Trends & Features

UK triathlon spend worth £192 million annually

That’s according to the Triathlon Industry Association following completion of the sport’s most comprehensive survey of active triathletes

A year on from Alistair and Jonny Brownlees’ Olympic medal winning performances, the legacy of their heroics has been evidenced in the findings through increased participation, spend and events.

Last year 100,000 Brits competed in 160,000 triathlon race starts, 20 per cent of whom were doing so for the first time.

30 per cent of these bought a new bike (average value £1,650) and 25 per cent a new wetsuit (average value £200).

Encouragingly for the trade, which includes a growing number of sports equipment retailers, triathletes appear to prioritise their sport over other discretionary spends, as two thirds of respondents indicated their triathlon spend would stay the same or increase over the next year.

Beneath the £192 million headline market value figure, which excludes expenditure on tri-related travel and accommodation, tri club and gym memberships, and magazine subscriptions, the study findings have served to underpin the confidence of the industry, depicting a growing affluent, well educated and dedicated community committed to the sport.

The survey, which was completed by 3,800 respondents, found the average age of triathletes was 40 and average salary was £45,000.

The sport’s participant population was found to be biased towards London and the south east (39 per cent), with its 80 per cent ABC1 classification comprising 21.8 per cent professionals and 8.8 per cent company owners or directors.

Half of triathlon households have an income of more than £60,000, with 19 per cent earning over £100,000 a year.

Over 60 per cent manage to train between 5-10 hours per week.

Two British women, Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson, finished first and second in this year’s ITU World Series Grand Final, providing a high profile foundation for more women to take up the sport (currently 26 per cent overall).

“Despite the sport’s ever increasing popularity, until now its growth has been measured by anecdote and event entry numbers,” Gary Roethenbaugh, managing director of MultiSport Research, the author of the report on behalf of the TIA, says.

“The TIA has set about putting this right with an annual authoritative study.

“The findings have been very warmly received, enabling us to benchmark properly the industry’s current value, and has been instructive in highlighting areas in which the sport can do more to improve.”

A complete copy of the data study is available to Triathlon Industry Association members. For membership details visit

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