Free Marketing Tip For New Race Directors

We have some great tips for all the new race directors out there eager to get into the obstacle racing world.

First we need to provide a retraction/correction: A few days ago, we published a post by Paul Jones of the New England Spahtens. In this blog, we incorrectly stated that a new race series stole video content. It has come to our attention that Ultimate Titan did not steal this content, and they, in fact, shot the video footage themselves. However, there is a slight problem in that they did not get permission from all of the races to use that footage to promote their own race.  We can say with some confidence that the people at Spartan were not happy to see their race bibs and obstacles used on another race sites’ video. Our previous blog written by Paul has already been changed to reflect this correction, but we wanted to announce it publicly here as well. Please go back and check it out if you have not done so in the last day or so.

Now, for our free marketing tip for race directors.

Social media growth is an integral part to any event’s success. A great Facebook page is the most obvious place to start. We suggest putting together specific details about your race, and photos of some obstacles if possible. If your obstacles are not built yet, we suggest putting some photos which are original and also excite people to spread the word about your new series.

What we do not recommend is using a company that sells likes. Even if they bring you 1000s of likes, none of those likes will be engaged in the future . A like for the sake of a like doesn’t do anything. It would kind of be like bragging about the hundreds of people who come to your store every day that never buy anything.  As a race director, you want people who will be excited about your posts as you make progress. Those people will spread the gospel and tell their friends. If you purchased likes, which most of the time come from Thailand or another foreign country, they are just sitting there and not helping your brand.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 4.46.35 PM
4500 likes in one week. Did they build a test facility in Russia?
This race is based in Ohio, but it’s biggest fans are in Vietnam?








As a matter of fact, it may actually hurt your brand.  Today’s Facebook user is pretty savvy, one click can show someone that you bought those likes and that can hurt your credibility. It will more than likely turn off the potential consumer because it shows that you’d rather purchase “fans” than spend real time building your community online or in the real world.








Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
  1. This would be funny (Russian test site!) if it wasn’t borderline depressing. It seems so obvious I can hardly believe a post needs to be written. But alas, there will always be charlatans and cheats. Great post, Matt.

  2. I really hope someone from Hell Run comes across the above article. It has been over two months since the moderator last posted on their Facebook page. No one is on their rallying the troops, having caption contests, putting up promo codes.. Hell! They rarely even respond to their customers posts on their FB Wall, and at this time have turned off the ability for the public to converse on their FB page.

    At last glance there was at least 10 requests to see the new 2014 finisher medal with no responses and the Chicago event is 2 days away and we haven’t even gotten as much as a “Who’s ready?”.

    To tell you the truth it is like a desolate ghost town on their page. Makes me wonder how they get enough participants if they are under utilizing the FB capabilities.

    Don’t get me wrong! I intend to go and have a great time as I did the last 2 years. I’m just thinking from a financial perspective that word of mouth would travel much faster about their events if they engaged with their runners more.

  3. Buying likes is bad, but FB deleted 4000 likes from our page when we migrated from our old name to the new Critical Mud. We apparently tripped their cyber attack software.

    And we stopped doing medals as well after finding so many in the trash after events, but we’re hearing enough requests for them to return, we’re thinking about bringing them back by the time our March 2014 events roll around.

    1. While I do not coordinate OCRs I have coordinated many standard 5K’s. After my first one in also finding a few medals hanging from trees and a couple in the garbage I tried a couple approaches. At first I hung a banner on the back side of the Finish Line that displayed Finisher Medal to the Right, High Five to the left. This worked really well but I ended up short on medals and had to pay postage to mail them out after. The next run I gave the option at registration to choose a medal or decline. It was a Christmas Run so I gave Red bibs to the runners who chose a medal and Green to those who declined, so that my volunteers at the Finish knew. This worked real well because I ordered 10% more in the event that someone got to the finish and changed their mind.. as I didn’t want anyone unhappy. The difference in colors is unknown to the runners but helps my volunteers also track how we are doing on runners that elected to decline but took one anyway.

      I still use both methods combined with my 8th event wrapping up as I write this. Today my runners cross the finish with with a banner directing them to either side and we are right on target to have maybe 2% of our medals remaining after my 10% overage order.

      While my events consist of 200 max participants and most OCR’s are 1000+, on my end I waste no more than the equivalent cost of 2 participant registrations on unused medals per run.. Totaling 20 to 30 dollars overspent. I then donate those that are unused.

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