How Well Do You Know Millennial Runners?

How Well Do You Know Millennial Runners?

Tech-savvy, collaborative, passionate about causes and now poised for substantial spending, the Millennial generation (born 1980-2000) is redefining the way brands engage with the masses. Millennials aren’t just the largest generation in U.S. history, they are redefining the personal fitness industry. Millennial’s value experiences, and outdoor forms of fitness like races and marathons provide the communal environment and active lifestyle this generation is seeking.  As running events – defined as public, organized run/walk events in this report – continue to grow in popularity, engaging Millennial runners – those who regularly participate in competitive running events – is essential to producing a successful race event.

Millennials make up the biggest segment of America’s 42 million runners. Understanding what makes this group tick is crucial to transforming an ordinary race into an instant classic. As the running industry evolves, race directors must identify new ways to keep Millennial runners actively dialed in.

Running USA has teamed up with Achieve, the research and campaigns agency behind The Millennial Impact Report and MCON, to publish the first-ever research study to determine why Millennials get involved in running and what organized running events can do to keep them interested and engaged. The Millennial Running Study will unearth key findings that will shape the modern approach to organized running events. Here is a sneak peek at some of the questions that will be answered:

What are the most important elements of events that capture Millennial runners’ interests?

Prioritizing race elements is a two-fold operation: 1) recognizing the wide range of variables that garner interest for an event and 2) accounting for limited budget and resources. Event directors might think swag, distance, course, social media promotion, timing, sponsors, awards, cost, and results are all important race aspects, but which ones speak directly to the Millennial runner? An event director’s ability to influence the Millennial runners to participate in an event relies on pinpointing which are most important. The research findings in the study will establish which race aspects should be incorporated – and promoted – in order to maximize the interest from Millennial runners.

How do Millennial runners learn about running events?

Millennials consume mass media at unprecedented rates. As such, deciding which advertising tools will motivate Millennial runners to take action is often guesswork. Event directors are using their limited resources to fund marketing initiatives with absolutely no proof that these decisions link advertising dollars to messaging effectiveness. Competition for race participants is stiff, so event promotion must maximize advertising budgets. Armed with the proven marketing outlets detected in the study, event directors will be equipped make the best use of their advertising dollars.

What motivates Millennial runners to participate in running events?

The fast growth of the endurance events is largely attributed to the Millennial generation. While often misrepresented as lazy, this generation continues to seek out new experiences and adventures. . In the world of health and fitness, Millennials use technology to track their workouts, share workout updates to Facebook and are constantly looking for new ways to challenge themselves. All of this equates to spending. Discovering how to command their attention is a necessary step in engaging this audience and getting them to spend money on race events. They are already motivated to workout, so getting them to do so as a race participant is the next piece of the puzzle. Event directors can exploit these motivations to attract Millennial runners as they employ the new methods found in the study.

Getting Access to the Millennial Running Study

The Millennial Running Study will be released at Running USA on February 12, 2016 during Achieve President Derrick Feldmann’s keynote session. If you are attending the Running USA Conference, stop by booth #219 to learn more about the Millennial Running Study and how your event can use the research findings to engage Millennial runners. The study will be released to the public following Feldmann’s keynote presentation.

Looking for more Millennial participants at your event? Sign up now for Millennial Running Study updates to get the answers needed to take your event to the next level. Follow the Millennial Running Study on social media by using #RunStudy.

Rai Masuda

Rai Masuda

Whether your goals are awareness, engagement, or fundraising, Rai utilizes best practices in messaging, design and technology to move your audience to act. With over 10 years’ experience in leading marketing strategy and execution, he ensures that your constituents receive the right message at the right time. Rai’s multichannel approach to campaigns helps organizations develop a deeper understanding of what resonates, and more importantly, what doesn’t resonate with their audience.
Rai Masuda
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