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Race Management Companies

What you *could* do, vs what people actually do, when it comes to Race Management has been bouncing in my head. In particular, a company like RC Race management. The races that I've been to that they have done have all been very competently run, but I've also got experience with them on the race director side, and their business model seems to come down to "everything is extra". I think they, and other race companies, shoot themselves in the foot by not putting their best foot forward, and also by not featuring their own brand a little more. Which is to say, I think the way to build a race business for the long run would be to promote your *own* brand as much as the individual race, and do that by making the races so good, so head and shoulders above the rest of the races not run by your company, that racers follow and build their schedule around your races and your races alone. Which is why I think that having everything be "extra" is a mistake (which lots of race companies do). *Everything* should be included, so that every race done by your race management company is the best. I think about things that a race management company could do but individual races can't because they will use it over 100 races instead of just 1. Big, bright signage and banners for starts, finishes, and mile markers. Big, bright signage for "Race here today", "This way to the race", "registration tables", "Race parking here".  Maybe things like start or finish line blowup arches. Even given what capabilities they have now, wouldn't you be more likely to go to races run where *every* race featured chip timing with start, halfway, and finish mats ? Instant online results for every race, with them also texted to your phone and posted on facebook ? Clear start and finish areas that you can see coming up for a long time ? Announcements you can hear, thanks to a PA system provided by the race management company ? Easy online registration through the same company that is managing the race ? And on the race director side, price it the same way the RD makes money and show some faith in your own ability to bring people in. I know one of the reasons we didn't go with a big company was the cost, because we had no idea how many people would ultimately sign up. If instead of $800, it had been $6-7 a racer, the race management company would ultimately have made more, but the race director would know that if 50 people signed up they wouldn't be out of pocket.

And then I also get to thinking about what a company using Chip Timing mats *could* do for "free" (meaning little/no additional day of race labor). A few 32" TVs and a computer could provide instant results at the race itself, for everyone to see. A high quality HD webcam mounted properly and tied to the chip system could provide a finishing video and finisher photo within minutes of someone's finish end for no cost to the race management company. A computer at the end with the basket of awards could do instant awards, and tell you when to hand out age group medals as people finished. In promoting the Race management company themself, you could create your own awards for running "X Race management" races that you could hand out at right as people finish, such as "5 time X race management runner", "20 time X race management runner", "250 miles with X race management" that would promote a huge amount of brand loyalty. You could enable the race directors themselves to add new categories of awards such as "best age graded time" or "most improved from last year" but without any work once you create the programs to do these things.

Event Results

Strides for Justice 5k 2014

Event Date: 
2014/09/27 - 8:00am
Finish Time: 
22:23

Morton Pumpkin Classic 10K 2014

Event Date: 
2014/09/13 - 7:30am
Finish Time: 
49:05

Peoria Zoo Run Run 5k 2014

Event Date: 
2014/08/30 - 8:30am
Finish Time: 
24:00

Robert's Run for Dyslexia 5k 2014

Event Date: 
2014/08/17 - 8:00am
Finish Time: 
22:56

2nd Annual 5k Duck Dash and Waddle 2014

Event Date: 
2014/08/09 - 8:00am
Finish Time: 
22:16

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Athlinks.com - get all your race results together in one place.

MapMyRun.com - track & map all your outdoor runs.