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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > ashworth awards – more than just a medal.

Ashworth Awards – More than just a medal.
Ashworth is an innovative and influential organization that is part of the fabric of the running community. Ashworth Awards is a part of our tribe and they continue to support runners one perfect finisher’s medal at a time.

  
Ashworth Awards – More than just a medal.

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By Christopher Russell
Posted Monday, 28 January, 2008

Ashworth Awards has been serving up hunks of history for athletic events for over 40 years. These are the folks who bring you your favorite marathon medals. Ashworth is the brains and brightness behind such familiar iconic awards as the Boston Marathon Unicorn, the Disney Marathon medal with Mickey ears and most of your hard fought Ironman triathlon medals.

But it’s not just what they do – it’s what they are doing within the community and the value they add to our sport. They pour love and tradition into every project.

Since 1965 they have grown up with the sport and thrived by adding value to the events they serve and the runners who are the ultimate customers. They are the premier manufacturer and provider of medallions, pins and other awards.

Local manufacturing and worldwide reach…
Something unique about Ashworth is that they do their own manufacturing. They have U.S. and International manufacturing flexibility and this gives them the ability to cater to their customers’ needs. The competition is fierce in the awards market. Local manufacturing capabilities allow Ashworth to innovate more, ship faster and deliver high quality creative product that will make your event a ‘must do’.

There is something magical about a medal…
There’s something magical about being knighted by a volunteer at the end of a hard fought contest. You bow forward in recognition and they drape that heavy piece around your neck. It’s an ancient ceremony of recognition and achievement.

My personal rule is that I get to wear my marathon medal for two days after the event. I have had the security guards at the airport ask me “Did you win?” Looking at my medal I can smile and say “Yes.”

Let’s face it, you may not still have the shirt, you may have thrown out the bib number, but you know you still have that medal somewhere. Medals have a unique value. They have the ability to transmit emotion through their touch and heft.

Medals are very human – they are a totem, a heavy, solid token of effort. They are like Frodo’s ring transporting us to another time and place. When I heft that pile of unicorn hardware I make a very human connection in a way that no photograph or poster ever will.
There is definitely some deeper connection between humans and medals. Since the first Homo erectus flipped over a rock and saw the glint of ore we have been drawn to their tactile value.

The medal is the brand…
Event directors need to consider the impact of the awards in how their race is perceived. The medal is clearly the most impactful piece of memorabilia that the participant takes way. A well thought out and innovative finisher’s medal will create viral marketing of your event. The runners will go out of their way to talk about a unique award within the community. At the end of the day I can run any marathon – I’m looking for something special and the awards are part of that decision process.

Ashworth takes your event and innovates the award to create a lasting and ‘sticky’ brand propagation. Look at the iconic nature of the Disney Marathon ‘ears’ medal. That was an Ashworth innovation and was a home run for the organizers and runners alike – creating an instant classic.

Of course, it cuts both ways. An undersized or generic award will cause hard feeling disproportionate to the offense. Such is the vitriolic howl let loose in the community from events that try to skimp on the hardware. One marathon I worked thought they could get better mileage by having more swag. They had beer mugs, tee shirts, sweat shirts, hats – but all the runners talked about was the disappointing medal. The comments were “I ran 26 miles for this piece of #$!@#?”

All in all it’s probably better not to give out a medal than to give something generic. Your participants will see it as a slap in the face. The medal is the last thing they walk away with and it is a referral for your race. Talk to Ashworth and they’ll make sure you don’t mess it up!

The power of innovation…
Ashworth approaches each event as its own project. They will sit down with you and listen to your needs. They add value by knowing what can be done and thinking out of the box. For a new Disney race this year they are creating a medal based on the “Tower of Terror” ride with a moving elevator that glows in the dark. That’s a guaranteed collector’s item. For another race series that have dreamed up a set of medals for the individual races that interlock as puzzle pieces to form a whole if you run the whole series.

They have worked with all of your favorite famous events. The Ironman races, the Reach the Beach, Marine Corps and countless others. You might think this sort of thing will bust the race director’s budget, but it doesn’t. They are local and they control the manufacturing process so they can keep the costs to your budget and provide a wonderful solution that your users will love.

Ashworth puts its innovation and creativity into each project. Maximize the potential of your event by putting your passion in a pot with Ashworth’s innovation and stirring up something unforgettable!

History is on your side…
Over the last 40+ years Ashworth has grown with the running boom. It is still a family business run by Dan Ashworth, a second generation award purveyor in North Attleboro MA. He and his wife Kim are active participants in the local sports scene.

In addition to running the company that provides awards to all the events Dan and Kim are creating Team Ashworth that has a mission to promote youth running. Kim is a competitive triathlete who will be joining Dave McGillivray – Boston Marathon Race Director – in his “Trek New England” run around the region.

Because they are part of the community and actively participate and give back, they are well suited to understand what the participants want in an award.

Why you ARE going to call Ashworth to help create awards for your next event:

  1. They bring more than just a catalog to the table – they bring ‘out of the box’ innovation backed up by the capabilities of design and manufacturing under one roof. They know what CAN be done and are not limited by suppliers.
  2. This is your easiest and most impactful way to make your event memorable and create a self-propagating buzz.
  3. They have 40 years of experience. They know what works and what doesn’t. They continue to be successful because they specialize in making your event memorable.
  4. They care about your event because they care about the sport and they are mindful of their legacy.

What do you want people to walk away from your race with?
Years after they have given the shirt to the Goodwill they will still have that medal in a shoebox somewhere. When they come across it and polish it in their fingers there will be an emotive response. They will be taken back in a flash.

Back maybe to a chill and overcast April morning. They will remember standing in a corral shifting foot to foot with nervous energy. In a massed crowd with the smell of sweat, fear and Flexall. Waiting to start that heroic journey that ends with a hunk of metal being hung around their neck.

Make your event a lasting memory. Call Ashworth Awards.

 

 

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