Fans Help USA Pro Challenge Determine Stage 6 Route

USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 pic After the USA Pro Challenge determined most of the cities that would host stages for its 2015 race, it opened the final choices up to fan input before completing the list. Thousands of race fans provided opinions through the race’s website and Facebook, and the survey led to a list of more than 20 options for cities to host the beginning and end of the sixth and penultimate stage. As organizers sorted through the submissions, they realized that close to half of the votes called for a route in Northern Colorado.

In the end, the Challenge scheduled a return to two familiar cities. The sixth stage of the race, which will take place on August 22, will begin in Loveland and end in Fort Collins. The decision was made for a number of reasons, including the great cycling available in Northern Colorado and the opportunity to return to an area that experienced extensive flood damage in 2013. Race organizers hope that bringing the Challenge back to Northern Colorado will help the region continue its recovery.

Most of the other stages in the 2015 Challenge will take place in the mountains, with early stages occurring in and around ski towns like Breckenridge, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs. The final stage of the race, to be held the day after the Loveland-to-Fort Collins stage, will begin in Golden and end in Denver.

Fans Choose Sixth Stage for 2015 USA Pro Challenge

USA Pro Challenge pic The USA Pro Challenge recently unveiled the cities that will host its 2015 multistage cycling event, which begins in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on August 17 and ends in Denver on the 23rd. Race officials initially left the race’s sixth stage a mystery, allowing fans to help decide the penultimate leg of the race. To determine the two cities that will comprise the event’s sixth stage, which cyclists will traverse on August 22, event officials surveyed cycling fans across the country, receiving thousands of submissions via the official USA Pro Challenge website and Facebook. The widespread response offered more than 20 options for the race’s start and end points, with most contributors favoring locations in northern Colorado. Based on these recommendations, stage six of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge will begin in Loveland and end in Fort Collins, which will serve as the final starting point before competitors end the race in the state’s capital.

Both Loveland and Fort Collins have hosted race segments in previous years, and fans widely supported both options because both are among Colorado’s best cycling locations. Other fans favored the race’s return to cities left damaged by flooding in 2013.

USA Pro Challenge Generates Millions for Colorado Economy

USA Pro Challenge pic According to an international sports research group, the annual USA Pro Challenge cycling race pumped more than $130 million into the Colorado economy in 2014. The seven-day race, which takes cyclists through the Rocky Mountains, is one of the largest cycling events in the United States. Thousands of spectators travel to the Denver area each year to enjoy the combination of professional cycling and stunning natural scenery.

Sponsorship Science, which conducted the economic impact study, reported that fans who traveled more than 50 miles to the race spent 12 percent more on food, transportation, entertainment, and lodging in 2014 than in the previous year. The report attributed the increase to fans booking longer hotel stays and to higher hotel fees.

“This race showcases Colorado to the world and creates an incredible economic impact locally that can be felt throughout the year,” restaurant financier Rick Schaden, who founded USA Pro Challenge, told a media outlet.

Schaden also noted that the 2013 race generated increased television viewership. NBC, Universal Sports, and NBC Sports Network aired 30 hours of the race, which was watched in more than 175 countries and territories.

Rick Schaden at Bloomberg Sports Summit – Explaining Endurance Success

Joining his colleagues in the sports industry, USA Pro Challenge owner and founder Rick Schaden recently spoke at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, an event featuring panels, speakers, and networking opportunities for players, team owners, bankers, and commissioners working in the business side of the sports world. The event was held on September 10, 2013, at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. Mr. Schaden appeared on a panel devoted to endurance sports along with Mary Wittenberg, the race director of the ING New York City Marathon and CEO of New York Road Runners, and Andrew Messick, the CEO of Ironman. Moderated by Bloomberg’s Mike Buteau, the panel discussed the ways in which endurance sporting events and the companies behind them represent an important and growing sector of the industry.

Led by Richard E. Schaden, USA Pro Challenge has become a major cycling event, featuring racers from across the globe and appearing on live television in nearly 200 markets worldwide. In his contribution to the panel, he shared his company’s business strategy: building a global brand while leveraging the power of the participators and fans, an attractive demographic containing primarily young and highly educated professionals, to secure a diverse portfolio of sponsors even in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong scandal. In addition, Mr. Schaden joined his co-panelists in affirming a central truth about the business of endurance sports: attracting larger audiences has depended on introducing new participants to the core sport.

To watch a video recording of the panel discussion, please visit http://www.bloomberg.com/video/messick-schaden-wittenberg-on-endurance-sports-XiI3z5O_S56vUTKjHxHLZQ.html