What’s the most competitive kind of event marketing? The kind that matches the competition of the main attraction- marathon marketing draws a huge crowd, and a huge need for cheering accessories as well as supplies for the competitors busting the seams on their Nikes in 20 mile races. Marathons are becoming more and more popular, even huger than many city planners can accommodate. With millions of onlookers and dozens of thousands of participating marathoners, they’re the optimal event to sponsor and barrage with giveaways that will tout your custom logo.
Why the marathon? Though they’ve been around for centuries, they remain a great way to capture the excitement of millions of spectators. Since they’re more often than not for a charitable cause, they could be considered the new millennium’s answer to the 60’s protest. Whether the cause is Breast Cancer Awareness, any number of debilitating illnesses, anti-violence, or for the environment, the marathon is a highly interactive spectator sport that gathers more participants from its pool of on-lookers every single year. While some argue for instance that the New York City Marathon has reached capacity at 35,000 participants, city planners look to make it even bigger as it brings the city an estimated $220 million in tourist capital every year. That still won’t be anywhere near its fully seismic potential, as about 50,000 apply to take part that are refused admission. Other cities are creeping up to this standard, Chicago’s annual Marathon reaching 45,000 and Boston’s Marathon clocking in at 25,000. Those numbers alone should be your impetus to expand brand visibility with a custom promotional marathon giveaway. The verdict? With these numbers, you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the Olympics to come to town- this is a dependable annual attraction!
At a loss for ideas? Consider this starting line: The amateurs are getting smarter about pacing themselves, and they’re learning tactics from the pros: Lance Armstrong, the Tour De France Champion, uses a high-tech Nike shoe that sends data about his pacing to his iPod nano. That spree into high-tech accessories may seem excessive, but more and more runners are taking cues from G.P.S. systems that monitor their m.p.h. In 2006, 35% of La Salle Marathon participants in Chicago used G.P.S. systems, and that statistic has only shot up from there. Others still count on pedometers, of which Identity-Links has a wide variety. Customized promotional pedometers are a modern necessity for the novice runner, or realistically the vast majority who’d never be able to afford a personal trainer! Such high tech gadgets give runners the impetus to improve their speed without burning out at the 11th hour. Pick a stylish, dual function custom promotional pedometer and its stale date won’t burn out the 11th month of sitting on your customer’s shelf! Choose from cost effective budget pedometers, or medium priced for additional features like a built in radio . Some high priced models are eco friendly and solar powered. A promotional pedometer giveaway is actually best suited for the non-professional runner, since many marathoners competing for prize money are prohibited from any gadgets more complicated than a stopwatch, (of which Identity-Links also has several models).
The marathon industry is pushing for large water fountains so their competitor/participants can help cut down on the huge amount of waste that custom giveaway water bottles cause. Any charity minded marathoner already competing for a cause will wince at a race’s environmentally tarnished “track record”, as those who stop for water or Gatorade every few miles multiplied by 50,000 adds up substantially. Any marketer can alleviate the aggravation of environmental waste with a highly valued hydrating water bottle made of BPA free aluminum. Some participants may scoff at the idea of impeding their time by refilling a promotional water bottle at hydration stations, but it’s becoming the rule for races like the Great Lakes Endurance trail run, which mandates all runners must carry their own water. Identity-Links has a wide variety of over 200 different styles of custom athletic water bottles that play for keeps, some even come packaged to include a commemorative t-shirt and carrying backpack. Promotional water bottles are available in plastic, aluminum and stainless steel. All are BPA free.
You don’t have to mimic the obscenely green to achieve an environmentally friendly promotional marathon giveaway. Understandably, not all marketers will want to go to the great extreme lengths that, for instance, Portland marathoners go to; runners each receive tree seedlings upon finishing their race. Instead, your environmentally friendly promotional giveaway could be a breathable organic cotton promotional lanyard.
Don’t rule out the tried but true tactics, like custom promotional sweatbands and other custom promotional runner’s accessories, like a simple stopwatch. More than anything, these runners and spectators alike will appreciate that your company is taking strides to take part in the marathon mayhem.