XTERRA enters its 25th year in 2020 with a renewed focus on brand management. The off-road event specialist notes that this means ‘heightened attention to quality, on providing great athlete and family experiences, and on building a path for more outdoor adventurists to get immersed in the XTERRA lifestyle in the future.’
“XTERRA has evolved from the days of being a race-focused company,” explained XTERRA President, Janet Clark. “Over the past few years we’ve made a concerted effort towards becoming a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Our racing structure has been reimagined right alongside our business model, and this has brought a lot of changes across our organization.”
One of the most notable impacts from a consumer-facing point of view has been the reduction of races across the US and internationally – as ‘quality control, branding, and consumer experience has become more important to the brand than the quantity of race offerings.’
“We built the America Tour starting in 2001 in a very grassroots manner with the goal to give athletes as many opportunities to race as possible, but our expansion outpaced our quality control and the end result was inconsistency in participation and experiences,” said Clark.
“Our focus now is on building a sustainable lifestyle brand to support the world tour with high-quality events that attract participants, media, marketing and partners. It comes with difficult, but necessary, changes to ensure consumers are getting the XTERRA-branded experience they deserve while positioning ourselves for controlled growth in the future.”
Initiatives to improve the XTERRA branded-experience include increased activations of lifestyle festivals and live music, a two-year plan to consolidate all race pages to the xterraplanet.com website, the roll-out of a global registration platform, and a quality assurance strategy to connect and improve XTERRA events around the world.
To support its organizers XTERRA has created sponsorship tools, a social media alignment strategy, produced brand and visual style-guides, shared best practices, added technical directors, started an XTERRA specific coaching certification program, and re-envisioned its television productions to inspire adventure by focusing on the athletes and destinations of the XTERRA World Tour.
“We are also in development of an elite-athlete event series featuring additional prize money, TV, and media exposure,” added Clark. “We are experimenting with additional race offerings such as short course races, swim-runs, and mountain bike events, and we are actively pursuing partnerships with brands and organizers who value high-quality events and want to join us in taking XTERRA to the next level.”