August 18, 2003

Hello Fellow Race Directors,
We are pleased to be sending you our fifth edition of the Race Director Hotline Newsletter. We encourage every one of you to contribute some of your own advice and experiences to this newsletter. A Cool Running hat will be sent to the most interesting piece received each month.

In this edition we are going to revisit some basic ideas regarding more effective ways to promote your race using online calendars. Also Cool Running is offering a special deal to any race directors who have never used our fee based promotional services before.

Back to Basics

Cool Running receives approximately 120-150 new calendar listings every week. This in itself is a great statistic and an indication of how many race directors are taking advantage of our calendar listing service.

The unfortunate component of this metric is that a large percentage of these requests are for events that are only a few weeks off, or even less. There is no point in using any calendar service in this manner. It is a waste of your time. For this type of service to be effective you need to have your event listed two to three months ahead. This gives any potential customer a much better chance to find and select your event well in advance. It costs you nothing to do this and even if some of the event details are fluid, then they can be edited later. So if your event occurs in August, don't wait until next July to post it, make it happen in this September.

The race directors who are getting the most out of the Internet (approximately 20%) are posting their calendar entries within the month following this year's event and also updating their web site at the same time with things like early-bird specials and photo albums from the previous running.


Effective Use of the Cool Running Calendar

Here are a few ideas on more effective use of the Cool Running calendar.

Sample entry:
Applefest Half Marathon & Relay
Hollis 10:00AM Hollis Brookline High School (also 13.1 mile 2 person relay)
Contact: Race Director, PO Box 1065, Nashua, NH, USA, 03061. applefest1@aol.com
> Register now | > 2002 Results | > Yahoo! Maps Notes and common errors:

  • Keep the name as short as possible so that it is easily remembered. Don't include all of the events in the race name. That can be done in the "additional information" section.
  • Double check that you have the start time correct and date correct.
  • Try to use a consistent brief form for distances. For example 10K and 3M is clear, brief and consistent rather than 10 kilometers and 3 miles.
  • Be accurate with the address and locality of the start line. If you do not have a specific address, use a descriptive phrase to help folks locate the start area, such as: The north end of Smith Park, 500 meters from the intersection of Jones St and Marion Rd.
  • In the "additional information" section typically other distances, charity information and application fees can be mentioned.
  • If the event is part of a regular weekly or bi-weekly series, take advantage of our series fields
  • The contact section is flexible and designed to meet your needs. A contact person or organization and address is required but the other fields of phone and email are optional. Most people put in an email address as it is still the most effective means of communication. Only put in a phone number if you want to receive calls.
  • Check all the categories and distances that apply. If it is a 1K or a 1M event, typically it's a kid's event.
  • Last years results refers to results posted on Cool Running only. Please go to our events section and look up previous years results to obtain the correct URL address for the results.
  • The ZIP code for the event helps to make the Yahoo map locator more effective. It is often not the same Zip as the contact address ZIP.
  • If you have an event URL, put it here. What happens is that after the data has been submitted to Cool Running, the content is checked for accuracy and format, as well as elimination of bogus entries. The URL link is not connected automatically. What happens is that someone from Cool Running will contact you to see if there is any other way in which we can help your event and also to arrange for your results to be posted to Cool Running. At this time a link request is made.
  • The last box concerns follow-up requests. If you want someone from Cool Running to contact you for any additional "fee based" promotional arrangements such as online registration, banner promotion and web design/construction, please check this box and add your preferred contact information.

    Special Cool Running offer for First Time Users

    Special Cool Running promotional offer to any Cool Running advertisers who have never used our fee-based services before. This offer starts from now until the end of September 2003. We are offering a huge discount for any new CR advertiser to sign up by the end of September for a silver button promotion or silver button/event builder combination promotion and mini-web site.

    The silver button promotion is normally $359 per month and is being offered for $279 The event builder, if chosen in combination with the silver promotion, will be discounted from $189 to $149. For a total cost of only $428 you will receive:

    • A free entry in our calendar of events with a link through to your web page
    • A complete web page with its own unique web address.
    • A months promotion with a silver button
    • Option of online registration at no cost.

    For more details on the silver button and event builder see: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/5/5_1/190.shtml#silver and http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/5/5_1/eventbuild.shtml

    If interested please visit us at our contact page at http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/5/5_3/index.shtml, fill in the form and select the advertising department and mention the phrase silver promotion.


    Advertisement

    Provide personal fundraising pages to your runners
    New service makes your charity program less work and more effective

    Cool Running is introducing a new service to enable your runners to create their own online fundraising page. This service will help more runners raise more money and take the hassle out of the fundraising process.

    The service will enable runners to quickly and easily set up an online fundraising page that can be personalized with their own picture, text message, fundraising goal and page title. It enables them to send out emails to family and friends and enables them to make secure online donations with a credit card that are automatically processed and sent to the charity. Click here to see a sample page: http://www.justgiving.com/PFP/pages/default.asp?id=CGG/1036

    You can offer this capability to your runners directly as a way to help them raise more funds for charity more easily. You can also enable your "official" charities to offer the service to their supporters participating in your event and is a great way to unite more charity runners around your event.

    The service can be set up to enable runners to raise funds only for charities designated by you or for any charity (the service includes a vetting process to ensure that organizations nominated by runners have a 501c3 tax status).

    We are working with Justgiving, an established leader in online event based fund raising, to provide this proven and award winning service. Earlier this year, the service was used to help over 3,000 runners of the London Marathon raise in excess of $2 million dollars for hundreds of charities.

    The service has no set up fees for you, your runners or the charities, there is only a small processing fee when donations are actually made so there is no risk.

    This personal fundraising service can help your event to raise more funds for charity, reduce effort associated with managing your charity program, will help charities get more participants for your event and can provide some great public relations opportunities.

    How to get started:
    Cool Running will be launching the service with a small number of events early this fall. If you are interested in including this service as part of your 2003 fall event please visit us at our generic contact page at http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/5/5_3/index.shtml, fill in the form and select the charity program department.


    Feedback

    We invite you to send feeback to us. We are looking at sharing some of your experience, advice and humorous moments with the rest of the race directors. We will also send a Cool Running hat every month to the most interesting submittal. Please be brief with your comments and send them to us for consideration.


    Parting Words

    Free calendar listing. Include your event in the Web's most respected and comprehensive calendar of running events. Submit your race now.

    Free race results listing. Post your race results on Cool Running. Submit your race results now.

    Online advertising. Promote your event with one of our event advertising packages, each carefully tailored for events of specific sizes and needs. Review our event promotion packages.

    Paid link. Include your website or race application page on our race applications page for a modest fee. Contact us for rates and information.

    Your own mini- website. Build your own web page and registration form in minutes with Cool Running's easy-to-use, automated event builder. Your site gets linked in the event calendar and on our race applications page. Try this affordable service now.

    Online race registration. Along with our partners at Sign Me Up Sports, we can help you manage your race registration more easily and more efficiently by moving the process online. Contact us for rates and information.

    Custom Web design. Engage our designers to build your page from scratch, tapping our years of experience with effective online event promotion. Contact us for rates and information.

    Consulting. Our management team has lots of experience with successful race management. Let us help you navigate everything from scoring to insurance to promotion to merchandise. Contact us for rates and information.

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