Segmentation by age of triathletes participating in Ironman South Africa
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Triathlon organisers should focus on segmenting participants according to different age groups. Age was found to be a significant factor in commitment, motivational and loyalty levels in reviewed research material. The purpose of this research is therefore to categorise triathletes participating in the only Ironman event held on the African continent, the Ironman South Africa, based on their age. Ironman South Africa will resultantly gain continued participation from different age groups of triathletes and sustain the event in a competitive sport tourism industry. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed during the 2013 registration for Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa where 425 questionnaires were administered. Respondents were divided into four age categories and labelled according to their level of experience in the sport: <= 30 years (Young triathletes), 31-40 years (Adept triathletes), 41-50 years (Mature triathletes) and 51+ years (Senior triathletes). These four clusters differ significantly statistically and practically, in terms of their spending behaviour, their sport participation behaviour and their motives for competing. The results showed that age, as a segmentation variable, is a successful way to categorise triathletes, as different age groups typify distinctive segments, each with different sport and spending behaviour and participation motives. In addition to sustaining Ironman South Africa, these findings can be used to expand the event in the future as well as the sport in general.