Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Tough Mudder looks to Asian and Middle East expansion with IMG partnership

Tough Mudder looks to Asian and Middle East expansion with IMG partnership
June 17, 2016

Leading international adventure and obstacle race operator Tough Mudder is set to export its electric shocks, mud pits and ice baths to Asia and the Middle East in a new partnership with global entertainment and sports marketing group IMG.

The company will launch its first events in China and the United Arab Emirates this year before expanding to Japan, South Korea and Singapore from 2017. It will also stage its first Indonesian Tough Mudder this year through a separate deal with Seroja Partners, a Jakarta-based media and technology investment firm.

Tough Mudder has grown rapidly since its launch in the USA in 2010. The privately owned company achieved US$100 million in revenue last year, up from US$22 million in 2011, and made a US$5 million profit.

It will stage 122 courses in 10 countries this year and says more than 2 million people have participated in its events - which founder and Chief Executive Will Dean describes as “challenges” rather than races - since they began.

Tough Mudder is among a number of companies looking to capitalise on growing global interest in fitness, wellbeing and live experiences.

Dean (pictured below) explains that having first expanded to the UK, Canada and Australia, he now sees strong opportunities in emerging economies.

Dean commented “China is a very big market and of course it’s a country that’s developing very quickly.

“There is a huge emerging middle class where people are changing from sedentary lifestyles and looking to get more active. Gym memberships and participation in events are increasing very quickly.

“What was very clear to us as we were thinking about expanding into non-western markets is we would need to have partners on the ground who understood things from an administrative and logistical perspective as well as a cultural one.

“The UAE and China are markets where IMG has a very strong presence on the ground.”

IMG produces about 800 events a year, including more than 50 mass-participation contests such as triathlons, marathons and so-called Color Runs – 5 kilometre races where participants are doused in paint powder.

IMG’s Global Head of Events Sam Zussman explains “we have always been looking for that piece missing in our mass participation portfolio - that is the obstacle (events).

“We saw the perfect marriage: the category leader with a proven product and us having all the infrastructure in place without the right play in this industry,” he said.

As Tough Mudder expands geographically, it is also broadening the types of events it offers in order to attract new customers as well as previous participants.

It will stage 26 Tough Mudder Half events this year, which cover five miles instead of the full event’s 10 to 12 miles, and remove some of the most extreme obstacles.

The company devotes about 10 per cent of its budget to researching and developing new course elements to keep its offerings fresh amid a growing field of competitors.

Dean adds “we have to be a bit like Six Flags or Disneyland - having a big new thing every season is a part of our strategy and success.”

Dean cites Ironman, the long-distance triathlon brand bought last year by Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda, as a model for the kind of ‘lifestyle brand’ he hopes to build, explaining “they’ve set the standard for (creating) a global brand (and) are a good example of a company that has shown staying power.”

As part of brand-building efforts it has agreed partnerships with Snapchat and Livestream for live event broadcasting. It has also signed up Microsoft as its official smartwatch sponsor and will create customised training workouts for the Microsoft Band fitness tracker.

Dean concludes “if you’re putting on an event, people are excited the month before and after. 10 months of the year you’re not thinking about or engaging with the brand.

“The big opportunity for us is in the training and wellness space.”

2nd January 2016 - WANDA SPORTS TO ESTABLISH GLOBAL BASE IN GUANGZHOU

7th November 2015 - TOUGH MUDDER AND MERRELL ANNOUNCE A MULTI-YEAR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

7th October 2015 - TOUGH MUDDER ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERS IN ADVANCE OF 2015 SEASON

11th September 2015 - DALIAN WANDA BUYS IRONMAN TRIATHLON GROUP FOR US$650 MILLION

26th January 2015 - REEBOK SPARTAN RACE SERIES TO STAGE FIRST EVENT IN DUBAI

6th September 2014 - EXHIBITION TO SHOWCASE ONGOING GROWTH OF MULTISPORT AND TRIATHLON EVENTS

8th May 2014 - IMG TAKEOVER DEAL AGREED


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

VLOCKER

Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Safety / Security / Venues

 
 

Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

AUSTRALIAN WATERSLIDES AND LEISURE

A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business