Ten days after the 2013 Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge came to a close in Hobart, competitors, organisers, sponsors, volunteers, and Mark Webber himself are reflecting on the event – and planning bigger and better things for it down the track.
The challenge has announced it will take a sabbatical next year to give Webber and the race organisers time to expand the event, and take it international.
Webber is thinking big for the future. He said: “It was another very successful year for the challenge, and the fact that the Tassie race has got bigger and better every year just shows what potential there is for these kinds of adrenalin-packed adventure races.
“The challenge consistently attracts the best adventure racers in the world, as well as athletes from various disciplines including Olympians and world champions who are keen to test their personal limits and push through their comfort zones.
“For the future, I want to see more events like the Tassie Challenge. Off the track, adventure racing is my focus, and we are already working on plans for a new concept that will extend the challenge to a wider audience in 2015.”
Sports and entertainment marketing agency Octagon is behind the organisation of the event, alongside race route planners Rapid Ascent.
Adam Hodge, group commercial director at Octagon in Sydney, told B&T that the challenge wouldn’t be possible without the support of the big brand sponsors.
“All of our partners provided substantial benefit and contributed to the event. Amplification is so important for an event of only 80 competitors and partnering with big brands that have a far bigger reach than the event itself is invaluable.”
He added: “It’s the kind of event that provides brands with a tangible opportunity to not only build brand awareness but show off utility in a beautiful but demanding environment.”
About the event’s break in 2014, Hodge said: “The Mark Webber Challenge will take a sabbatical next year to allow us time to work with Mark on a new concept set to expand the event’s position as the world’s most premium adventure race, whilst ensuring we maintain the legacy of the current Mark Webber Challenge. This new concept will allow us to look at a brand new commercial plan with potentially existing and new partners.”
A documentary about the 2013 Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge will air on Network Ten ahead of the 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix, in March.
Team B&T, consisting of B&T features editor Lucy Clark and race partner Dominic Collie, completed this year’s Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge – and blogged along the way. Here are the blog entries from the lead-up to the event, and during the race:
Into the branded wilderness
The Swisse sponsorship effect
Day 1: Racing with the pros
Day 2: Conquering race demons
Day 3: Big names, big brands, big challenge
Day 4: Tourism Tasmania takes racers into the wild
Day 5: Finish line elation