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Triathlon industry continues to grow

Posted on in Cycles News, Outdoor News

As reported in Sports Insight, Triathlon enjoyed a year of growth in 2015, with 140,000 people (up from 130,000 in 2014) accounting for a record total of 220,000 race starts and a 15 per cent rise in total spend to £417.5 million, according to the fourth annual study of Britain's multisport community by the Triathlon Industry Association.

The annual industry health check, which combined a quantitative survey of 5,072 triathletes with multiple trade interviews, identified both strengths for the industry to build upon and some significant challenges facing the sport.

The latest study revealed a large, engaged and affluent base of participating athletes with an average age of 42 and salary of £48,900 spending more on coaching, fitness tech and triathlon related overseas travel than ever before.

The proportion of women doing triathlon stayed the same in 2015 as the year before, at 28 per cent.
The female triathlete's spend bias is towards gym membership, training camps and racing overseas, in contrast to the male bias towards new hardware.

The study showed age appears to be a major factor in determining the success of the sport's recruitment initiatives - there was an eight per cent rise in participation in the over-40 age group and a nine per cent drop in the under-40 category.

The research also found Strava has overtaken Twitter as triathletes' most used social media platform after Facebook.

This, combined with the relatively low levels of triathlon related social sharing - less than 25 per cent of active triathletes share content at least weekly - indicates an opportunity to grow the influence of triathlon through social media and engage with millennials more.

Nick Rusling, chairman of the TIA, says: "Our annual study is invaluable in helping us to build an ever-clearer picture of the triathlon community in order that we can continue to grow our sport and its associated businesses.
"On the one hand it's very encouraging to see our core audience grow and become more engaged with everything the sport has to offer, but we must also reflect on the challenges we face and collectively develop campaigns to address them.

"The competition to attract the millennial audience is fierce, so triathlon needs to up its game to remain front of mind."

Jack Buckner, chief executive of British Triathlon, says: "The Rio year is tremendously important to triathlon, as it represents the sport's biggest shop window and our greatest chance to attract new people to the sport.

"We have plans in place to leverage the momentum the Games will bring to raise awareness of the pathways we are creating into the sport, like GO TRI and the Triathlon Trust's work creating more children's triathlons."

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