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SBD Global/August 22, 2013/Events and Attractions

Competitor Group Adds Liverpool To Rock 'n' Roll Series, Eyes South American, Asian Market

The Liverpool Marathon will join existing European host cities -- Edinburgh, Nice, Lisbon, Dublin and Madrid.
U.S.-based Competitor Group is headed for the birthplace of the Beatles for its next addition to its growing European Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, and has plans for global expansion in South America and Asia. The Rock 'n' Roll Liverpool Marathon & ½ Marathon will take place on Bank Holiday, Sunday, May 25, and joins six European host cities -- Edinburgh, Nice, Lisbon, Dublin and Madrid -- with Oslo set to host its first event next year. Competitor Group CEO Scott Dickey told SBD Global the Rock 'n' Roll series has plans to add a potential eighth marathon to its European list in a city yet to be announced. Dickey said, "We're starting to develop a pan-European presence that's got a lot of value." In addition to its European expansion, Competitor Group hopes to tap in to other int'l markets."We're deep in conversations in South America and Asia and we intend to continue taking the Rock 'n' Roll to the far corners of the earth," Dickey said. The move into the int'l market presents its own challenges. "From a business perspective, it’s always more challenging dealing with different languages, currencies and cultures," he said. "It’s a slower growth model. It’s not like you can just plant a flag and plop down and expect to be successful. There’s definitely a longer lead time to market the event and build credibility for Competitor Group as a business partner with the cities and sponsors.” With the inaugural Dublin Rock 'n' Roll ½ Marathon on Aug. 5 attracting 6,500 runners, 47% from out of the country, 25% from the U.S., Dickey said that the company plans to aggressively market the Liverpool race in North America, where the Rock 'n' Roll series already has a presence in 25 cities. Dickey: "We're certainly going to use the clout and breadth of our media assets here in the U.S."

FAB FOUR CONNECTION: Keeping in line with the musical theme of the series -- live band performances along the route and a post-race concert -- Dickey said he plans to promote the city's Beatles history. "We have an Elvis thematic here in the States, particularly in Las Vegas," Dickey said. "I think a little Paul, George, Ringo and John thematic is going to have a nice impact on attracting American runners to come over to Liverpool." The Liverpool race route is set to start and finish at the city's lake front, with full course details to be released after the start of registration on Sept. 1. Competitor Group secured a three-year deal with the city of Liverpool for the event, and expects to draw around 10,000 runners.
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