Women are running the world, in both a literal and figurative sense. They are dominating the participation fields for U.S. race events and wield the power equivalent of Thor’s hammer when it comes to consumer spending. If you want to grow numbers, it’s time to focus on what a girl wants in your race promotions. Don’t believe us? Here are some startling industry stats to convince you, with our translations:
1. Females account for 10.7 million finishers nationwide (versus 8 million male finishers) and represent 57% of the U.S. event fields¹
Translation: Over half of your participants—aka, your target audience–are females. Whether you are consciously planning on targeting women in your marketing or not, you should.
2. 61% of half-marathon participants are female¹
Translation: If you have a hand in putting on a half marathon, at least half of your marketing should be directed at women. If you’re just getting started in the endurance event management industry and want create a race for women, go with the half marathon distance.
3. Women 25-44 years old accounted for 55% of all U.S. timed race finishers in 2014¹
Translation: When you’re marketing to women, target adult females who are old enough to be out of college but young enough to be far away from retirement. Research their social habits, spending preferences, and other demographic info.
4. Women spend 80% of all sport apparel dollars and control 60% of all money spent on men’s clothing²
Translation: Your event apparel, even if it’s men’s apparel, should appeal to women if you want to boost sales. Hint: The one-size-fits-all t-shirt in goldenrod yellow probably won’t fly.
5. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases²
Translation: Your female participants will not only be making the majority of purchases related to your event, but they are the ones that will be influenced the most by your sponsors and partner brands. Keep that in mind!
6. 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others³
Translation: If you have a “bring a friend” promotion or discount code that can be shared, direct it toward the females in your contact list and it’s more likely to go viral.
7. 75% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households³
Translation: If you have a variety of race distances—let’s say a 5K, half marathon, and kids fun run—or just want to attract families versus solo registrants, your job is to convince mom that this is the best event for the family…not dad or the kiddos.
8. 91% of women say that advertisers don’t understand them.³
Translation: Don’t just paint it pink and slap a tutu on it. Research and test marketing strategies for your female participants and really hone in on what they want.
9. 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was by far the most-watched soccer game in American TV history. And Ronda Rousey’s next fight is predicted to attract 2.5 million pay-per-view buys.⁴
Translation: What the heck does this mean for endurance events? Just that women’s sports are on the rise and female athletes like Abby Wambach and Ronda Rousey are attracting a lot of attention—from sponsors, from the press, and from society in general. What kind of female role models can you promote and elevate at your event?
Marketing to women can help you shore up your participation numbers, while improving your marketing savviness. If you need ideas, there are hugely successful female-focused events like the Divas Half Marathon & 5K Series, Nike Women’s Marathon and Half Marathon, Mudderella, and ZOOMA Women’s Race Series that do it right and have some brilliant marketing tactics.
And you can always reach out to us for insights too! We provide more than just online race registration services and work with tons of different events—we’d be happy to share our ideas on the best ways to market to women.
¹Running USA’s 2015 State of the Sport
²She-conomy Facts on Women
³LinkedIn – Marketing to Women: 30 Stats to Know
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