If you have ever run in an organized running event, you will notice there are typically company logos plastered across the back of your commemorative event t-shirt. Although most consider this to just be a way for a company to slap their logo on an event, there is much more behind-the-scene details that play into running event sponsorship. So, with that in mind, I thought I would dive into what race sponsorship contributes to both runners as well as businesses and the impact that can be made in Reno’s “Biggest Little” community.
Race sponsorship at a glance:
Safety: All of the road closures, traffic enforcement, water and first aid stations, and on-site medical personnel are not free. However, these are some of the most crucial components of a running event. There may be a race fee that you pay to participate, but it certainly doesn’t cover all of the costs for these essential items. Hence, sponsors are the “sugar daddies” of running events and what help make all of these things possible. Without sponsors, there probably wouldn’t be any runner safety, and ultimately, no race to run.
Exposure: If you like the free food samples you get when walking the aisles at Costco, you’re going to like a running event. Well, I guess it’s not that simple, but sponsors help runners get a taste of the products they are offering. Providing free samples at the event expo, as part of a runner’s race packet, or even at the finish line is a quick way for runners to know what a company is about. Take Nature’s Bakery for example, I didn’t know who they were until I saw them offering out samples of fig bars at the Downtown River Run. But now I’m hooked.
Fun: The contributions received by sponsors effectively allows for the resources to run a well-organized event. You don’t realize how much you appreciate an event is that is well-organized, on time, and properly planned until you’ve had the unbearable experience of participating in an event that isn’t. Having only one porta-potty for a 1,000 runners, having a delayed start after you’ve already warmed up, or getting an incorrectly posted race time are just a few examples that make runners never come back. All of these things can be effectively eliminated with the proper resources that sponsors provide and, as a result, providing runners with a FUN race.
Return: By promoting your business, you’re increasing potential for future returns. The running community is big in the Reno area and with 1,000’s of runners participating in most events, it’s easy to reach a lot of potential customers at one time.
Reputation: When considering reach and promotion of your company, especially in a booming startup community such as Reno, you should be looking to increase your business in return for the exposure that the running event provides you. However, you’re also participating in the experience that runners are getting. Therefore, sponsoring well-organized events such as the Downtown River Run or the Leprechaun Race, help to associate your company brand with a positive experience. Runners by default will think of your company in the same positive manner they do with the event they participate in, which boosts company reputation.
The Reno and Lake Tahoe area is widely beginning to be considered a mecca for new businesses and growth. The area has long been known for its beauty with the outdoor activities and fitness opportunities it provides; therefore, bridging the gap between the area’s businesses and the fitness community seems advantageous in many respects.
If you’re a new business owner in the area, I strongly suggest considering sponsorship of a running event as part of your marketing plan.