Boost Running Partnerships By Creating Proprietary Events...

Are you looking for new ways to boost your marathon/triathlon/5K sponsorship sales? Are you looking for ideas on ways to generate awareness for your event?

IEG recently featured an outstanding article in the IEG Sponsorship Report on the Nautica New York City Triathlon's ability to increase their corporate partner revenue by roughly 20% during its 8th year of existence. The article, entitled How an Established Property Can Significantly Increase Sponsorship, went on to describe how the triathlon has consistently achieved double digit sponsorship growth over the course of its existence.

How did they do it?

Event organizers created proprietary events and programs around the triathlon:

  • In 2008, triathlon representatives created the Doggie Duathlon World Championship, a 10K tandem running race for owners and their dogs. A title sponsorship for this event was sold to Iams Pet Food.
  • Triathlon representatives also have created the Chipotle Underwear Run (an event that takes place the Friday night prior to the Sunday triathlon) and the Janus Financial Executive Challenge (a race within the triathlon for senior-level personnel at financial services firms).

How did they attract title sponsors?

  • Event organizers required that event participants include their title and employer as part of their race registration information. They then used this information to pitch potential sponsors (e.g. the race learned that a brand manager for a company signed up for the event; they then went and pitched that brand)
  • Event organizers require that registrants sign up for the triathlon six (6) months in advance, giving them enough time to hit the streets and pitch potential sponsors
  • When pitching corporate partners, an emphasis is placed on identifying marketing objectives and finding unique ways to incorporate the company's tag line into events that take place during race weekend (e.g. Race organizers incorporated RCN Corp's "Connect to something more" tagline in transition areas where competitors quickly change and re-equip and created a JetBlue Airways Leg Room, where participants received leg massages and ice baths)

Which companies sponsored the 2008 event?

  • Nautica, Toyota, Accenture, Janus, Power Crunch, Orbea, JetBlue, The Vitamin Shoppe, Accelerade, IAMS, SNY, TYR, RCN, Reebok Sports Club / NY, Jennie O, United Healthcare, Fox 5, and H2O Audio

If you are looking for innovative ideas to boost your marathon/triathlon/5K sales, check in with the guys that run this event... They seem to really know what they are doing and there are some great principles to benchmark here. For more information on the Chipotle Underwear Run and the Nautica New York City Triathlon presented by Toyota, check out the two (2) clips below: