Charity edges out vanity in endurance sport motivation

Eventbrite, the self-service registration and ticketing platform popular among endurance event organizers, has unveiled the findings from a new survey, which reveal the turn-ons and offs of races and endurance sport events.

The findings, resulting from an online Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Eventbrite in June 2012 of over 2,200 Americans, unveiled that the biggest factor influencing potential participation in an endurance event such as a marathon or triathlon isn’t physical health, but charity, with 34% of Americans naming raising money for a good cause as a top motivator. The survey also found that while 71% of Americans have or would consider participating in an endurance sport event, lack of motivation/laziness, lack of time and costs have kept them away.

With endurance events (e.g. half marathons, marathons, triathlons, cycling events, etc.) becoming increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, Eventbrite commissioned the survey to examine what can motivate and inhibit endurance event participation, as well as how people perceive their benefits.

Biggest motivators?
Although physical health may seem to be a top priority for many people, a good cause appears to trump vanity, according to the survey. 34% of Americans would be inspired to participate in an endurance event to raise money for a good cause, versus 27% who claimed weight loss as an inspiration. Of those ‘do-gooders’, more are found within a younger demographic. Those aged 18-34 (50%) are nearly twice as likely as those 35 and over (26%) to be motivated by charitable causes.

Other motivators for participating are the opportunity to increase one’s health and fitness (32%), for the challenge of it (28%), and to lose weight (27%), with women (30%) more likely to feel this way than men (22%). Another interesting gender difference is that men were significantly more attracted to challenging themselves (32%) than women (24%).

What’s getting in the way?
While nearly three-quarters (71%) of Americans surveyed have or would consider participating in an endurance event, only 32% have actually done so. Of the people who are interested in participating but have yet to do so, shortage on time (37%), cost of participation (32%), and lack of motivation/laziness (27%) rank as the top three inhibitors.

Unexpectedly, single people (43%) are significantly more likely than married people (34%) to say they just don’t have the time. But throw some children in the mix, and parents of children under 18 are more than twice as likely as those without children to say that family commitments get in the way, 37% versus 15% respectively.

Good for body and soul
While endurance events are considered good for the body, many Americans who were surveyed think running is good for the mind as well, with 56% of Americans believing going on a run would be more therapeutic than talking to a therapist/psychologist.

Additionally, using running to become more physically attractive could be a motivator. Nearly one-third of those surveyed believe that if they trained to run a marathon, it would make them better in bed. Men believe this (37%) significantly more than women (25%)! Additionally, over 40% believe training for a marathon would make them more attractive.

Eventbrite platform
Eventbrite ‘enables anyone to organize, promote and sell ticketed events of any size and kind, including endurance events.’ The company recently launched tailored features for endurance events, which enable organizers to sell merchandise along with registration prior to the event, and allows for easier team registration at sign up.

Race organizers can also automatically assign bib numbers as participants register for their event. Notable endurance events organized on the platform include lululemon’s Sea Wheeze Half Marathon, the US Marine Corps Ultimate Challenge Mud Run, Gran Fondo New York and Metro Dash events across the country.

Additionally, many Eventbrite users organize events for charitable causes, with over US$39 million raised for charities 2011 alone. All 501c3 organizations are qualified for a reduced rate, ‘making it easy and affordable for non-profits to take advantage of Eventbrite’s event management platform.’

Renowned in the ticketing space for its social sharing tools and partnerships, Eventbrite recently processed US$1 billion in cumulative sales for its users and has sold over 60 million tickets and registrations worldwide.


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