We all know that funds are few and far between when you start to plan an event.Cash Flow can be a challenge It’s an all too common dilemma that so many organizers and race directors face as they start planning ahead to create the perfect event.
How many times have you come across a great deal for some nifty, cool swag only to realize that supplies are limited or the sale is going to end or you just don’t have the funds or don’t know the final numbers to make it happen?
Well…. we can relate! We have come up with a simple 3 Step Solution that can work to your advantage in any of these situations!
IT'SALMOST AS EASY AS 1 2 3 w/ 3 EASY PAYMENTS
Here is how to get started to put that swag order in motion!
1. Give us a down payment equal to 1/3 of your total order and a firm in hands date to let us know when you want your order delivered. Once we receive that info and your payment, the order is placed allowing us to secure inventory for your order way ahead of time. Now you have time to gather sponsors, and generate funds for the balance of your order. As your enrollment increases so does the cash flow!
2. 4 weeks before your event or 4 weeks after you place your order(whichever comes first), we ask that you pay us another 1/3 of your balance for your order. At that time we send the order details and artwork to graphics for a mock-up of your design for your approval
3. 4-6 weeks before your in hands date, we require the last and final 1/3 of the total payment to complete your order. We then release your order into production and then when complete we ship it out to you for your event.
EVERY ORDER IS INDIVIDUALLY ANALYZED TO MEET YOUR TIME FRAMES AND PRODUCTION SCHEDULES
You will be asked to sign a simple agreement that allows us to customize the time frames for each item within an order and payment schedules based on your requirements.
By participating and placing a 1/3 down payment , you just agree to make a commitment to place an order and follow through until completion. Down payments are not refundable This insures us that in good faith you are making a legitimate commitment to place and pay for an order in full with MarathonSwag.Com
MarathonSwag.Com will even provide you with $25.00 toward your first order to help you get started. Fill out a short survey here to get the cash! We will even provide you with help to RAISE EXTRA money if you so desire. You can click on Raise extra money for details to find out how!
What are you waiting for? No Cash flow yet? Click here to get started on purchasing some really cool swag in a really cool way! Only 1/3 down to start…. It doesn't get any better than that!
I know it's not even Spring yet but the new running shoes are appearing at the retail trade shows. They will debut in June or July this year
Want a SNEAK PEAK at what is coming? click here or just head over to Competitor.com to check out the latest styles
I personally like the Merrell All-Out Terra Ice esp now when just walking out the door is a challenge
Or check out this Under Armour Shoe pictured below ...one of the most talked about shoes at the trade show, the Fat Tire trail running shoe is designed to mimic a mountain bike tire rolling over terrain.
Read more about these shoes and many more at
By Jessica Girdwain on June 12, 2014 Featured Article -SPRY LIVING
Without a doubt, both running and cycling are great heart-pumping, calorie-scorching workouts. And as long as you’re getting your body moving on most days of the week—whether that’s hopping on a spin bike, lacing up your sneakers, or even taking your dog out for a walk—that’s a win. But which activity is better for fat loss—biking or running? For bones? For injury prevention? The answer: It depends. Both biking or running deliver unique health benefits, studies suggest. Find out how they stack up in four key areas:
When done at the same intensity, running burns more fat compared to cycling, according to a small study in people who were well trained in the respective sports, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Running may recruit larger muscle groups and more muscle fibers to use up fat for energy.
Researchers at Appalachian State University compared intense cycling and running workouts, finding that long-distance runners experience more post-exercise muscle damage and inflammation compared to cyclists. One reason: cycling is a lower-impact exercise that’s easier on your body—and may be the better choice for newbies.
To keep bones strong, hoofing it on pavement might be your best option. In a group of healthy adult men, cyclists were 7 times more likely to have osteopenia of the spine (a condition that increases fracture risk) than runners, found a 2007 study from University of Missouri, Columbia researchers. Running creates a load on bones that strengthens them in the process.
Does working out make you hungrier? Turns out, it actually decreases your appetite, according to a 2012 UK study. Researchers looked at the hunger hormone concentrations of men after cycling or running. Hunger levels didn’t differ between the two sports—in fact, exercising lowered appetite in both.
It’s a tie! Though it looks like running has the edge, both have their perks. Beginners new to a fitness routine might want to start out with biking, whereas running might be more effective if you’re looking to lose weight. The best option, though, is to fit both into your workout routine. You’ll slim down and reduce your risk of injury at the same time. Now get out there!
A very nice and essentially free amenity is to offer pace groups. Your runners will initially (let me explain later why I say initially) love this. It shows that you are not just some stingy race director, focused on collecting a big entry fee and not re-investing into a quality event.
But it will also help you manage your starting line. First, you can place the pace groups strategically at the starting area. Using signage, bright shirts on the pacers and other means of identification, participants will line up accordingly. Even if someone is not looking to follow the 8:15 pace group, they will also not want to go out to fast (or to slow).
So they will likely line up within that group, knowing that after a mile or two, they will run their own race. This will greatly help reduce congestion at the start. And equally important, it will keep slower runners towards the back and not clog up the faster runners.
Now let me explain why I said your runners will love this initially. The key is finding good pace groups. Someone who says they can run a 40 minute five mile race should not necessarily qualify as the 8:00 pace group leader. What if they run 8:30 pace for the first four miles, then hammer the final mile coming in at 40 minutes exactly? That's not 8:00 pace. For pace groups, pace is measured by mile, not the overall average.
So where do you find such people? Try local running clubs, or even better some local semi-elite clubs. And ask them to lead a group below their personal best. Don't ask a runner with a 35 minute personal best for 5 miles to lead the 7 minute pace group. Instead offer them the 8:00 pace group for example.
And make sure they are given the tools during the event to be successful. Give them bright colored shirts, bright numbers, big hats, something that is easily identified during the event. Make sure they know where mile markers are located. If you don't have course clocks on each mile, then make sure they are wearing watches. And don't rely on a Garmin or some other device. A certified course will "be longer" than what a GPS device will measure.
So do some research, invest a little time, and even less money and find the right people. Your runners will love this additional and very thoughtful amenity.
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Ah the goody bag. Runners love their goody bags. And who wouldn't? It's free stuff. And hopefully tons of free stuff. It's like having a second birthday with hidden treasures inside your bag.
So with anticipation you pick up your bag, hoping it's heavy. What did they give me? You ask. But what if they didn't give you much? What if they gave you essentially nothing?
So though goody bags are a very nice amenity, if you don't have much to offer, they can backfire. Opening a bag with a free energy gel and a coupon for example can be quite the letdown. Especially if you paid a lot for the event.
So how do you fill those goody bags? Ask around. Do some internet searches for promotional materials. Contact local businesses. Ask sponsors for a donation and in return they get their name/logo on the swag they helped pay for to put in the bag. Or they can even pay for the actual bag to put the swag in and in return get their name on it...a great ROI Look at other races and see who contributed to their goody bags.
Coupons are nice, but products are better. Not sure why, but even a sample of lip balm seems to be well received when it's free. So try not to load up with just coupons. Include free products. Ask area run shops for some promotional items.
Spend time researching and asking. You'll find plenty of free items, well worth your efforts. It takes time. But if you are patient, you'll be rewarded not only with heavy goody bags, but happier runners.
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If you have run a major marathon, then you know what I mean by "personal." Take Boston as an example. Running alongside the hundreds of charity runners, such as Team In Training, you feel like a rock star as spectators applaud your efforts. Along the entire 26.2 mile historic course, the words "you can do it" motivate you beyond words.
But then you ponder. And soon realize they are not cheering for you, but rather the sea of charity teams around you. After a brief moment of reality passes, the sound of spectators lifts your spirit once again. So maybe you are not as much of a rock star as you thought just a moment prior. But you are still a rock star. And you move forward, with a smile in each step.
In the case of Boston and other large races this personalization is in many ways, accidental. It is the presence of the charity teams, each sporting their uniforms, that creates this personal cheering group. But what if you have a smaller race. What if you don't have that sea of charity runners, sporting their team uniforms, like most events don't have. Can you still personalize it?
The answer is yes. And the easiest way is to personalize the participants number. Print their first name on the number in big letters so it's easy to read. That alone will encourage spectators to not just clap, but shout out your participant's name.
That will go a long way to build a lasting memory of just how great your event is. And it will do more than just motivate these participants to run next year. But to tell their friends of this great experience.
It's the little things in life and in races that go a lot further than often realized. And the cost? Minimal at best.
Cotton Versus Technical
A long time ago, one of the many questions asked by all event directors was simply answered. That question being “do I offer participants a cotton or technical shirts?” It was simple in that cotton was the primary fabric available.
But times have changed. Though cotton is still a lower cost option, technical fabrics are not far behind. Which begs the question, does the added cost outweigh the benefits? And once again, the answer is simple.
First and foremost, from a cost standpoint, technical fabrics, primarily polyester no longer cost much more over cotton. But in terms of benefits there is a huge difference.
Polyester fabrics wick moisture. In the cold they keep you dry and thus warm. In the heat, they breathe and thus keep you cooler. Whereas cotton in the winter will simply hold moisture causing your body to lose more heat. And in the summer, that cotton shirt will not only get incredibly heavy with all the moisture it holds, but will simply not breathe making exercise anything but comfortable.
So clearly, there is a benefit in the eyes of your participants as to wanting technical fabrics over cotton. And participants have choices. They can choose from a number of races each weekend. And those still offering cotton, are likely to lose to those offering technical fabrics.
And equally if not more important, those events who give technical shirts over cotton, will see their event shirts worn well beyond race day. And what better form of free advertising than to have your participants running and walking alongside fellow future customers as they promote your event. All at no additional charge to you.
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Don't let the cold slow you down. In fact it should speed you up!
Temperatures are going to drop this week across 42 states . Be prepared as the polar vortex sends a blast of arctic air across the USA . Lower temperatures brings challenges to the cold weather runner..
By dressing in layers you can stay warmer by trapping warm air between the layers and wear the appropriate performance fabrics The fabric should wick away the moisture; keeping you dry and warm Wearing a cotton shirt will not wick away the moisture and will quickly become wet, heavy, cold and uncomfortable. Make sure your feet hands and head are covered This is where you will experience the greatest heat loss. Consider wearing 2 pair of wick away socks as well as tights under some wind pants Wear a warm hat and scarf and wear some kind of waterproof wind breaker to protect yourself from the elements
Last but not least ....Don't forget to wear some kind of reflective gear as our daylight hours are diminished
For more detailed tips on Running in the Cold click here
What seems easy on the surface, is very hard when it comes down to signing up sponsors. You may think a local bakery for example would love “the opportunity” to give you free bagels as a means of marketing their business to the locals. Wrong!
Finding sponsors is very difficult. Whether it be in-kind, such as product or financial, sponsorship campaigns require a lot of hard work and creativity. And even then, absent someone who has a relationship already established that can vouch for you, finding sponsors is anything but guaranteed.
There are a number of reasons why, including the bombardment of requests companies receive every day to sponsor an event. And the reality is, that all charities are created equal, in that who is to say one charity has a more important cause than another.
As a former specialty run shop owner, I was constantly asked to donate shoes, or gift certificates, water, you name it. And the reality is, I couldn’t support every single request that came through my door. Though I tried, I eventually had to scale back what I gave each event so that I could help as many as possible.
First and foremost, you need to get into the mind of the sponsor. Does a local bagel shop really need to give away free bagels to market their store? What cost do you think those bagels are versus the cost of advertising elsewhere. After all, to the bakery, it’s not about donating to be kind, but rather to promote their business.
You can help sponsors with their decisions in giving them a sense of your demographics. A women’s only yoga studio for example may be more interested in an event with a high female participant rate versus the local men’s barbershop.
Think through what you are asking. It’s easier to donate product and or services than money. A bagel shop would be more willing to donate $100 in bagels versus $100 in cash, considering the bagels likely cost them maybe $20, yet to the event it is a $100 donation.
In the end though, the best approach is to canvas your event volunteer team. Does someone know somebody at a local business than can put in a sponsorship request on your behalf? It’s a lot easier, faster and more effective if there is an existing relationship already in place.
Bottom line, don’t give up. Sponsors often want to see an event’s history. They may not be willing to get in on the ground floor but rather become involved once the event is a proven staple within the community. Then the sales pitch is not only easier, but now you have far greater bargaining power.
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A simple truth, one not often understood by many event directors. If you can touch your participants on an emotional level, you will have truly met their needs.
This may sound like fluff, but trust me, from experience both as an event producer and a participant it is the holy grail, if you will, to truly meeting the needs of your customer.
Touching them emotionally does not mean making them cry. It means making them feel part of something bigger than themselves. It means making them feel as if they are about to accomplish something that will teach them more about themselves as an individual.
My educational background is in engineering. The concept of resonance frequency is one that still mystifies me. But it is a natural element of essentially everything. I think of the emotional element of producing an event the same as hitting the resonance frequency of a participant.
This is not an easy feat to accomplish though. You can't just put up emotionally biased signs and expect people to flock to your event. You can't just play fun music and expect participants to run their hearts out. Those are parts of the process, but not the whole thing.
First, you need to understand your participant demographic. You need to understand the age, the gender, the ability, etc. Then you need to identify, what specifically you can do to target the key demographic. Though don't ignore smaller demographic.
At my events I liked to start the day off with great signage to avoid confusion, lots of volunteers to greet participants and mellow, Enya type of music. Just enough to slowly build the emotion of the day.
As race time approaches you want to build the buzz more. Now your participants are starting to line up. Again, via music I would like to ramp things up. Maybe switching from the softness of Enya to the upbeat and moving sound of rap (though obviously not the profane stuff, right). When the gun goes off, regardless of age, go for something that will get everyone moving in more ways than one.
During the event I would use signage to promote the charity and remind participants what they are working together for. I would use lots of volunteers to yell and scream. I would stock up my aid stations and have plenty of mile markers and other signage.
As the finish line nears, I put a lot into a good looking final half mile. One that makes participants feel special. And yes, music was a big element. Make the finish line one that is unique for each finisher. I've completed three Ironman, I never won, yet I broke the tape all three times, as the announced proclaimed me "an Ironman."
After the race I would always provide a finisher medallion immediately. Photographers where there, volunteers immediately passed out food as finishers were guided into a fun, exciting and motivational post race party.
And what did I learn? As my event grew year after year, I learned that touching someone on an emotional level is the best form of advertising you can do. So perhaps, rather than spending a few thousand dollars on print adds, put that money into amenities this year that will drive participant numbers next year.
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