U.S. Registration Market Analysis – March 2018

We do a US Registration Market Analysis every 6 months:

We try to make it better with your feedback (so feel free to send suggestions or corrections to bob.bickel at runsignup.com). We do this as part of our own internal market evaluation processes, but share it since there does not seem to be a good source of information like this.

The Big News
The big news over the past 6 months have been RaceIt, Race Partner and the RaceMine registration service they acquired going out of business. The RaceIt closing was managed well as the acquiring company gave several months of notice to move off the platform. On the other hand, the RacePartner/RaceMine closing has left a number of customers without their money and a real mess. This is a function of a combination of things that probably mean more of this is to come:

  • Flat or declining registration market
  • Too many vendors
  • Simple Registration systems are becoming race lifecycle management platforms with promotion, registration, fundraising, race day technologies and an integrated CRM. Most registration companies do not have the scale or expertise to keep up.

We have written a number of blogs on this topic:

Race Directors should be demanding non-exclusive contracts to help protect themselves. And Cancelled Races is the next shoe to drop.

We will do an update to our old race registration company valuation blog we did a couple of years ago, as it is likely the value has likely fallen below 2X Gross Profit. This means continuing tightness on funding sources, and companies that need additional rounds of funding may find it increasingly difficult to close.

The Bi-Annual Numbers
It is tough to estimate market share since there is no one place that has ALL races, races are open for only part of a year, and different vendors have different search tools for finding races, so we took several approaches to looking at things.

RunSignup Numbers
RunSignup has been very public about sharing our numbers. You can read our Year End Report for 2015 to see that we had over 10,000 races use us to process 2.7 Million paid registrations in 2015, and 2016 Year End Report to see we had over 14,000 races use us to process over 4.1 Million registrations and 2017 Year End Report to see we had about 15,000 races and 4.2 Million registrations (after losing our largest customer we grew over 20%). The trend continues positively – and we are estimating over 16,000 races processing registrations on RunSignup and over 4.8 Million paid (not including imported) registrations in 2018.

What has become apparent given the numbers gathered below is that RunSignup has become the largest vendor in the US market as measured by number of races and probably registrations. We believe Active may still be larger in terms of revenue as they have several large customers like Ironman, Disney and Rock and Roll who have high entry fees. Active doesn’t advertise their registration fee’s but we believe their standard rates are higher than RunSignup and we believe they gain revenue from other avenues such as the provision of marketing services, online adverts and e-marketing services.

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RunningintheUSA Market Share
RunningintheUSA.com is the largest calendar of race sites in the US with 47,808 races listed. This is down from 48,633 last year at his time – a decrease of 1.7%. This may be the sign that the growth of the number of events in endurance has peaked and is falling. RunningintheUSA uses Active.com’s, RunSignup’s, and Race Entry’s automated API to load races from each of us – that is why you see the little logos for each of us on the calendar. This probably means that we are unfairly represented as they do not get every race from every other of the 100+ registration providers in the market.

We do a sample every 6 month and do a count of the total races for each vendor of 1,000 races in the month after the sample is taken (April, 2018 in this count):

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RunSignup will be used by over 16,000 races this year for processing their registrations, which is 33% of the races in RunningintheUSA, so those numbers are probably fairly accurate for RunSignup.

October Market Share
There are over 100 registration systems used by races, and not all of them have race listings. For example we could not find a list of ChronoTrack Live races, but know from their public statements that they processed over 1 million registrations in the first half of 2016 and that they have grown since then. Likewise, IMAthlete is much stronger than this list shows because of a number of large events they provide registration for like the LA Marathon. In addition, the search tools may include non-endurance race events in some cases (for example Events.com mixes a lot of different types of events and there is no advanced search filter). Some vendors like Haku, do not have a race calendar. And search methods change from period to period – so data available in previous periods is no longer available. And a final caveat to this data is that some race calendars may include races that do not have registration on their sites (the RunSignup data is accurate since we have a search flag internally we can use to look for races that are open for registration on RunSignup. Also, RaceRoster was kind enough to provide us with their numbers directly):

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One new stat this report. RunSignup has started collecting data on the number of races over 500 participants that are not repeated. The data is only November-February, but from that relatively small data set, the number is 2.7%. From a spot check of races 100-500, the no return rate is 11%. As expected, there are less new races coming in to replace these very small races.

Top 100
We are tracking a new statistic – Top 100 Races from the Running USA list. Active has 3 major race owners – WTC (Rock & Roll and Ironman), Disney and Motiv – and a total of 24 of the Top 100. This is up significantly since WTC closed down RaceIt and moved all the Rock & Roll races over to Active. RunSignup has increased to 13, and IMAthlete is in third with 8. RAM/EnMotiv has 7 – all of them Hot Chocolate races in the series they own (they have their own registration platform for those races that is also used in other races). The rest are split among a variety of vendors, with Haku winning Chicago and Houston in the past year and is now up to 4.

Alexa Rankings
Alexa is a cool tool that shows the ranking of websites based on page views. It is approximate, but is fairly accurate. As above, there are lots of caveats to this. For example, EventBrite, Active and Events.com all are covering much more than the endurance market and their numbers are inclusive of those other markets.

These rankings among all US websites are from March 14 and will change depending on the time of the year (going lower in December when there are few races happening and growing largest around Thanksgiving for example). The other thing to note is that it is getting tougher to rank higher. For example RunSignup has risen only 12% event though our pageviews over the previous 30 days is up 32% to 14.2 Million pageviews from 10.7 M. So the numbers are better than they seem:

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To put some context on these numbers, RunSignup is doing about 3.5 Million Page Views per week now to get in the Top 6,000 sites.  As further context, another company Bob is on the board of has a page rank of 45,699 and has about 810,000 page views per week.

So What Does This Mean?

Our objective in doing this was trying to understand how far we had gotten with our growth. We are guessing that we are at about 12-14% market share with our about 4.8 M paid registrations in 2018 – assuming there are about 35-40 Million Paid Registrations in the US.

We are really proud of the impact we are having on the endurance and race market. Especially since RunSignup is a lot more than registration, as we have grown to be a full race management platform supporting the entire race lifecycle:


The integrated CRM database give participants a better experience with things like free results, notifications and photos, while races have better promotional and fundraising tools to maximize the impact of their efforts.

The Race Director and RD Scoring help Timers score and provide results for over 11,000,000 participants annually. RD Go, our Cloud based Scoring and Results system used by Timers and Races hosts results for over 6,000 races and sends tens of thousands of result notifications each weekend. RaceJoy is by far the leading race GPS Tracking solution in the market. RunSignup for Clubs is used by hundreds of clubs to help with membership management and tie to races. And our free services like Volunteer Management, Check-In App, Race Calendar Widgets are used by many races beyond those who do registration with us.

Thank you to all of our customers who provide us great feedback on what is needed in this market, and who tell their friends about us.

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