We will be announcing new pricing for RaceDay Scoring in December as we release the product. We want to explain the economics of our pricing strategy in this blog post.
Alan Jones and Roger Bradshaw spoiled timers and changed the landscape for race day software with their very good software, and very low costs. Alan wrote RunScore and Roger wrote The Race Director. These are arguably the two software products that set the pace for timer scoring since 1985 for RunScore and 1989 for The Race Director. The first price of RunScore was $200. For years, Alan charged only $30 for yearly updates and support. Roger has charged only $495 for a license and $300-600 per year of support for the past 9 years.
For an interesting history lesson, read Alan Jones 4 part history (links at the bottom of the RunScore site). Bob actually was at that race he talks about in Part 1 – that cold 1973 New York State High School XC Championships at Binghamton University as a non-qualifying high school spectator.
They both developed and supported software at far below cost and value. This was because they both had great full time jobs at major companies (IBM and Gerber/Novartis/Nestle), and this was a passion project for both of them. It was OK if it took years to code and mature and get to the point of feature richness because there was not much else out there that compared to their functionality/price ratio. They also made their software open so timers could make it work with everyone.
Roger joined RunSignup in 2015. One of the reasons he did so is that we offered a business model that would allow us to create a next generation of The Race Director and still keep the cost affordable. While it took us a bit longer than planned, we are about to roll out what we all hope to be the next generation with the production release of RaceDay Scoring.
RaceDay Scoring Pricing
We aren’t quite ready to announce the final pricing, but our strategy is set now:
- Continue to price below the cost to develop and support.
- Continue to have no limit on number of computers a timer deploys the software on.
- Stay open. Customers can pick and choose what they want to use from the suite. The software can work with any registration system and any results system and have full open API’s so others can do very tight, seamless integrations.
- Bundle all RaceDay products together. Customers get full access to The Race Director, RaceDay Scoring, and all the other race day tools we have like Photos, TXT Notifications, Finisher Certificates, Results, CheckIn, Corrals, Bib assignment, etc.
- Yearly Subscription Pricing to both use the software and get support.
- Pricing Tiers based on Participant Volume Tiers.
- Discounts for races using RunSignup for Registration.
We will publish the pricing in a new blog post in the coming weeks.
Discounts for RunSignUp Registration
Timers will buy a subscription for say 25,000 participants. They will get a discount based on how many of those participants are coming from races using RunSignup for registration.
This aligns with the source of the revenue that supports the development and support. And the pricing will still be a bargain.
Said another way, timers who recommend RunSignUp to their races are helping fund the development and support for timers who do not.
RunSignup Race Day Technology Economics
This year, we will have the following rough revenue and costs for our race day technology:
Even if we double the sales from the new pricing, this is still a money losing proposition. Even if Roger was still on his own doing development and support, the $94,000 would not cover the costs of developing a next generation tool.
This, in fact, is the reason why there is not much good race day technology out there. It is mostly home grown solutions that are developed by a technology enthusiast, or they are supported by other sales. This is how Chronotrack affords the development of CTLive and how RaceResult supports their software development (the 5 cents they charge per participant does NOT cover the cost of development and support for them either). They use the software as the grease that moves the hardware and chips.
Having the revenue from processing fees from 5 Million registrations in 2018 and probably over 6 Million in 2019 is how we can afford to do this (well, that and not having investors to pay back or look over our shoulders). Supporting timers and races by delivering great race day technology is a key reason for our success – quite simply because we receive the reciprocity of support from timers to recommend using RunSignup for races.
This focus on the endurance industry and having a business model that supports great development and support by professionals who are passionate is the key to why RaceDay Scoring has a chance of being the next generation of software for timers.