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Easter and April Fool’s Day an Unprofitable Combination for Sports Events This Year

21 Mar, 2018

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

The juxtaposition of Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day sounds like the opening line for a really strange (and more than likely irreverent) joke. And typically, Easter, which is, after all, the first big holiday of the spring season, brings some good tie-ins for sports events. So does April Fool’s Day, for that matter. So what does the economic landscape look like when those two holidays collide in 2018?

A bit, well, awkward. 5K race directors are avoiding the entire holiday weekend. That time of year, 5Ks coast to coast number in the high 500s, if the calendar in Running in the USA is to be believed. But on this occasion, there are fewer than 30 races on April 1, and only a little more than 300 on March 31 (the Saturday prior, Saturdays being the bigger day for races in general). Races that weekend (those that do exist) do tend to use key words like Easter, Easter Egg, April Fool’s, Bunny Hop and more.

The number of 5K events picks up the following week, with at least 700 offered each Saturday for the rest of the month.

Typically, April Fool’s Day would also make for some good sports event tie-ins, but it seems that in 2018, with Easter on the same calendar page, nobody wants to go there.

The National Retail Federationnotes that in 2017, more than 80 percent of people surveyed planned to celebrate Easter, an uptick from 2016. In fact, according to NRF’s annual survey, spending for the holiday was expected to reach $18.4 billion, a new all-time high in the survey’s 14-year history. Here are some of those numbers:

$152: Per-person spend Americans are estimating for Easter

18: Percentage who plan to spend more on Easter than they did last year

$18.48 Billion: Amount Americans planned to spend on Easter in 2017

The fact that Easter is a religious holiday (albeit one celebrated with candy and new clothing purchases) does much to decrease its appeal as a commercial opportunity for sports events. In fact, the closest one gets to events being hosted on Easter is a dozen Major League Baseball games. Even the NCAA is resting that day, with its Final Four being played on Saturday, March 31, and the Championship game on Monday, April 2.

But take heart, event organizers. Next year, Easter lands on April 19. And while April Fool’s Day is on a Monday, that clears the way for plenty of clever tie-ins on the weekend prior.

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