The Running Event Sold to Diversified

Portland, Maine-based Diversified Communications, which owns and operates several trade shows and business journals, has acquired The Running Event from Formula 4 Media LLC. The Running Event is Diversified’s first property in the active lifestyle space. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched in 2006, The Running Event hosted 255 exhibitors and more than 2,500 total attendees in 2017 at the event’s annual show that is typically held in Austin, although last year’s show was held in Orlando due to a scheduling conflict. Formula 4 Media will continue to own and operate its remaining media properties, including Sports Insight, Team Insight, Footwear Insight, Textile Insight, Outdoor Insight, Trend Insight, Sportstyle and Sports Insight Extra.

The Running Event portfolio will be managed by Diversified’s EVP Bill Springer, and will operate out of Diversified’s headquarters located in Portland. Diversified has hired the show’s event manager, Christina Henderson, and she and Springer will work with Mark Sullivan and Troy Leonard, two of the current owners of Formula 4 Media, as consultants through the 2018 event.

“With Christina’s talent on board, Mark and Troy’s consultancy and our extensive event experience and infrastructure, we are looking forward to furthering the event’s mission to support this growing market and more specifically to help the running store owners and executives adapt to changing consumer behavior and continue to increase their profitability,” said Springer.

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“Diversified Communications is the perfect company to help grow and insure the long term success of The Running Event,” added Sullivan in a statement. “They have great resources and people and understand the important role the event plays in the running community. The Running Event is in great hands with Diversified.”

Diversified’s largest show in its portfolio is the Seafood Expo Global event in Brussels, followed closely behind by the Seafood Expo North America event in Boston. Overall, the privately held, third generation, family-owned business operates trade shows and media properties across over 14 industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. The company’s media properties include Tourism & Travel Magazine, Mini Plus, National Fisherman, Natural Beauty News, Natural Products, Route One, Work Boat, Accountex Network, SeafoodSource News, Pri-Med, Sits Insight and Spar3D.

The sale also includes the launch of the 50 Best Running Stores in America, an awards celebration recognizing outstanding retailers in the industry, which will be held June 21-23 in Minneapolis, alongside the Fleet Feet Annual Franchise Conference. The event had typically been held at The Running Event.

The 13th edition of The Running Event will take place from November 27 to 30, in Austin.


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