News

HBS Business Plan Finalists – Tough Mudder

1. YOUR PITCH.
With Tough Mudder, we aim to bring an endurance race format that is already popular in many other countries, to the US. A Tough Mudder event will be a test of all-round toughness, testing not just fitness, but also strength, stamina, and mental and physical endurance www.replicabestsale.co.uk. A typical race will start with a 7 mile mud/trail run over uneven, hilly and wet ground followed by 12 sets of military-style obstacles. The obstacles will include underwater tunnels, crawls under barbed wire and through thick mud, high ropes and burning bales of hay to jump over.

In the US, races currently available generally fall into one of two camps: either fun runs that offer little in the way of real physical challenge or hardcore endurance races that require large time and financial investment, making them unattractive to all but a few. We believe that Tough Mudder is well positioned to exploit the gap by offering an event that is genuinely tough as well as being different while still fitting neatly into a weekend.

The business tag heuer replica for sale will primarily generate revenues through entrance fees for participants: In the UK, a comparable event charges runners over œ100 (~$150) and it sells out its two annual races (5,000 participants each) months in advance. Costs are very scale dependent: you can generate high margins and cash flows when you get large numbers of participants to each race.

By launching 20 Tough Mudder races across the US over the next 5 years, we believe this is a >$20m opportunity.

2. IDEA: WHAT SPARKED THE IDEA FOR YOUR BUSINESS PLAN?
Our team is comprised predominently of international students. 10 years ago, adopting an already successful US business model and taking in back to a home market was an appealing option for many international MBAs. However, given the speed of information flows today, the opportunities for business model arbitrage (certainly from the US to Europe) are pretty limited. Our team focussed on finding niche businesses already reasonably successful in Europe that could be brought to the US. We reasoned that less American entrperenuers were watching Europe than vice versa. From personal background we knew the economics of race promotion were good and eventually found a numver of similar (and very profitable) mud events in Europe.

3. TARGET MARKET: WHO ARE YOU TARGETING? WHY?
Completing a Tough Mudder race is a badge of honor that participants will brag about. When you look at competitors in this format of race outside of the US, there are 3 consumer segments that dominate: Firstly, you see many racers, typically under the age of 30, who enter as part of a team made up of friends from their fraternity, sports club or professional lives. For them, this event is a fun bonding event – the camaraderie element of the race appeals especially to this segment – and they are more interested in finishing than getting a good placing. Secondly, you have a segment that see this race as a way to prove their “toughness”: These racers are often from a white-collar background or from the armed forces, police or fire services: They are much more likely to care about a good time or high placing, especially in relation to their peers. Lastly, you also see older racers, typically males over the age of 35 who are fighting off a mini mid-life crisis and are looking to prove they still have it.

4. CHALLENGES: WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OR IMPEDIMENT IN REACHING COMMERCIAL VIABILITY/SUCCESS?
As with every business venture, there are some potential risks to achieving commercial success. We see the biggest risk coming from personal injury liability associated with the physically demanding nature of the race, and the threat of competitor entry. To manage liability risk, we will overstaff our races for safety, and make liberal use of waivers and insurance. To diminish the chance of competitor entry, we will focus on an aggressive US-wide roll-out of event locations to establish our Tough Mudder as the industry standard in this market, much as Ironman has done for triathlons.

5. FUNDING breitling superocean replica: IF YOUR TEAM WERE TO RECEIVE $100,000 IN FUNDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT? WHAT IS THE MOST CRITICAL INVESTMENT YOU NEED TO MAKE IN ORDER TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
We are currently in final-stage negotiations with the organizers of the equivalent race in Germany. They will provide us with funding to launch our first event location (a proof of concept for the US market), and strategic and operational support so we can leverage their experience from the last four years of running similar events.

Once this initial race is established, we plan to go out to the market and raise an additional (and final) round of funding to enable a large scale roll-out throughout the US.

6. TEAM:
Will Dean (OI) will take the role of Tough Mudder’s CEO in June: He has significant experience starting entrepreneurial ventures including a graduation t-shirt business in the UK and an online Bollywood poster business that help pay for his studies here at HBS. He will be joined by Jaka Lednik (NH) who will bring both his sponsorship sales / sports experience and contacts from his pre-MBA role at the London 2012 Olympics and his general business experience from working at BCG in London. Sean Eldridge (OE) and Ben Mayson (OI) make up the rest of the business plan competition team.

April 27, 2009