Published September 2016
While there is a wealth of running related research and statistics that address generational and gender event attitudes, behaviors, and participation, there is little information regarding ethnicity groups. As part of the 2016 Running USA National Runner Survey, Running USA split the data to assess three ethnic groups: 1) Blacks, 2) Asians, and 3) Hispanics to determine if there were any themes of note to help the running industry better understand potential nuances within these important groups.
Runner ethnicity is not often captured during registration nor reported on in race results. Thus, no known formal statistics exist to understand any event behavior and trends among these groups. Over the past few years though, the running industry has seen a rise in ethnic specific running groups such as Black Girls Run, Concrete Runners, etc. and campaigns that have appeal to these groups.
The aim of this report is to report is to showcase some high level themes as initial insights. These differences can be leveraged when targeting messaging towards these specific groups to emphasize a few elements in addition to the major overall important areas across all runners in general.
Summary of Black Runners
Black runners represent an extremely active and involved running group. They participate in more events, are more connected to the competitive side of running, and are heavily vested in the use of social media. They are a very social and group-oriented set of runners. As an ethnic group, they stand out for being the most differentiated from other runners as a group and a potentially attractive segment to cater to.
Compared to all runners overall, Black runners as a group are:
More Active on Facebook
More Active Event Participation
More Driven by Competitive Event Elements
More Cause Related
More Likely to Use their Phone / App on their Phone for Running Related Activities
Summary of Asian Runners
Asian runners were not that differentiated as a cohort from runners overall. They are more goal-oriented in their running and are more likely to be driven by a fun factor and scenery. These elements may appeal more to Asians when messaging to this group.
Compared to all runners overall, Asian runners as a group are:
More Likely to Run for the Following Reasons:
More Driven by Fun and Friends
Referrals are More Important
Summary of Hispanic Runners
As seen with Asian runners, Hispanic runners as a group did not show too many discerning characteristics from runners as a whole. They stood out for being more open to sharing their race experience and higher usage of Instagram.
Compared to all runners overall, Hispanic runners as a group are:
More Driven by Sharing their Experience