By: Erin Morris, Copy Editor
That word either makes you groan or gets you excited for your next workout. The traditional look of exercising often involves free weights and running long distances on flat, straight roads until your muscles give out.
For individuals in the 18-24 year old youth and young adult (YAYA) demographic, this is our parents’ workout.
Sure, stamina and strength are built, but where is the excitement, the individuality of my workout? Shouldn’t I want it to be an adventure? Why run at all if the payoff isn’t memorable?
Now we come into the trend of working out today, what I like to call “journey” or “adventure workouts.” Take for instance, Tough Mudder. Will Dean, CEO of Tough Mudder, LLC decided to change the perspective of endurance activities from focusing on silent concentration and record times, to celebrating a runner’s finish of a race and the enjoyment of running with friends.
On social media, it’s hard to ignore another one of the latest trends in the race adventures. The Color Run a run/walk 5K race features spray guns of color that give incentive and a palette of fun.
The organization hosts hundreds of obstacle races focused on camaraderie and and the joy of finishing a challenging physical activity. So why is it that we want so much emotional connection out of our exercise routines?
One way to look at this is trend is the more mobile lifestyle we are taking on. Why not show off your run to the social media world while you are out there? Social influencer and VP of Barkley Jeff Fromm states that two out of five Millennials feel anxious going anywhere without their smartphones. This mobile use can even go so far as texting and checking emails when you’re on mile eight. Mobile connection and brand engagement continue to be on the rise.
Fromm also points out an enigma of the mobile Millennial generation: we are people who crave adventure and excitement…but only in a safe realm. This proves “adventures” such as Tough Mudder can provide that contained excitement and thrill for the YAYA market. This additionally supports the Millennial desire to live healthier and balanced lives by eating cleaner, better and being more active.
Another type of adventure race is taking over America. Beyond just the boom of popularity in 5K races and other distance races, running activities featuring paint/spray guns of colors are capturing runners and walkers of all ages. The most popular, The Color Run, travels on the Kaleidoscope Tour in hundreds of U.S. cities focusing on “healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back.” Indeed, racing and distance exercises are no longer about having Rocky finishes at the top of the stairs or setting new a pace….it’s about the experience with your health and with your loved ones.
So how can marketers reach out to our sportier individuals of our market?
The rewards-based market of YAYA will relish in Instagram likes of their morning adventure runs or their group shots of post-game pick-up victories. Morning yoga with Mom, ultimate frisbee with your dorm mates, and half-marathons with your best friend are where memories are made. Take the concept of “with” and help young adults make individual events, team championships.
Additionally, the YAYA market has a very different concept of health and wellness. Prevention is the new penicillin and the holistic approach is how to keep yourself balanced. Be physically active and emotionally active. The first two focus points of The Color Run are healthiness and happiness. The focus to a more active life is also a more active social life.
How do you think you can connect with these mobile athletes? Comment below with your thoughts.