The extraordinary growth experienced by the obstacle racing industry during the last several years has come to an end, and companies are now looking at how to survive long-term, according to a report on SportsBusinessDaily.com.
According to the article, after an extraordinary growth spurt in popularity and revenue lured dozens of startups to the nontraditional endurance sports category, enthusiasm has fallen off considerably in 2015. New entrants are scarce. Many small series have folded or are looking for a buyer as the barriers to growth become apparent, while the early winners — primarily Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash, though other smaller outfits survive — now turn their attention to assuring their long-term survival with fine-tuned brand identities and diversified revenue streams.
While the report states it seems certain obstacle races are more than a fad, the long-term growth prospects of this new kind of sport are still open to debate. In 2015, somewhere around 4.5 million Americans will have participated in an obstacle race when the season wraps up in the next few weeks, estimates business analyst Melissa Rodriguez, who authored a report on the industry in December 2014. That’s a 7 percent gain over 2014 but short of her original prediction of 19 percent growth to more than 5 million entrants in 2015.