By dani buyo, Sports Director at SAETDE Grandvalira , CEO of Gran Fondo World Tour ®
Editor: Kelly Reed, Stamped Strategies
The economical shut down will force all economical stakeholders to rethink and develop new strategies in 2 different ways: First think on tomorrow and how to relocate the event on this mixed shorten calendar , and second to develop “B” plans for future season to survive on international calendars.
“Glocal” will be the new target, which means your new “Premium Clients” are nationals, locals and expats living in your nearest cities and towns.
A focus on those in driving distance because these individuals are the ones able to still invest in sport events without restrictions and feel confident to be able travel to the event and they are not at the mercy of air travel.
Asia and especially South East Asia may be the new International premium customers. South Korea and the other south East Asian countries (Taiwan-HK-Thailand-Indonesia) may be your new top premium clients if you are organizing events with international projection. This is because their governements manage well the COVID 19 crisis and they had previously a lifestyle more close to the forced confinement that we experiment with in Europe: Most of them are living in big metropolis with millions of population. In these regions, indoor training is more than a weekly alternative, indoor training is a reality every week. These countries take an advantage on the worldwide economy recovery. And if airlines and countries open the borders during the next months, they are in the first row of starting line.
Also do not miss markets as: South Africa, because when the Randt recovers, higher levels may be a good potential market, as they have an strong tradition and culture on endurance sports. We can apply the same thinking to Australia, New Zealand, Central, South East and East Asia consumers. Who can be the new international participants added to the “Glocal” participants for events.
Digital framework will not replace the real experience. Along with actual growth of virtual-digital training platforms, the customers will need the real experience to balance their soul and experiences. Professional athletes may increase the indoor virtual training for weather or safety reasons, but like amateurs, they too will need to feel the social part of sport events. This is the basis that sport and participation sport was built. We can denominate Gran Fondo or triathlon as the new “country club” where the participants show to their mates and friends the new bikes, last model helmet or brad new high performance shoes.
Digital training platforms may offer a similar alternative to reach the amateur goals , but nothing can replace the experience to win your slot for IM Kona World Championship or run below 3h a marathon in an iconic city or ride your first 100-miler Gran Fondo in the hills; the arrival line, the medal, the post event ceremony or the exciting days of pre and post event, these will not be replaced by virtual options. Virtual events can however, allow these real-time experiences to have a stronger emotional impact along with a stronger demand for the physical event and offer more feeling of empowerment. Virtual events must be balanced with physical events. The new Gran Fondo or Triathlon consumer profile is : Individual who was not affected or with lower affection of economical crisis post COVID 19, less fearful about a new “black swan” economy event and with positive soul.
The new challenge for sport event organizers are to find this new “Glocal Sportman/woman” who are in disposition to afford the higher price for the registration fee. Also sport event organizers need to identify ways to engage with participants pre and post event to elongate the emotional feeling of the event, making the value greater to attending a physical event.