Pop star Cheryl Cole recently said “Team spirit spurs me on. I’ve always found it easier to be strong for other people than for myself.” While she may know more about music than about endurance events, she clearly understands the new rise of the “team” trend. Runners across the globe are discovering that participating with other runners, as a team, brings new energy to endurance events.
At ACTIVE, we’re seeing a consistent trend that people want to take on endurance challenges as a group. It doesn’t matter if they’re running their first 10K or mucking through the trenches of a mud run. They want to muck it up with friends. In fact, 47% of endurance participants say that spending time with friends is a top motivator for participating in a race.
Why has a sport that has been so focused on individual achievement suddenly become so team-driven?
One clue can be found in obstacle course racing. The team trend is clearly highest amongst obstacle course and experiential races where team participation is clearly encouraged, but it doesn’t stop there. Team participation is also rising in triathlons, marathons, and even shorter charity races.
As a race director, how do you capitalize on the rise of social participants for your race?
Social runners need more than a race. They need an experience. They want to feel that they’ve participated in something bigger than themselves. They want to feel the energy level rise throughout the event. They want to feel an overall sense of accomplishment and success. It’s a complete process that starts with a connection.
Being able to make that connection with your participants by incentivizing and encouraging team registration prior to the race day is essential. Providing team and group discounts is a great place to start. You can take it to the next level by increasing those discounts based on a higher number of team members. Don’t forget to encourage team participation in all of your pre-race marketing and registration communications, including group training exercises and activities.
Once they’re signed up, fulfill the team promise with a great atmosphere. Give prizes for money raised, costumes, or overall team creativity. When they complete the race, make your teams feel appreciated and accomplished with awards and photographic opportunities. Race day photographs are also a great way of tapping into the social sharing phenomenon and getting your race brand in front of other potential participants. Don’t forget to provide ample space for post-race activities. You’ll help your participants to not only bond together as a team, but mingle with other teams as well. Just creating a good space for social can create the right team environment for your event.
Group and team participation guarantee a boost in registration numbers and an overall boost in revenue. Capitalize on this rising trend and take your racers’ experience to the next level.
To learn more on how to increase social participation in your race, join our international webinar, Signing up the Social Participant. We will discuss the growth of team participation and walk you through how to make the most of this trending phenomenon and creating a hyper-social experience for your event.
To register for the international webinar, Signing up the Social Participant, choose one of the following links:
Europe/ Middle East/Africa Registration
Thursday October 23rd 12:00 GMT
Tuesday October 28th 02:00 PM Eastern Summer Time (New South Wales)