There is a need for Americans to go outside now more than ever. However, there are few willing to meet that need with a business that supports the growing demand for recreational engineering (i.e. reckoneering). For those that are willing to rise up and jump into the billion-dollar outdoor industry, there are three main motivations why most build a business centered around off-road racing: Make money, be their own boss, or attempt to make a difference in someone’s life through recreation and/or competition.
Join me as I explore each reason and then share with your three lessons I have learned from putting these three reasons into practice.
Download and take this episode of Merchants of Dirt Podcast with on the trail!
Reason #1 — To Make Some Money
According to the most recent Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, Americans spent over US$645-billion on outdoor recreation (showing recession-proof growth of 5-percent between 2005-2011).
That is US$645-billion — WITH A “B”!
Reason #2 — To Be My Own Boss
As an independent race promoter, you’ve most likely been lured into the industry after experiencing one too many bad races. Data shows that 4 out of 5 race promoters in the United States were once (or still are) racer’s themselves. As a trail junky yourself, that is a very good chance that you’re looking to create the off-road race that you have always dreamed of promoting. You’re not alone:
- IMBA Demographics Mountain Biking
- USA Triathlon Membership Survey Report
- People for Bikes Statistics Library
- Statista – Trail Running Participants (2006 to 2017)
- Statista – Adventure Racing Participants (2006 to 2018)
- Running USA Statistics and Research
- Growth in Mud Run Events
- Commercial Impact of Triathlon
- Paddlesport Statistics
Reason #3 — To Make A Difference
An equally important reason is how the creation of your event can a “positive influence for change” within your community. It may only seem like one entry, and they may come in dead last. But the change that takes place in that person is epic!
It takes bringing your event into existence before the capability to touch real people can happen. Without you, they may not find that moment. But with you, with your creation, you could be that force that gives them the new outlook on life they needed. It may be somewhat intangible, and in some ways spiritual, but I see event creation as a tool for promoting positive mental health.
If you can change just one life for the better, isn’t that worth all the struggle?
Three Lessons Learned after 20 years of Racing
After racing and working in the off-road racing industry for over 20 years, I have learned three (3) things:
Lesson #1 — You do too much guessing
I have met few race promoters that have built their races — year after year — the same way twice. Why is that? Simply put: There is NO SCHOOL for off-road race promotion. No one is taught how to work in this industry by anything that resembles structure.
Most come into this business thinking “they’ll learn it as they go”.
Lesson #2 — Starting is hard
I have met numerous people who want to get into off-road race promotion, but don’t know where to start. I want to help you — whether you’re a new and veteran race promoter — not just survive this business, but succeed and thrive!
That is my goal for you.
Lesson #3 — Race promoters need business skills:
I have met too many race promoters that have gone out of business because they didn’t know how to make their racing business work. If you survive all the discouragement of “not knowing what you don’t know”, there is STILL no guarantee that anyone will show up to your first race. Who will motivate you to keep going after you put a huge amount of effort put into making your first race shine, only to have 30 racers show up?
The answer, my friends, is me, that’s who!
Are you willing to meet the need for Americans to go outside by rising up and jumping into the billion-dollar outdoor industry? If so, then it is time you join the Merchants of Dirt community.
Welcome to Reckoneer!