Before you begin your race promotion activities, you have think about what is unique about your race.
You cannot be a race that is for everyone, so you have to put some thought into what makes your race special and focus on that for your marketing and promotions efforts. If you have a hilly 5k race course, and promote it as such. Through your race promotion, you will attract racers that want to race hills. These athletes will enjoy racing hills. Or they will at least know that this will not be a fast 5k.
Here are some samples of what can make races unique:
- Early or late in the season: Athletics Nova Scotia hosts a track meet in early May and promotes it as the “Warm up event” for the outdoor track season.
- Hard race: Tough Mudder races stress that their race is only for the toughest of racers.
- Easy race course: If the running course flat? It may be a great place to set a personal best time.
- Great Location: Not Since Moses is a run held on the floor of the Bay of Fundy. The tide goes out, about 700 athletes run a 5k or 10k race. There are not many places in the world where you can do something like that.
- Cause Awareness or fundraising: The Eco-Edurance Challenge is a fundraiser for local ground search and rescue in Nova Scotia. Legs for Literacy is a multiple race distance event in Moncton, NB that could promote itself using the benefits created by the race.
- Prizes: To attract competitive athletes, prizes for top finishers could be a unique selling proposal.
- Finishing medals and swag: There are many athletes that are not racing to win. Some of them travel for funky race wear and medals.
- Price: There are races that tailor themselves to price sensitive racers. Price sensitive racers are often willing to sacrifice support and prizes at races in order to have an inexpensive race experience. The Moose Run is a “pay what you can” 25k race in Cow Bay, NS. It has been held for 25 years with prizes donated by sponsors and is very well attended.
- Date/Holiday: The EPIC Canadian Race Weekend is held on the Canada Day weekend and is definitely Canada celebration themed. There are also many more races around Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s which are holiday themed.
Embrace what makes your race unique. Through your race promotion, market its uniqueness and athletes will come, knowing what to expect. Meeting and exceeding expectations is a giant step towards developing athlete loyalty.
Feel free to comment below on your thoughts and feel free to mention your race or your favourite race and what makes it unique.