Earlier in May, Runsignup, the leading technology provider for US races, put out a short survey to race organizers. This simple survey created a snapshot of revenue expectations for the industry in 2020 and 2021 and looked at how organizations are adjusting to their expectations. While the survey highlights the significant financial impact expected by the endurance industry, it also shows some optimism toward the future and some ingenuity in the approach to survival.

The survey ways completed by 779 race organizers covering a range of organization and event sizes, with 31% of respondents representing organizations that annually serving less than 500 participants, 37% representing organizations serving 501-5,000 participants, 17% representing 5,001-20,000 participants, and 14% representing more than 20,000 participants annually.

Key takeaways from the survey include:

  • 2020 Revenue shortfalls are expected to be significant for race organizations of all sizes, with the average expectation that they will see 45% of their 2019 revenue in 2020.
  • While some recovery is expected in 2021, organizations do not expect a full rebound, with an average expectation that they will see 76% of their 2019 revenue.
  • Virtual events or challenges are filling some of the holes, and are expected to make up 28% of revenue in 2020 and 16% in 2021. 40% of respondents indicated that they are adding virtual events or challenges as a new source of income.
  • To make up for the revenue shortfalls, organizations are trying to save money by cutting employee costs and reducing software expenses and subscriptions.

When asked how organizations were adjusting to the expected revenue shortfall, larger organizations indicated that they were furloughing of some employees and/or reducing compensation across team members. Additionally, they were looking to save money by reducing software and other subscription costs. In contrast, smaller events had taken fewer steps to adjust to the reduced revenue, with their most frequent actions including using cash reserves and reducing program expenses (including cutting mission-driven programs). Across all organizations, 41% indicated that they were creating new virtual events or challenges to bring in revenue, with large organizations leading the pack with a full 68% of them introducing a virtual option.

RunSignup Founder and CEO Bob Bickel said, “Anecdotally, we know that race organizations are watcing the timeline for in-person events to return – and in the meantime, they are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. We are seeing them look for ways to save money, such as pausing their email marketing or CRM platforms in favor of our free solutions. Most of all, we know from the explosion of virtual events and challenges on our site that races are proactively transitioning existing events to virtual and creating new and exciting virtual challenges. We hope to see revenue expectations increase over time as more organizations find innovative ways to engage participants whether the finish line is real or virtual.”

The survey is intended to be a snapshot in time and will be repeated in the future for a dynamic look at the industry and the approach races are taking to the future. For more survey findings and information, visit: https://runsignup.blog/2020/05/20/race-expectations-survey-45-of-revenue-expected-in-2020/

 

About RunSignup

RunSignup is the leading all-in-one platform for endurance and fundraising events. More than 20,000 races, supporting over 8,000 nonprofits, use RunSignup’s free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Built on a powerful CRM, RunSignup delivers the art of technology to power the entire race cycle, with promotional tools, registration, a full fundraising platform, and a suite of RaceDay products – including the runner-tracking app RaceJoy and race timing software, RaceDay Scoring. For more information, visit www.runsignup.com