Coeur, Tortis, and other triathlon brands are investing heavily in bringing first-timers into the sport. Here’s why that’s a savvy business move.
The economics of investing in triathlon newbies
First-timer programs like Coeur’s obviously impact the athletes who take part, but they also send a strong message to anyone seeking an accessible brand. Companies that realize this — and that take the time to understand the buyer persona of the beginner — can tap a revenue source that elitist brands are ignoring.
According to USA Triathlon’s 2022 State of the Sport survey produced by Sponsorship Research International, while triathlon participants overall are 60% male, those who self-identify as “newbies” are 56% female. That means female-focused triathlon brands, such as Coeur, are well served in catering to the beginner.
Triathletes in general spend an average of $4,865 per year on the sport. While newbies shell out less than experienced triathletes, they’re still spending an average of $2,064 annually and have a mean household income of $136,200. Building brand affinity early on will pay dividends as those newbies gain experience and, ultimately, spend more down the line. Hold onto a customer until they’re a self-identified “championship hopeful,” and you’ll benefit from their average spend of $9,500 annually.
Newbies are also the youngest age demographic in the sport, with an average age of 41.9, compared to 49.2 for all triathletes.
“These are the people who are really impacted right now by inflation and the economy,” said Victoria Brumfield, USA Triathlon CEO. “Financial resources are restrained, but they also really value experiences. So, brands need to provide products that connect to a younger generation in both style and price point.”
A2 Bikes is one such brand. As a newbie triathlete, founder A.J. Alley found the industry severely lacking for affordable options. Today, the A2 Speed Phreak is one of the lowest-cost triathlon bikes available at just under $3,000 — compared to the average triathlete’s bike spend of around $4,500. It’s not nothing, but it’s reasonable for a beginner making their first big tri purchase. That accessible approach helped convince USA Triathlon to sign A2 as its official bike sponsor earlier this year.