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Consumer profiles of runners at marathon races

Kirstin Hallmann (Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany)
Pamela Wicker (Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 1 June 2012




The purpose of this paper is to identify consumer profiles based on behaviour of runners at marathon races and to determine key drivers for their intention to revisit the marathon.


Participants of three marathons in Germany (Cologne, Bonn, Hanover) were invited via e‐mail to take part in an online survey after the race (n=1,370). They were questioned about the trip to the city, the marathon event, and their socio‐demographics.


The cluster analysis revealed three clusters that are named holidayers, socialisers and marathoners. The results of the logistic regression analysis show that the intention to revisit is determined by the length of the trip, the daily spending in the city, and the satisfaction with the event.

Research limitations/implications

Non‐probability sampling represents a limitation of this study. Questions relating to the involvement and knowledge of running (first timer and repeat participant) could serve as valuable indicators to further differentiate between different types of runners.

Practical implications

It is suggested to offer special packages to the runners when they register for the race. One package could, for example, include the starting fee and two nights at a hotel. Moreover, the event organisers could offer more targeted side events such as athlete workshops on nutrition, training, and medical advice.


This paper offers an insight into different consumer profiles of marathon runners based on their behaviour and spending. Key indicators of the runner's intention to revisit the marathon are presented. This study contributes to close a research gap and allows marketers to better understand their consumers.



Hallmann, K. and Wicker, P. (2012), "Consumer profiles of runners at marathon races", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 171-187.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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