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Ironman Elasticity

Thursday, September 13, 2012
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This is a really good example of not only supply and demand, but also price elasticity of demand.

Those people who know me know that I'm quite keen on triathlon. I turned 40 this year and decided to enter triathlon's ultimate event, ironman.

For those who have never heard of this, ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and then a marathon (26.2 miles). These take place straight after each other and the whole event must be completed within 17 hours.

Next year, ironman UK takes place in Bolton on the 4th August.

Although its a brutal and demanding event, entries for ironman can fill up in a matter of hours and therefore early entry is essential. Ironman adopt a pre-registering system whereby those who have pre-registered can enter two days before anyone else can.

Entries for those who pre-registered opened at 9am on Monday with entries for everyone else opening up yesterday. So, at 9am on Monday, I entered. It wasnt cheap. It cost me £395.

Anyway, the point of this blog. Due to the demands of the event I booked me and my family into the Bolton Premier Inn for 3 days. 2 days before the event and the day of the event at a cost of £100. Bargain. Cheap as chips. I then told my Mam and Dad on Wednesday that I had entered and asked if they wanted to come down. I checked the same hotel, for exactly the same days. The price had increased to £267!!  So I checked the other Bolton Premier Inns. All were £267. I then decided to check the same room for the same dates at the Newcastle Premier Inn. Same dates, same room, only £100.

What a fantastic example to use with the students. Once the official opening of Bolton ironman began, the Bolton Hotels all increased their prices by well over 150%.

This is a great example of  supply, demand and elasticity. Bolton Premier Inn can increased their prices with very little fall in demand due to the amount of people who need to stay that weekend.

Its also an excellent example to use for branding. People (like myself) will pay £395 just to say they have completed the 'official' ironman. Again, the ironman event is a great example of price elasticity as there are very few substitute events (there are other events of the same distance, but non carry the official ironman brand).

Will I manage to do it within 17 hours? Of course...........


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