In 2018, the Triathlon Industry Association (TIA) completed its sixth, major UK multisport athlete survey. This looked at all aspects of triathlon participation and expenditure in 2017. This follows athlete surveys on engagement with the sport in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. TIA has produced the most comprehensive research studies ever undertaken of the British triathlon community. An updated, seventh edition, of TIA’s athlete survey commenced in January 2019.

The Triathlon Industry Association, which comprises event organisers, equipment manufacturers, tour operators, retailers, distributors, and media, continues to work in conjunction with the sport’s governing body, the British Triathlon Federation to pool data for a comprehensive approach.

The TIA research initiative provides a detailed insight into:

  • Participation: ranging from when people started the sport to how active they are now
  • Expenditure: what, where and when people are buying and how much they spend
  • Demographic data: who are Britain’s triathletes?

The full analysis from TIA’s on-going research into the triathlon marketplace is available to TIA member companies.


The main research findings in 2015 were…
Britain’s triathlon community showed again that it was determined to embrace the sport, with a 15% uplift in overall traithlon expenditure.

The study pointed to a large, engaged and affluent base of participating athletes, with an average age of 42 and salary of £48,900, spending more on coaching, fitness tech and triathlon-related overseas travel than ever before.

The proportion of women doing triathlon stayed the same in 2015 as the year before, at 28%. Interestingly, whilst equally engaged, the female triathlete’s spend bias is towards gym membership, training camps and racing overseas in contrast to the male bias towards new hardware.

However, the study also showed that age appears to be a major factor in determining the success of the sport’s recruitment initiatives. The landmark age of 40 years old clearly represents an important milestone, with an 8% rise in participation for the larger group of those over 40 and a 9% drop for the smaller group of those aged under 40 recorded.

The research also found that Strava (up to 43% from 35% in 2014) has overtaken Twitter (39% in 2015) as triathletes’ most used social platform after Facebook (73%). This, combined with the relatively low levels of triathlon-related social sharing, less than 25% of active triathletes share content at least weekly, indicates an opportunity to grow the influence of triathlon through social media – and build an outreach to the younger community of Millennials.

To access the latest full analysis from TIA’s on-going research, click here to join TIA.