Thanks to the growing popularity, Obstacle course racing has emerged as a big business. Advil inked an endorsement deal with Tough Mudder in 2013 and Reebok has partnered with Spartan Race to become the title sponsor of its events, as cross-fit sneakers gain more traction among racers.
NBC Sports recently signed a multi-year deal with Spartan to bring its brand of obstacle course racing to television. NBC plans to broadcast six races annually, giving the sport added exposure as it tries to go mainstream. (NBC Sports and CNBC are both units of NBC Universal.)
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"Cottage industries are being built around the sport," said DeSena, who added that everything from shoes to climbing rope to gyms are being customized to meet the growing demand of obstacle course racers.
DeSena said he hopes to one day make obstacle course racing an Olympic sport, a possibility that could be considered if Spartan can expand successfully to 42 countries. It currently operates in 17.
"Skateboarding, snowboarding—ping pong was a fad. They are Olympic sports now. This doesn't feel like a fad, this is here to stay," DeSena said.