Lately, I’ve been running in more races to stay in healthy, and I have completed 5k races, 4 mile runs, and a biathlon. I also run, walk, and bike frequently in Central Park. One thing that I’ve noticed is that half the people working out seem to be wearing high tech workout gear from Under Armor, Nike, Reebok…etc, and the other half are wearing shirts from previous races.
In New York, because most of the races I run in have thousands of participants, the race sponsors listed on the back of the shirts are big companies like Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other large businesses. There aren’t as many local companies, but those that are local are very large.
Because I own a few city .com domain names, I am tapped into community events taking place in these cities, and there are many smaller races and walks that take place just about every month, many of which have a charitable cause the participants are supporting. These events generally have under 1,000 participants, but almost all of them offer commemorative t-shirts for participants.
If you are looking to promote your website – whether it’s local or national – sponsoring local runs or walks can be a great marketing opportunity for your company. Not only will it help promote your brand on race day, but people will wear these shirts after the race, too. Additionally, you may be able to take some sort of charitable deduction, but you’d have to confer with an accountant on that.
It seems that most events with anywhere from 100 – 1,000 participants charge between $100 – $500 for shirt sponsorships, and this looks like money well-spent. In fact, Lowell.com is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Day race in Lowell. I just wish I was able to be there to run!
Interesting idea, do you plan to track web traffic you might receive? For instance having a special URL (maybe lowell.com/racename) on the shirt so you know visitors came to your site because of the race sponsorship? You might also want to consider seeing if the race director will let you post the results on your site. Or you could do a post race write-up or photo gallery so that gives participants a reason to visit your site afterwards.
I kind of have mixed feelings on marketing at events like this. I’m involved with a company that donates product to a lot of races in return for race marketing including being on t-shirts. Alot of times the amount of interest/sales generated hasn’t been a great return but then again it is usually not a large monetary commitment. In your case you’re not necessarily looking to sell a product just get more visitors to your site so it might work out better. I’d definitely like to hear your take after the event takes place to see if you find it was worth it.
Not going to track the results for this. I am purely doing it to build brand awareness while supporting a community event.
I doubt I will ever know how much traffic it brings, but if a couple people become aware of the site and realize they need to advertise on it, then it will be profitable.
If not, it still helps a very good cause 🙂
Another great idea for website promotion and monetization. Thanks for sharing.