Race Registration Market Analysis – March, 2019

We do a US Registration Market Analysis every 6 months:

We try to improve on it 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 because we have not found other good sources of information like this.

The Bi-Annual Numbers
As the recent RunningUSA report demonstrates, it is tough to estimate the size of the total market (they estimate a decline of 1%, although it is hard to understand their methodology and how it can have consistency from year to year). It is even more difficult to estimate market share since there is no one place that has ALL races, most races are open for only part of a year, and different vendors have different search tools for finding races, so we take several approaches to comparing vendor numbers.

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 continued positively in 2018 Year End Report – with over 17,000 races and over 5 Million registrations.Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 5.44.27 PM

Running USA released a new report that said there were 18.1 Million participants in 2018, slightly down from 18.3 Million the previous year. Assuming the RunningUSA number is accurate, then the 5 Million participants registering on RunSignup represents 27% of the market (and several % more if we were to include imported participants).

What has become apparent given the numbers gathered below is that RunSignup has become the largest vendor in the US market as measured by the 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, Rock and Roll and Motiv who have high entry fee races. Active has variable registration fees but we believe they gain revenue from other avenues such as the provision of marketing services, online adverts and e-marketing services. We are pleased that as the largest technology providers, Active and RunSignup are cooperating on technical integration to benefit customers while still competing (open competition benefits all of us!)

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RunningintheUSA Market Share
RunningintheUSA.com is the largest calendar of race sites in the US with 47,108 races listed. This is down from 47,808 last year at his time – a decrease of 2.1%. This may be a 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 months and do a count of the total races for each vendor of 1,000 races in the month after the sample is taken (March 24, 2019 in this count) (Also, note Healthy Kids Series was not included in count as they use RunSignup and have several hundred events in March):

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RunSignup will be used by over 19,000 races this year for processing their registrations, which is 40% of the races in RunningintheUSA, so those numbers are probably fairly accurate for RunSignup.

# of Races Market Share

The number of races for the next month (April, 2019 in this case) was actually down this year for all vendors. This data is somewhat suspect, but could be caused by Easter being in April this year (it was April 1 last year so the Saturday before was a March day). It could also be the fact that there are only 4 weekends this April and there were 4 non-Easter weekends in 2018. It could also be caused the fact that 5.8% of races over 500 participants held in 2017 were not held in 2018 – so there could be fewer races. But it does not make sense because the number of races on RunSignup that had registrations in Q1 has grown:

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In any event, here are the results as collected by getting actual data from RunSignup, Race Roster and AthleteReg (BikeReg):

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Cancelled Races
RunSignup has started collecting data on the number of races over 500 participants that are not repeated. The data is from November 2017 – March 2019, and shows that 5.8% of races were not repeated the following year. 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.

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We also track which competitors have races moved from us. This seems mostly driven by timer acquisitions that happen where the timer is acquired and then asks races to move to a different platform. Fortunately, displeasure with RunSignup is fairly rare. We do not track, not would we publish, which vendors races move from to RunSignup, but in aggregate we’ve added 851 new races over 500 in this analysis, for a growth of 35.5% (subtract churn for net growth of races). That compares with 142 no race and 75 losses to competitors, or 9% loss.

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Top 100
We created a Top 100 Report that serves as the new source of Top 100 information. Here is a list of registration providers from that report:

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We additionally compiled an update on the Top 100 races held in Q1 2019. The encouraging news is that participation was actually up 1.9% overall.

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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 22, 2019.

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We also have some pageview counts from several other companies we know so you can get a feel for pageviews and Alexa Rankings:

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RunSignup saw a big 30% jump in our rankings from March, 2018.  Haku with their big wins at some large races like Disney and MarineCorps saw a big jump.  Race Roster also saw a big jump. Race Roster also recently has stated their race count to be 4,000, compared with the 18,000 over the past 12 months on RunSignup. Based on the Alexa rankings, it seems that our size, technology and price advantages continue to allow us to grow at similar rates. And our growth times our size allows us to increase our delta in terms of races and registrations (meaning it is unlikely that any other vendor is adding over 1 Million registration this year).

The black and red numbers show what is happening in the registration market generally – there are some stronger vendors like RunSignup, Haku and Race Roster that are aggregating market share from smaller vendors. We expect this to continue and compound as technology requirements continue to escalate and the coming sales tax technology requirements become very burdensome for races and registration companies.

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 20-30% market share with our about 5 M paid registrations in 2018 and expected 6 Million in 2019. This is based on a combination of the 18.1 Million reported by Running USA and the 60 Million worldwide Eventbrite estimates and assuming half of that is in the US.

We are really proud of the impact we are having on the endurance and race market, and that this report continues to show customers appreciate our technology and support. 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 self-serve participant management, free results, notifications and photos, while races have better promotional and fundraising tools to maximize the impact of their efforts. We find more and more races continuing to use our technology to enable their viral social marketing strategies.

The Race Director and RaceDay Scoring help Timers score and provide results for over 8,000,000 participants annually. With 270+ timers now trained and certified in the initial release of RaceDay Scoring, we expect this to continue to grow. Our RaceDay Suite of 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 with hundreds of marathons, trail races and relays using the social, safety and management features to improve their races. RunSignup for Clubs is used by hundreds of clubs to help with membership management and tie to races, with new clubs continuing to join (California Triathlon Club just moved their 4,400 members to our club membership system for example). 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 with great feedback on what is needed in this market, and who tell their friends about us.

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