffee...starbucks offered a totally new coffee 'experience' - different coffee (high end) and a vey different experience (more conveneince and unique atmosphere)...starbucks started small, with one shop, too...but their different product was wanted elsewhere, so they grew...shultz, the founder of starbucks, saw that 'everyone was not ok with that"...101 is showing that everyone is ok with the existing tri offerings...likewise xterra filled a need that was out there for off road tri...
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