Pulling Ahead of the Pack: Brighton Marathon Engages Runners, Spectators with Interactive Event App


Race Director Tom Naylor always had a vision of innovation when it came to the Brighton Marathon, the second-largest marathon in the United Kingdom. And part of Tom’s vision included greater engagement from the tens of thousands of friends, family and fans who come to cheer for their favorite runners. This vision, together with ACTIVE’s continuing technological advances, led to a banner weekend for the 2016 race in mid-April.

Enter the ACTIVE Event App.

Featuring a customized interface – with everything from a course map and the ability to track runners to a built-in Instagram feed and the ability to register for the 2017 race – the Event App brought in some truly amazing numbers from the 2016 marathon:

45,000+: Number of users who downloaded the app over the race weekend

96%: Amount of runners at the Brighton Marathon who were tracked with the ACTIVE Event App

1.2 million: Number of live results push notifications sent

160%: Increase of onsite registrations for the 2017 Brighton Marathon, compared to the 2015 race

“We pride ourselves on the idea that we’re always looking for new ways to engage with our participants, spectators and sponsors,” said Naylor. “Creating a unique race experience is at the core of what we strive for. With ACTIVE, we are able to push the envelope because of the continual innovation they bring to the table.”

The Event App was able to help Brighton solve an ongoing problem. For the past six years, event directors were dealing with multiple technology partners to execute their race. The lack of alignment among the partners led to less-than-desirable results and little interaction with spectators and participants.

The Event App solved that years-long problem. Integrated with the full suite of ACTIVE products, including ACTIVEWorks, ACTIVE On-Site, and ACTIVE Timing, the ACTIVE Event App is powered by the technology ACTIVE has spent years perfecting. Brighton Marathon and ACTIVE aligned their goals to interact with participants and spectators alike, while leveraging the key features of the app:

Create a Custom App
Customized with a course map where spectators can follow their favorite runner, event details, messages to users and much more, the Brighton Event App engaged users on multiple levels. Integrating Instagram hashtags and a detailed course map – complete with local landmarks – the Brighton Event App had more than 45,000 downloads over the race weekend, which created an unprecedented level of engagement. White-labeling maintains the look and feel of your race within the app – logos, verbiage and more allow you to keep a consistent feel across all your channels.

Live Runner Tracking
Paired with ACTIVE Timing and IPICO, spectators were able to track live splits and finish times of their favorite participant. The Live Runner Tracking feature was a hit, with more than 96% of runners being tracked by friends, family or fans. Even better, more than 50% of users tracked more than one participant, which lead to a deluge of result notifications that were delivered.

Live Results
Spectators were able to track their favorite runner and track their progress throughout the race, all from their smartphone. And the results were staggering. More than 1.2 million live result event notifications were sent in real time over the course of the marathon with an average turnaround time of 3 seconds after runners crossed timing points. Notifications included cumulative time, split time, pace and the estimated finish time, keeping spectators updated down to the second.

Event App Results Sharing & Finisher Photos
Hundreds of runners shared their results through the event app, posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their followers to see and engage with. Runners and spectators shared a combination of in-app shares, collages, and app-generated finisher photos. And photos were accumulated from all the social channels and shared within the app, thanks to the hashtags spectators and participants used throughout the weekend.

In-App Event Registration
At the event, registration was opened for the 2017 Brighton Marathon. The results: 444 spectators and participants registered for the 2017 marathon within the Event App, setting record registration 1 year in advance even before the 2016 marathon weekend came to a close.

The ACTIVE Event App is fully customizable, with event logos, messaging and so much more. To see the Brighton Event App in action, download it today from iTunes or Google Play.