The wildly popular race series Tough Mudder plans to bring its barbed-wire crawls and wall-hurdling obstacle courses to Asia and the United Arab Emirates.
The privately held company said Tuesday it partnered with sports and fashion events agency IMG to host events in China and the UAE later this year, followed by Japan, Singapore and South Korea in 2017.
The company is likely banking on the idea that Asia’s rising middle class will also embrace health and wellness.
That could be good news for many of its sponsors, such as outdoor brand Merrell.
The Wolverine World Wide-owned label last year inked a multiyear partnership to sponsor more than 60 Tough Mudder events in 2016. It also led to new products, such as the All Out Crush trail-running shoe for race participants.
“It was clear we wanted to do the same things,” Will Dean, CEO and co-founder of Tough Mudder Inc., said in November about the partnership. “We wanted to build a community, and we wanted to get people to live healthy, active lifestyles, but not in an overly competitive way. It’s about teamwork and camaraderie, getting together and having fun. It was clear the Merrell team had the same values.”
For Tough Mudder, its push into Asia isn’t the first time it has gone outside the U.S. The company hosts races, which range from five to 12 miles, in Canada and Australia.
Tough Mudder also said that through a separate deal, with Seroja Partners, it will bring its obstacle course to Bali, Indonesia, in October.