Tough Mudder

Case Solution

George Foster, Sara Rosenthal
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

This case portrays the beginning and growth of Tough Mudder, a startup founded by Will Dean and Guy Livingstone in the mud racing / adventure challenge space. Dean, an avid triathlete and marathon runner, found these lonely endurance events boring and wanted to come up with a new concept that would bring teams of people together to complete a sporting event that would test not only their physical strengths but also their will and determination and also mental courage. The case tracks Tough Mudder’s meteoric rise in the rapidly growing adventure racing industry. As Tough Mudder looked to 2013, he faced numerous opportunities and challenges, including moving to international events. The company was also exposed to fierce competition and had to constantly innovate to stay on top. Ultimately, its rapid growth also meant escalating challenges within the organization that needed to be addressed if the company was to maintain the high level of operational excellence that was so critical to the success of its events.

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