As a race director, whether you’re in the throes of planning and organizing your 20th race or your first, pulling off the big event is always a much bigger challenge than it originally was led to believe. You’ve been hustling all year long to nail every single detail to make the experience unforgettable.
From refining the race course itself, confirming the perfect date, driving registrations all the while keeping operating costs down, and managing sponsors and vendors — race management is no easy feat. Those who have planned any caliber of an event are familiar with the tug-of-war feeling.
Coming up with unique promotional items can seem like another added task, but when you take a step back and think about the impact the items have on those who interact with the race brand, picking the right items can elevate your brand experience strategy.
Give your race a feeling of something bigger
When it comes to driving registrations and keeping motivation high, it helps to craft an experience that is not only unforgettable, but that has a feeling of something bigger. When done right, racers will distinguish your race from others as being a special and unique race that stands out from others.
The Barbados Adventure Race — a two women, two men team obstacle course race hosted in the Caribbean — racers from around the world make a significant financial commitment just to travel to the race.
The race organizers know signing-up to participate is a bigger dip into racers’ pockets and uses premium custom merchandise as part of their experiential strategy as an added way to make their investment worth it.
“We don’t think a $200 prize for someone who might have spent $1,500 to get to our event has much value,” says George Griffith of the Barbados Adventure Race (BAR). “But to receive something that only a few people in the world will have as a keepsake for life is much better.”
Custom branded water bottles
BAR was seeking a high-quality premium item to award top teams at the end of their obstacle race. We produced a stainless steel black water bottle with their logo screen printed on the side that solves this challenge.
The logo, Griffith says, represents a three-piece design that signifies having direction, remembering where you started your journey, and being aware that there will always be obstacles to overcome on your journey.
BAR uses custom merchandise to:
- Raise brand awareness
- Build racer loyalty
- Drive racer engagement
- Differentiate the brand
“T-shirts, medals, branded obstacles — all get potential participants excited for your event and give it a feeling of something bigger than just your typical 5K run,” says Griffith.
A perfect way to thank race volunteers, and showcase your brand on race finishers, is by handing out custom medals; they’re a timeless race classic. Racers collect the medals for each race they finish, proudly displaying them and wearing them in photos they tag the race in on their social media.
Custom race apparel
Similar to medals, functional and well-made custom race apparel can distinguish your race from others. Racers are keen on quality materials that help them perform better and more comfortably. We often partner with performance apparel company Helly Hansen to produce top-of-the-line race tops, zip-ups, and vests.
Put them on sale in the race merch shop and/or include a specific style in race packets for participating racers. The better their quality, the stronger your message of setting racers up for success will be.
Custom staff headwear
Keep your staff and volunteers in the shade throughout the race with some sweet custom headwear. We can work with you to design a truly unique headwear line for your race so that your brand is exposed in the best light possible.
Check out our recent custom headwear lookbook for examples of our headwear capabilities.
Custom road signs
Keep your racers motivated with branded road signs strategically placed throughout the race course printed with clever quotes, directional queues, and other info they would find useful. Pack a brand punch by adding your logo and offer race sponsors some logo real estate on the signage as well.
Partner with Anthem Branding to create some rad custom merchandise, apparel, and promotional products for your next race!