Tough Mudder: Scaling Dynamics After Early Traction

By George Foster, Ryan Rissick
2018 | Case No. E638 | Length 21 pgs.
Established in 2010, the endurance event start-up Tough Mudder experienced rapid international expansion in the years following the company’s inception. By 2013, the company had developed a cult-like following and an extremely powerful brand. However, near the end of 2013, Tough Mudder’s growth began to slow. Eager to turn the tide, founder Will Dean wondered what steps he could take to reinvigorate the company. “Tough Mudder: Scaling Dynamics after Early Traction” explores the challenges that a start-up inevitably faces once its initial momentum begins to slow.

Learning Objective

From Dean’s perspective, the case examines how Dean should: evaluate new product offerings within Tough Mudder’s core market (endurance events); address criticism from both employees and customers; prioritize future growth avenues (e.g., media, sponsorships, geographic expansion, partnerships); assess potential investment opportunities; and hire a management team capable of executing against Dean’s vision.
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