Marketing Your Race
Your Brochure. Once you have designed your brochure or flyer, how do you get it into the hands of potential participants? Think of places where you'll find other runners. Can you place a stack at the check-out of your local running store? If you know of any other races happening in the area, ask the race director if you can distribute your brochure at the finish line, on the registration table, or in the race bags or entry packets. Also, place a stack of flyers at local supermarkets, banks, post offices, libraries . . .
Direct Mail/ Email Blasts. Besides reaching your list of past participants, you can arrange with various running-related organizations to purchase a list of possible participants. Check with your local running clubs to see if they sell their list.
Email blasts are also a great way to keep your list - both past runners and current registrants - up to date on any race happenings. Send them a note once a month to keep them current on any race developments.
Runner's World also offers an email blast service and includes all races listed for our race sponsorship program, at www.runnersworld.com/raceseries. If you sign up to receive sponsorship from Runner's World at least 3 months in advance, your race will also be included in an email Runner's World sends to thousands of runners in your area!
Print Advertising. Your local running publication is a good source for finding additional runners. Some will let you list your event on their event calendar for free.
Web Advertising. There are a number of web calendars devoted to running. Be sure to list your event on all of them - and as early as possible-- for maximum exposure. The largest of these is Runner's World's calendar, at www.runnersworld.com/raceseries; here you can list your event and also sign up to receive sponsorship from Runner's World.
Website. Since most runners now register online, it's becoming increasingly important to have a website. All web listings on other online calendars can link right up to your website for more information and online registration. Your web address should be included in all your brochures, ads, posters, etc.
In addition, here are some other ways to promote your event:
- Try to make your event as attractive as possible to the greatest number of people in your area. By adding a walk, kid's fun run, etc. you will be increasing your turnout.
- Who are your sponsors? Do they have additional resources to promote your event? For example, if you can get a local news channel to be a sponsor, this is ideal. Or can your grocery store sponsor include a display at the checkout of each of their stores?
- Can you speak with government officials to tie your event in to another pre-existing event happening in your city or municipality and promote your race by piggybacking off their marketing campaign?
- Are you donating proceeds to a charity? Can you use your charity's resources to promote your race?