Coached Up: 6 Tips From Triathlon Industry Veteran Tim Tarpley

Tim Tarpley Triathlon


Tim Tarpley has been competing in triathlons for 17 years, and coaching triathletes for 13 years. In 2007, he founded Trident Sports, a triathlon training and event production company whose mission is to encourage the desire of anyone who wants to participate in the sport. Tim was a recent Event Director of the Month winner, and we had the chance to interview him and ask about his experiences in the industry.

Here are six pieces of advice from Tim’s many years in the triathlon world:

  1. Use a one-two punch for the best marketing results

The best way to market is by using social media and email blasts. The simplest version I’ve found is to sync Constant Contact with Facebook. It’s more trackable that way. And if I had to choose just one marketing channel, I’d say Facebook is the most important.”

  1. Don’t wait to sell out

Once everything is established as far as the date, the course, and permits are turned in, it’s time to open up registration. The faster you fill up the race, the quicker you’ll know how many shirts to order and things like that.”

  1. Find the new participants

Most people that do sprint triathlons will go to the next level. But tapping into new people who think that they can’t even do a sprint distance is where there’s opportunity. I want data to help me reach that runner or cyclist (who’s thinking about a triathlon)…”

  1. Registrations won’t make you profitable, but sponsorships will

“If the race is done right, it will break even. Sponsorships are what will give you the extra boost in revenue.”

  1. Don’t underestimate how hard this job is

“For event directors, my advice is that it takes a lot to make a living out of this job. It’s crunching numbers and understanding the race cost and the market—you have to pick the right weekend and the weather is always a variable. It’s important to be honest and upfront with people and just do all the planning you can, but a lot will be out of your control.”

  1. Find tools that save you time

“…the USA Triathlon membership accounting is the biggest part of (why I use ACTIVE)—it saves so much work for race producers.”

Read words of advice from other Event Directors of the Month

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