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Running marathons, innovation and Artificial Intelligence

by StayRelevant
21st October 2018

Last week I completed my 5th marathon on the streets of Bucharest, a superb experience and, as always, a day to remember.

#Running is incredibly popular and represents a massive market for #sportwear, or #sportnutrition.

Races represent a strong business model for organisers and are very attractive for cities hosting the event regarding tourism income and promotion.

It is also a crowded market with a massive number of races in the calendar and tough competition from other disciplines like the ultramarathon, mountain running events, short distances, or non-competitive challenges. Let´s say demand for the most popular events continues to rise (NYC, London, Berlin, etc.), but overall demand started to go down last year.

It is no wonder running races are also a great place to see #businessmodelinnovation examples such as the ability to track friends in real time on a mobile app to see how they are doing on the big day. It´s all about adding new value and improving the #customerexperience.

This is why I liked the post from my friend @stephenchan about the use of analytics by #SAP on the Melbourne Medibank marathon. You can find some interesting facts here like the significant increase on the average age of marathon runners.

#artificialintelligence has a great role to play to improve the runner experience and to increase event profitability. It was easy for me to think about predictive models to help runners calculate how their time could improve by changing a few aspects of their preparation or execution (variables), or for organisers to understand clusters to target, or successful communication patterns to contact runners to grow loyalty to the event.

The importance of know-how for asking good questions.

But more than anything else, it made me think of how important it is to use the know-how of those who understand running, or marathon events, as the main sources of knowledge for building valuable models. Also how this same principle applies to any industry and any company. It is that knowledge that exists within the organisation that comes up with great questions avoids bias and turns data into predictions that drive results.

To innovate, we need everybody´s input and involvement. The challenge is to bring those knowledgeable resources closer to data analysis and innovation the same way we bring new runners into the joy and pleasure of running and we see them slowly adding miles to their training.

Stay Relevant helps organisations to innovate faster. We help professionals to develop and use new capabilities to lead the change from within.

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