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Date: August 20, 2014

Author: Jack Caress

It might be a mistake for someone who owns and operates events to discuss entry fees. Especially in 300 words or less. But, here goes: 

Entry fees are almost always too low.   I was made aware of major study coming out later this year of events and participants. One of the most surprising findings was that most athletes enter races (including ours) very late, often right before the race itself.  The price was largely irrelevant, no event was charging so much that no one would enter at current pricing ceilings.  

To me, the reasoning is simple. The value derived from these events far exceeds their price. When I use the term value, I often use the term from my economics training, "utils", a term which defines the hypothetical unit measuring satisfaction scale.  

On the scale of satisfaction, triathlons in large part far outweigh their inherent pricing. How many utils is finishing a triathlon versus going to a major league baseball game or out to a moderately priced dinner (without wine). In other words, participants get far more out of them (more utils) than they are paying in currency.   

I will leave our events for another discussion, but when has anyone you know that finished a marathon, a century ride, any endurance competition (where they trained for many months or even years) afterward say they did not receive the value they paid in return? Unless the event is produced very poorly--very rarely have you heard griping on value.  

Even a sprint distance (or supersprint) triathlon is an incredible value.  How much are you willing to invest for lifeguards, closed roads, and a timed event with 6 splits that you can be proud to finish with your friends and family? Yes, I thought so.   

I welcome your thoughts at feedback@triathlonbusinessintl.com.


For more than 30 years, Jack Caress has been producing and marketing participant sports events. He is the founder and president of Pacific Sports LLC, a lifestyle events production company, and a founding member and president of triathlon trade association Triathlon Business International. He is a boardmember for the Los Angeles Sports Council and the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, an operating partner for VO2 Partners in New York and a consultant for the Gerson Lehrman Group and ForensisGroup.




Tues., August 19 I agree. There is a small but, unfortunatly, very vocal minority of participants in endurnace sports events who, for some reason, think of them as a rip-off or that the RD's or Managment company is making massive amounts of money. Of course, these folks are wrong on both counts.  ~SF~

Sun., September 3 - "Race entry fees pyramid or stepping stone," by Mark Cathcart, http://triman.livejournal.com/264493.html

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