2017 Triathlon Business International – Day One

Today the annual Triathlon Business International meeting began, jointly hosted by TBI and USAT for the first time.

If you’re in the multisport business and are looking for information, tools and solutions to help you come out on top in today’s world, the Triathlon Business International 7th Annual Business Conference is where the business of triathlon gets done!

On the heels of the USA Triathlon’s Race Directors Symposium held Jan. 20-22, TBI’s annual North American business conference will continue through Tuesday.

Today’s presentations were hosted jointly by USAT and TBI.

After opening remarks by USAT CEO Rob Urback and TBI President Richard Adler, featured speaker Melissa Stockwell, Olympic Paratriathlete Medalist, World Champion and war veteran, took the stage and inspired all. (Be sure to catch Melissa for a rapid fire challenge with Allysa Seely and Hailey Danisewicz Danz – the women of the Paralympic Games PT2 podium sweep on USAT Facebook Live direct from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs Monday, 1/23/17 at 2:05 p.m.!)

Following Stockwell, Gary Roethenbaugh, Managing Director of MultiSport Research Ltd., presented the findings from the 2017 Confidence Survey. Data presented was compiled from 2017 TBI attendee responses, and is still being collected and analyzed. However, here were a few key themes:

Photo by TBI
  • The U.S. continues to lead the triathlon market, commanding 1/5 of the global total triathlon population. The next largest populations of athletes are in Germany, the UK, France, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
  • On a worldwide level the triathlon market is still growing in double digits at 10%, which is encouraging; but in the U.S. growth is slowing. Key quote: “Flat is the new growth” (in reference to U.S. growth)
  • For race organizers, margins are thin, and there is pressure on the bottom line as registrations drop as well as sponsorship dollars.
  • When comparing the 2016 TBI survey to the current 2017 results, there was a “drop in happiness” in terms of customer demand.
  • Perhaps the greatest challenge here in 2017 is identifying new ways to reach out and find new people.
  • The Triathlon industry will always be seen as an innovator, and that is its real backbone.
  • The TBI annual conference hopes to use sessions to discuss these challenges and identify positive answers for growing the sport.

The day concluded with a lively reception held a few blocks away at the ACTIVE headquarters, where the bike-powered blenders churned away and attendees enjoyed networking, championship football, and plenty of Texas-style food.

Monday sessions will resume first thing – following early morning group workout sessions at the local YMCA and led by ActiveX – always a fun time to line up next to fellow industry professionals to break a sweat. The Day 2 line up includes the expected TBI President Richard Adler’s welcome, sessions on the Future of Triathlon, Developing Partnerships, and Expanding Diversity before lunch. Oh, and Lance Armstrong. Yes, a “discussion” moderated by Dan Empfield of Slowtwitch will be held, along with an audience Q&A…

Stay tuned for all the coverage – including photos and video! (Follow 303Triathlon on Twitter for blow-by-blow updates.)