AUSTRALIANS have a lot to learn about 'fun runs' according to this Asian superbrand, who this weekend will be showing Brisbane residents just what they have been missing.
Infinitus Productions, known for the Illumi Run brand in Malaysia, China and Singapore, has set up base in Australia, choosing Brisbane as its national head office.
The company will roll out eight events across the country this year, kicking off with Brisbane on the weekend. Brisbane's recent events track record, and the efforts of Brisbane Marketing, were said to have sold the brand on launching in the city.
Australia's Infinitus Productions general manager, Andrew Laing (pictured), says the Infinitus brand has been challenged by Australian attitudes to health and fitness.
However, with more than 6000 participants and 200 volunteers already having signed up for the Brisbane event, this is more a case study in successfully crossing cultural barriers.
"We are definitely dealing with a different market," says Laing.
"It's quite an unusual concept to be hosting a running event that has absolutely no emphasis on competitiveness or timing.
"For us, Illumi Run represents a change in mindset and is about being your own person and running your own race."
The company will be bringing in custom-built cannons which shoot illuminated paint into the sky, a first of its kind in Australia, meshing well with the UV dance environment.
The budget is "a significant six figures" but Laing says much of the equipment will be reused at later events.
Laing, whose background is in private equity and professional sports including V8s and NBL, believes sporting events are increasingly losing that competitive and combative nature in Australia and focusing more on the fun factor.
This lines up well with the Illumi Run brand.
"My background is in sports and entertainment and I know that everyone is trying to bring these events back to being about fun and engagement with the fans," says Laing.
One thing the brand will retain is a charitable aspect, which Australians are accustomed to, with $5 being donated to the McGrath Foundation for every registered runner.