RNR Half Marathon Clearwater: ROCK 'N' ROLL MARATHON SERIES RETURNS TO THE SUNSHINE STATE: INAUGURAL ROCK 'N' ROLL CLEARWATER HALF MARATHON TO DEBUT IN OCTOBER 2020

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unnamed-4.jpgClearwater, Florida, photo by RNR

- Clearwater, Florida joins the 2020 calendar as the newest Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series event; First Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series event in Florida since 2013
- Special presale registration now open for seven days before general registration opens on March 18

This is good news for RNR series. Over the past few years, participation has dropped 15-30 percent across the country due the changes instituted by new ownership. The change in staff, where nearly 100 of the 128 long term staff left, and the belief by management that there was not much difference between multi event cultures and running cultures hurt the event series. Lack of marketing support (such as giving miniscule discounts on people flying from North America to European events) cost the events. The disruption caused by firing long time pr teams, photographers and the lack of knowledge and support of local media meant that much less of the community knew about the events. While it saved immediate dollars, it has cost dollars to RNR as runners, walkers take their race entries, and travel dollars elsewhere.

Lesson one: 7 million running finishers in US each year pick and choose where and when they race. They also support events that understand that they have choices. Ownership that supports local communities all year get support from the running community.

It seems like some of those lessons are being learnt in the home office. We wish the series best wishes, but underestimating what makes a formerly good race a mediocre race is not something to be taken lightly. RNR has competition from all sides. The new sponsorship does not seem to be investing, but looking for a fast return. This came to our attention over 18 months ago when a triathlete, who had spent $4500 on his family going to a triathlon, had noticed cut backs in services in first year of ownership change. He did not return to the event.

With over 30,000 running events in North America in any given year, and with the great races continuing to grow, rand even good races loosing marketing support, all race management should be wary of the current zeitgeist. Marketers want more for their dollars. Runners talk with their debit cards.

Or as one might do in first year of Latin, Exel an cadat, or, "Excel or perish."

TAMPA / CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 12, 2020) - The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series®, a part of The IRONMAN Group headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is pleased to announce a new hometown event that will take place in Clearwater, Florida, becoming the newest destination for the global running series. The inaugural Rock 'n' Roll® Clearwater Half Marathon event will take place on Oct. 24-25, 2020.

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series is a best-in-class running series Bringing the Fun to the Run™ through music, entertainment, and community immersion. The Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater Half Marathon will treat thousands of participants and active lifestyle enthusiasts to a one-of-a-kind race experience that highlights Clearwater's beautiful Gulf Coast communities in the heart of Florida's fall season. The inaugural race will also mark the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series' return to the Sunshine State for the first time in seven years.

"We are thrilled to bring the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series to our backyard and there's no better setting for it than Clearwater," said Elizabeth O'Brien, Managing Director of North America for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. "The amazing beaches and incredible running community makes Clearwater the perfect destination for a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series event. In addition, this announcement brings one of our amazing events within driving distance of The IRONMAN Group's global headquarters based in Tampa, Florida, making this announcement a truly special one for our entire team. We look forward to showcasing to the world our own amazing beachside coastal gem through our core principles of running, music and community."

The Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater event weekend will feature a Half Marathon along with a 5K presented by Brooks. Participants will be able to take on the "Remix Challenge" by running both Saturday and Sunday to earn the coveted Remix Challenge medal in addition to each race's finisher medals. Special presale registration for the 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater Half Marathon event weekend is now open and closes on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 11:59 p.m. PT; general registration will open on March 18 at 11 a.m. ET, additional event details are available on the event website at www.runrocknroll.com/Clearwater

Race week will kick-off on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 with the Health & Fitness Expo, which is open to the public, featuring the latest products and trends in the running industry. Runners and walkers of all levels from around the world will then take in the sights and sounds of Clearwater on Saturday, October 24, 2020 for the Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater 5K presented by Brooks. The running continues Sunday, October 25, 2020 with the Half Marathon. Additional event details will be announced in the near future.

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater is one of three principal cities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area known for year-long sunny weather, crystal-clear waters and gorgeous gulf coast beaches. Clearwater Beach is known for its namesake stretch of soft, white sand, which draws visitors year-round for jet-skiing, parasailing, and stand-up paddle boarding in its calm waters. It has been rated No. 1 multiple times in the United States by TripAdvisor's annual top 25 beach ranking.

A prime destination for visitors of all ages, Clearwater offers a plethora of outdoor activities, museums, aquariums and entertainment options, and is easily accessible from the conveniently located Tampa International and St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airports. With loads of shops, bars, and restaurants, Clearwater offers a lively experience with a world-class view of the Gulf of Mexico giving both spectators and participants the chance to embrace the unforgettable atmosphere of the Florida's coastline.

Special presale registration for the 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater Half Marathon event weekend is now open featuring the lowest prices of the year and closes on Tuesday, February 18 at 11:59 p.m. PT; general registration will open on March 18 at 11 a.m. ET. For more information on the inaugural 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Clearwater Half Marathon, visit www.runrocknroll.com/Clearwater.

For more information on the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, please visit www.RunRocknRoll.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to [email protected].

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About Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series
The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series® is the world's largest running series taking part in over 30 destination events around the world every year. Established in 1998, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series simple idea of making running fun has transformed both the U.S. and global running landscape by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators alike. Focused on running, music and community, race weekend kicks off with a free Health & Fitness Expo showcasing the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and much more. Events culminate with an entertaining finish-line festival featuring some of the biggest names in music, with past performances including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, O.A.R. Aloe Blacc, Pitbull, Flo Rida, The Band Perry, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Goo Goo Dolls and Bret Michaels. Further information about the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series can be found online at www.RunRocknRoll.com and follow @RunRocknRoll on all social platforms.

About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company's vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.

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