Coronavirus Impact on Races Week 12

Please see and Looking Forward: Guidelines for Races for recommendations and tools.

Things continue to evolve as of May 17, 2020 from Week 111098765,  43 and 2 of the Coronavirus. 

The transaction volume we saw the past week is 25% lower than the same week last year. The 25% is a very good improvement from the 37% the previous week and 40% the week before but still implies the endurance community and nonprofit community is having to survive on a far smaller amount of revenue.

We’ve included two charts showing the total $ amount of transactions flowing thru our system on a weekly basis both pre and post Coronavirus. The first is a simple %, and the second is the actual transactions per week on our platform. For example, this past week was $3,746,198 vs. $4,965,034 last year. Both years had Mother’s Day, which is never a good day for people signing up for things. Also, you can see we were having a great year (up 29%) before the virus, so this does not represent the community as a whole…

Here are the weekly transaction dollars:

The other point is that of that lower volume, of the 20 top races over the past week:

  • 14 are virtual races
  • 6 are challenges (we are adding this category for the first time)
  • 0 are a race scheduled for this spring that have converted to virtual – so those are new virtual race registrations or donations
  • 0 are for for fall or 2021 races.

We are also sharing here our numbers of new races created on our platform this year and last year, as well as the number of renewals. As you can see, we actually have a lot more races being created – 396 vs. 236 last year. However the number of renewed races last year was 278 (which should have been up given our growth), but was down to only 56 this year.

RunSignup has benefited from our large and creative customer base, many of whom have shifted to virtual and challenge. Taking a look at the Alexa Rankings we have been using for years in our Market Analysis, the stabilization in transactions is not level across the entire registration market. These rankings are somewhat logarithmic as the ranking increases. For example, our 30 day pageviews on April 27 were 9.8 Million and our past 30 days is now 13.6 Million, while our rank has gone from 7,414 to 5,545. Lower ranked vendors are likely to have had a much steeper fall.

Also, Eventbrite revealed in their Q1 Earnings Call that their transaction volume was still down 85% in the first week of May. Using their public estimate of $4.5 Billion of transactions last year that translates to about $13 Million of transaction volume per week (compared with our $3.7 Million last week). Anyway, the ranking numbers below are just one rough data point.

Much like races and even some nonprofits, the virus is likely to shift the landscape of the market considerably over the coming years. Those that are moving quickly now to recover have a much better chance of regaining stability and have a viable future.

Virtual is Real

One of the most frustrating things for us is talking with race directors, timers or nonprofits who seem frozen. Too many of them are wishing things would be normal. Our recommendation for almost any race scheduled for this year is to make it virtual, or at least have a virtual option. We did a blog this week the gave the stats – Virtual Races are Real – the Stats. And Allison and Bob did the webinar on the taking the Scott Coffee Run virtual – with 20 days to go, we are at 443 registrations compared with 430 last year.

But let our wonderfully talented Andrew Sigwart explain why:

Andrew is not the only one talking about going virtual. Local communities are very accepting of virtual races as witnessed by these local paper articles on races:

Take a look at our Virtual Race Hub for ideas and how to make the move.

Challenge Events

Challenge Events – Challenge events are also a new source of revenue to races. We have multiple races who are using it now. Here is an example of the New Jersey Challenge (search for “Marlise” to track Bob’s better half). And we will be making major improvements and additions over the next few weeks like a live map, better user experience and teams. And with the new multiple activities, you can do all sorts of challenges – pushups, yoga, cross fit, car race track style lap challenges, cycling challenges tracking mileage and vertical feet, book reading challenges. This is a major feature for our GiveSignup nonprofit customers as well as endurance and just people wanting to get our for a nice walk every day like Marlise.

Real Races Start To Return

And we are seeing real races beginning to return to real racing. This past weekend Todd Henderlong had a real race with real results for 200 people. The bib pickup station had a sneeze shield Todd built, as well as good floor markings to keep people distanced:

This is the type of setup contained in our Looking Forward Guidelines that dozens of experts helped us put together. We are seeing this start small, prototype, learn and grow incrementally being the way we gradually get back to the new normal.

At RunSignup, we published a number of blogs this past week to try to help races and nonprofits make money and save money:

Stay safe and healthy.

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