Metro 10 Buffalo vs. Rochester 2017

The race is entering it’s third year and thanks to the robust tools in RunSignUp we have been able to tweak our marketing strategy once again. Many road running events are struggling to keep their base, and as a third year event the Metro 10 is far from fully established, and we are still bootstrapping it financially.

Just a little background, the event takes place in Albion NY, it is a ten mile running event where participants choose a Metro team to represent. The two regions are in close proximity to each other and there is a healthy rivalry that we have been able to tap in to.

The challenges in the first year were typical. We had an idea, but it had not been executed. So while there were some organizations that offered some initial enthusiasm, it did not result in a slam dunk first year. There were many times that the original development team did not know if we would be able to pay the bills, but after some quick thinking the vent went off without too many issues, at least participants did not notice them.

In terms of marketing, while attending a race directors meeting in Buffalo I was given a bit of sage advice that never left me. The organizer of the vent said “the success of your event has more to do with how good the race was the previous year than anything else.”

That seems to have been the case, because in spite of all the challenges that happened behind the scenes the perception from most attendees was that it was a great event, and thus our initial registration period for year two brought in about a third of the events attendees.

We capped the event last year for marketing and budgeting purposes. By projecting out participants and marketing a hard cap on participants we were able to secure a manageable group of runners, and some exclusivity. It was a legitimate cap, and people were actually turned away. It seemed to have had an impact on our credibility as well.

So this year we set up a restricted registration period for previous participants. In the first few days it did extremely well. By doing it that way we are able to reward the people that have helped us grow, and in turn we hope they will recommend the event to their friends.

The key strategies we have employed to grow the event include:

  • Well timed email blasts with MailChimp
  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ads
  • Google PPC ads (closer to the event date)
  • Print
  • Pricing strategies that do not rely on coupons

I’ll write about the event planning in a future post.

If you have a running event or music event we would be happy to help you develop a unique marketing strategy to maximize attendance.

Email us at and we can start a dialogue!

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