Q2 2022 saw several trends:
- Races are down about 20% from their 2019 numbers, and 25% of races over 500 participants in 2019 are not back and likely not returning
- RunSignup has seen continued market share growth
- Registration vendors are getting very aggressive given the shrinkage in the market
- RunSignup / GiveSignup Peer to Peer business is growing
- TicketSignup is still small, but has won several 30,000+ ticket events for the summer and fall in the agritourism space where multi-day / multi-timeslot features are valued
Endurance Community Still Recovering
In addition to our widely used Yearly Trends, we have been keeping up to date on the drag the endurance community is feeling with this report and this Podcast from Race Directors HQ. The numbers continue to be somewhat discouraging with the average race down about 20% from 2019 numbers (meaning a 1,000 person race in 2019 is now an 800 person race on average). Of course there are exceptions where race directors have done exceptional work and are growing their races. And the running shoe and running store business is in a boom cycle which hopefully bode well for 2023. Here are the monthly numbers for races that used our platform in 2019 and 2022:
We have tracked “churn” – meaning races over 500 that used us previously and did not return the next year since 2017. We broke this into two segments – “No Race” churn and “Competitor” churn. Pre-pandemic we saw about a 5-6% “no Race” churn. We looked at 2019 races that did not return in 2022 by month and the rate has increased with about 25% of races not returning after 3 years (about a 7-8% churn per year):
This means that there are fewer races and the races are smaller. Of course this means hard times for the endurance community as revenue is squeezed for race directors and the entire community from timers to industry groups like RunningUSA to registration vendors.
We will come out with a report on the Top 100 races in the US later this year, but generally we are seeing a lot of stress in this market as well. Turnover, reduced staffs, smaller fields, no quick sellouts, increased costs. Over 20 of the traditional Top 100 are on the RunSignup platform and just like the general market there are bright and dark spots. Our preliminary research says there will be quite a bit of turnover in the Top 100 list from 2019. Those races in the 10,000-15,000 range who were in the 50-100 place spots will see the most turnover with new entrants and some historical races dropping out.
RunSignup Market Growth
As you can see from the numbers, RunSignup has been lucky as we have grown the number of races rapidly. We believe this is due to our focus on having the best technology solutions for the market, and continued work on optimizing race day for timers, races and participants.
Here are our top level Q2 numbers:
You can see the growth in races (events using our registration product which includes peer to peer events, but not our ticket product) has been healthy growing at 27%. When taking into account the 25% “hole in the boat”, this means we took on 50% more new races on our platform. Some of these are new events, but over half are events coming over from other vendors.
Registration Competitive Landscape
The landscape has become very competitive with many vendors trying to figure out any way to recover the loss in business either from lower event participation, fewer events, and loss of market share to RunSignup.
Let’s Do This – we saw a major increase in activity from Let’s Do This as they hire a US sales force, and make use of their $60M of new funding. We had seen them overstate that they were partners with RunSignup, and we had to issue a blog to clear that up – they are a competitor. We expect that they will be following their playbook in the UK and EU where they will be offering large sums of funding up front to win customers as a counter to their lack of product features. We still believe technology solutions implemented well can provide more income for races than even $60M will provide. But we do expect some loss of customers for a year or maybe two – we won’t hold it against you and will welcome you back when they run out of funds…
Race Roster – As announced at RunningUSA, Race Roster is offering a bundle package of Asics benefits and sponsorship (free socks!) to some races and paying for this with higher processing fees ($2.99 per participant plus 6.99%).
The increased processing fee is actually something race directors and timers should consider. As we have written in the past, there is a great deal of price elasticity in processing fee pricing (meaning that you can increase processing fees a lot and it will not impact registrations very much).
It is simple to increase processing fees above our standard – and you keep the difference. And you can buy whatever types of socks and shoes you want to from whatever vendor or running store you choose. A 5,000 person race using the Race Roster suggested fee shown in the picture of $2.99 per participant + 6.99% would earn about $20,000 more than using the standard RunSignup fees ($1.00 per transaction + 6%). That is a lot of socks!
Chronotrack – Chronotrack has decided to try to revive their registration platform after working with us for the past several years. They are owned by Lifetime Fitness, and Lifetime also owns about 100 events that will likely come off of our platform and onto Chronotrack. Many of the timers who moved events to RunSignup are happy and will stay on our platform.
Haku – Haku seems to be moving into the International space, and we are seeing them less in the US except at the high end of the market.
RaceDay Product Enhancements
We continue to put a huge amount of investment into our RaceDay tools. We have come out with a number of significant releases to our RaceDay Checkin product including supporting label printers. RaceJoy has also begun a generational facelift to make the User Experience better and more modern. And RaceDay Scoring continues to show it will become the leading scoring software used by timers over the next 5 years as older products age out, vendors become unable to support continued development and modern features like automated cloud backup and sharing provide the perfect mix of disconnected independence for remote races without reliable internet (and avoiding the problems of pure cloud based products from other vendors), and central control and sharing.
Free Email and Websites
Our other large investment we have made for the endurance community over the past 6-9 months, and will continue for the next 6-9 months, is providing a next generation of free Email and Websites. These are the two biggest channels that events use to attract customers and continually communicate with them. We want these features to be free, easy to use and quite expandable and functional even for advanced users. Race registration users should stop using the old Email V1 system now and use the new system. Partner Websites will be replaced by the new website capability in the next couple of months with new event calendar functionality that looks great. And we will begin the long process of taking all the dynamic pages for race registration websites and putting that into the Website V2 system so that eventually the new website system will become the default.
GiveSignup Peer to Peer Business Continues to Grow
We have made a lot of progress in the giant Peer to Peer market over the past year. We have made product updates that bring features like gamification, along with our free website and email capability. This combination is very appealing to cash strapped nonprofits who value a low overhead self-serve platform. We are also benefitting from some market dynamics between Crowdrise going out of business and Classy seeming to have less interest in this space (and events in general) after being acquired by GoFundMe (maybe GoFundMe will do the same to Classy as they did to Crowdrise?).
As you can see from the numbers above, we have grown our donation business quite a bit (100%+), with much of this coming from Peer to Peer.
TicketSignup is the new brand we are using for our Ticket product. It is built on the same platform at RunSignup, but is meant for where an event has ATTENDEES (where events are just tracking the ticket, not so much the ticket holder) rather than PARTICIPANTS (where events are doing things like producing age based results, or having teams, or fundraisers having their own pages).
TicketSignup is a general product, but was first optimized for nonprofit events like golf outings, galas and festivals. We are now adding features to help with multi-day / multi-timeslot events especially in the agritourism space (Halloween Haunts, Corn Mazes, Sunflower Days, Strawberry Picking, Holiday Light Shows, etc.). For example, ticket purchaser self serve to change their ticket from one night to another because of a rain out. Or an easy to use Calendar for multiday events.
Here is a short video with the highlights of TicketSignup for multi timeslot events:
We have recently won several large 30,000+ ticket events for this fall, and we are learning and building new features into our product every week.
Symposium July 26-27
We are excited to have our Symposium back later this month. It looks like we will be sold out before the end of registration, so signup now – RunSignup.com/Symposium. As usual, this will be packed full of information sessions, as well as insight into our future product roadmap and strategy, and most importantly each other. This is a great investment in training for all event directors who want to use our products optimally. It will be fun to see everyone again and we look forward to hearing what is happening with your events and how we can be of help.