Simulated vs. Virtual – What’s the Difference?
Virtual race options have taken off over the last several years as a new revenue stream for Race Directors and a way for participants to earn race SWAG for their efforts. As more race directors add virtual race options to their event line up, it’s getting harder to differentiate your virtual race from everyone else’s.
And yet, marquee events regularly sell out and Race Directors find themselves having to turn away athletes. Charity partners are limited in raising funds for their causes since only so many charity entries exist. Athletes who can’t travel to the event because of military service or other commitments miss out on the event each year denying them from experiencing the excitement and electricity, every turn, hill climb and cheering fan.
Simulated race experiences enable Race Directors to offer their event to countless participants, while still keeping the character and unique aspects of their event. With a simulated race, participants can actually see and “feel” the race course using Outside Interactive’s Virtual Runner app with a treadmill.
As you look at ways to expand your reach to new participants and open added revenue streams all year long, here’s a look at the difference between virtual and simulated races.
|Ability to see the course||No, and there often isn’t a course for virtual races.||Yes, the exact same course that athletes experience in-person is available to athletes through a video simulation experience on a treadmill.|
|Capabilities to feel hills and climbs||No, and there often isn’t a specific course for virtual races.||Yes, the integrated application can tell you what incline to set or automatically change on compatible treadmill models.|
|Training tool for in-person race or official remote participation||Some people use virtual races to keep them motivated to train, but it doesn’t generally directly tie in with a live event.||Yes, the tablet application gives you unlimited access to do the actual race course repeatedly so you know what to expect and how the event will feel in person.|
|Allows tablet/treadmill control||No, participants can choose whether or not to track mileage or just receive the race swag.||Yes, we’ve partnered with multiple treadmill manufacturers to bring you a seamless experience to track mileage, adjust incline to match on-course hills and show you each twist and turn of the course.|
|Break the Finish Line Tape!||NA||Yes, using the Virtual Runner app, you can see and feel what it’s like to break the tape at the finish line. It’s a motivating training tool if you’re working toward the live event.|
|Ideal for geographically challenged individuals||Participants can receive race swag as a virtual participant.||Yes, the tablet application can be used from anywhere in the world allowing athletes to see and feel the course. Participants deployed in the military can still experience what race day is like in person on race day.|
|Builds interest and hype for live event||The athletes who participate in virtual races are generally different from athletes who enjoy the race experience. Virtual events can build interest for the event, but more from a participant swag standpoint than from the race course.||Yes, the simulated race experience gives athletes a taste of what the live event is like to build their interest in running it for future years.|
|Year-round revenue||Yes||Yes, create monthly challenges with promotions to build excitement and interest for your event. Offer simulated race experiences with promotions, including sponsor giveaways, all expenses paid trip for two to the race and more.|
|In-video advertising||NA||We can add sponsor logos, commercials or banners into the simulated race video to open an additional revenue stream. In-video advertising can provide your sponsors global exposure.|
|Immersive experience using other sports||NA||With Outside Interactive, athletes can complete the race on a rowing machine, elliptical, spin bike or other cardio equipment of choice.|
|Event medal and shirt||Yes, race directors can offer race swag.||Yes, race directors can offer race swag.|