Charity Beats Vanity in Motivating Adults to Participate in Endurance Events and Races

July 24th, 2012

New Harris Interactive Survey from Eventbrite Finds Americans Most Likely to Participate in Endurance Events to Raise Money for Charity; But “Laziness” Keeps Many Away

Americans Also Reveal That Running Can Be More Therapeutic than Therapy

San Francisco, Calif. – July 24, 2012 – Eventbrite, the self-service registration and ticketing platform popular among endurance event organizers, today announced a new survey revealing the turn-ons and offs of races and endurance events. The findings, resulting from an online Harris Interactive survey commissioned by Eventbrite in June 2012 of over 2,200 Americans, unveiled that the biggest factor influencing potential participation in an endurance event like a marathon or triathlon isn’t physical health, but charity, with 34% of Americans naming raising money for a good cause as a top motivator. The survey also found that while 71% of Americans have or would consider participating in an endurance event, lack of motivation/laziness, lack of time and costs have kept them away.

With endurance events (e.g. half marathons, 5K walks, triathlons, cycling events, etc.) becoming increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, Eventbrite commissioned the survey to examine what can motivate and inhibit endurance event participation, as well as how people perceive their benefits.

What are the Biggest Motivators?

Although physical health may seem to be top priority for many people, a good cause trumps vanity, according to the survey. Thirty-four percent of Americans would be inspired to participate in an endurance event to raise money for a good cause, versus 27% who claimed weight loss as an inspiration. Of those do-gooders, more are found within a younger demographic. Those aged 18-34 (50%) are nearly twice as likely as those 35 and over (26%) to be motivated by charitable causes.

Other motivators for participating are the opportunity to increase one’s health and fitness (32%), for the challenge of it (28%), and to lose weight (27%), with women (30%) more likely to feel this way than men (22%).  Another interesting gender difference is that men were significantly more attracted to challenging (32%) themselves than women (24%).

What’s Getting in the Way?

While nearly three-quarters (71%) of Americans have or would consider participating in an endurance event, only 32% have actually done so. Of the people who are interested in participating but have yet to do so, shortage on time (37%), cost of participation (32%), and lack of motivation/laziness (27%) rank as the top three inhibitors. Unexpectedly, single people (43%) are significantly more likely than married people (34%) to say they just don’t have the time. But throw some children in the mix, and parents of children under 18 are over twice as likely as those without children to say that family commitments get in the way, 37% vs. 15% respectively. 

Benefits Beyond the Runner’s High

While endurance events are considered good for the body, many Americans think running is good for the mind as well with 56% of Americans believing going on a run would be more therapeutic than talking to a therapist/psychologist.   

Additionally, using running to become more physically attractive could be a motivator. Specifically, nearly one-third of Americans believe that if they trained to run a marathon, it would make them better in bed.  Men believe this (37%) significantly more than women (25%). Additionally, over 40% of Americans believe training for a marathon would make them more attractive.   

Eventbrite enables anyone to organize, promote and sell out ticketed events of any size and kind, including endurance events. The company recently launched tailored features for endurance events which enable organizers to sell merchandise along with registration prior to the event, and allow for easier team registration sign up and management. Race organizers can also automatically assign bib numbers as participants register for their event. Notable endurance events organized on the platform include lululemon’s Sea Wheeze Half Marathon, US Marine Corps Ultimate Challenge Mud Run, Gran Fondo New York and Metro Dash events across the country.

Additionally, many Eventbrite users organize events for charitable causes, with over $39 million raised for charities 2011 alone. All 501c3 organizations are qualified for a reduced rate, making it easy and affordable for nonprofits to take advantage of Eventbrite’s powerful platform.

Renowned in the ticketing space for its industry-leading social sharing tools and partnerships, Eventbrite recently processed $1 billion in cumulative sales for its users and has sold over 60 million tickets and registrations worldwide.

For a full summary of results, contact Terra Carmichael at Eventbrite (contact info below). To learn more about Eventbrite’s offerings for endurance events, races and fundraisers, go to and

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Eventbrite from June 28-July 2, 2012 among 2,209 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Terra Carmichael at Eventbrite.

About Eventbrite:

Eventbrite enables people all over the world to plan, promote, and sell out any event. And Eventbrite makes it easy for everyone to discover events, and to share the events they are attending with the people they know. In this way, Eventbrite brings communities together by encouraging people to connect through live experiences. Eventbrite’s investors include Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, and Tenaya Capital. Learn more at

Contact Info:

Terra Carmichael
(415) 963-4465


Charity Beats Vanity in Motivating Adults to Participate in Endurance Events and Races

Contact Info

Terra Carmichael

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