RaceJoy Geo Cheer Points, How-To

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Below are instructions on how to add custom Geo Cheer Points to your map in RaceJoy. If you would prefer to learn about this feature in video format, click here

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With RaceJoy’s Geo Cheer Points, you can schedule audio messages to be automatically played as participants reach certain geographic positions on the course.

This tool allows you to add an element of gamification to your event and is a creative way to engage with participants during the race.

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Examples of this include encouraging messages at the start, a tough spot on the course, a congratulations cheer from a sponsor, a message as participants are passing by a local sponsor, or as they pass by an important place of interest. You could also use these to alert participants of special directions on the course, for areas you know that are difficult, or where people tend to get off course.

Click here to hear a sample:

Adding Cheer Points

1. Access Your Course Map in RaceJoy

It is super easy to add Cheer Points to your course in RaceJoy’s mapping tool. You simply apply the cheer points to the map you have loaded in RaceJoy by going to the race dashboard and the map area and click Adjust Course Map.

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2. Choose the Cheer Point Location

You can either add a cheer message to play at one of the existing mile markers or at any place in between the markers.

Existing Milestones/Markers

Consider that participants are receiving audio progress updates at each of the existing mile markers. These provide them with their elapsed time, split pace, and estimated finish time. If you add the cheer point to an existing milestone the message would play about 30 seconds after the audio progress alert.

To add a cheer to an existing mile marker, click on the existing marker and then click the Cheer Point tab on the upper part of the pop up.

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Watch Here:

New Markers

If adding a cheer point somewhere in between the existing mile markers, add a cheer marker by following these steps:

-Click the pinpoint icon in the upper right part of the screen

-Click the location you want the cheer to play

-Select the hand tool at the upper part of the screen

-Enter a name for the cheer point

-Choose the Audio Marker Category

-Select an Icon to be displayed on the map

Watch Here:

 

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3. Audio Message Set Up

Next, add the audio file to be played.  You can choose from the following options:

-Use one of RaceJoy’s Cheer clips

-Load your own pre-recorded audio file

-Type in a message to be played as audio using Text-to-Speech

 

Pre-Recorded Audio Files

You can choose to use one of RaceJoy’s pre-recorded audio cheer files or create your own audio file.

RaceJoy Cheer files: RaceJoy has many cheer files to use from and these are listed in the Choose Cheer drop down on the screen. You can sample these cheers by accessing the cheer section of the app.

Custom Audio Files: You can also upload your own custom mp3 file, such as a sound file recorded by your event, sponsor or you could use a short music clip. Make sure to keep these brief. We recommend you keep these under 30 seconds.

Example of Historical Highlights at Jamestown Rhode Race:

Custom Typed Messages

You also can choose to simply type in a custom message that is played to the participants in audio format. For example, one race used ‘Smelling Starbucks? Get a free treat at the finish line!” NOTE: there is a 255-character limit on custom, typed messages.

Pre-Recorded Combined with Custom Typed Messages

You can also blend a pre-recorded audio file with a text-to-speech message. The audio clip is played before the custom typed message.

Sierra Nevada was a sponsor at The Pittsburgh Marathon and race organizers combined RaceJoy’s cheer clip with a text-to-audio message.

Watch an Example:

 

4. SAVE!

Once you’ve added your cheer point, click save.

 

RaceJoy Recommendations

We highly recommend that you avoid using straight advertising in your Geo Cheer Points to encourage user satisfaction. The messages should be contextual to the course, providing a relevant message to what the participants are experiencing in that moment.

Also, we recommend no more than four or five Cheer Points on courses for the average half marathon or marathon distance. Consider the fact that participants receive audio alerts at every mile for their progress updates and many play music throughout the event to help keep their pace. The goal should be to add elements of surprise without disrupting their race experience.

You are now set to creatively engage with your participants during the race in a fun and unique way! Any questions? Email support@RaceJoy.com.

Series Scoring Adds Age Group Points

We have expanded our Series Scoring module to add the ability to include Age Group scoring. This means a race series can set up a very complex point-based award system adding any combination of:

  • Participant Point – eg. each participant gets 250 points for participating.
  • Gender Points – Male and Females each get points based on place. eg. 100 points for first, 99 for second, etc.
  • Age Group Points – Award points in each Age Group (by gender). eg. 100 points for first in Female 20-29, 99 for second in Age Group.
  • Category Points – Award points based on a Category, such as Clydesdale/Athena (by gender). eg. 100 points for first Clydesdale, 99 for second place Clydesdale). Set your own Category Word(s).
  • Apply same formula to all races, or have special scoring on a per race basis.

For example, a Race Series wants to award points as follows:

  • 250 Participation Points
  • 100 Points for First Place in Gender, 99 for 2nd, 98 for 3rd, etc.
  • 100 Points for Age Group Place, 99 for 2nd, 98 for 3rd, etc.

Brian runs 2 races and finishes:

  • 1st in race One and 1st in his age group = 250 + 100 + 100 = 450.
  • 5th in race Two and 3rd in his age group = 250 + 96 + 98 = 444.
  • Total Race Series Point = 450 + 444 = 894.

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Lessons for Races and RunSignUp from Forbes 100 Essays

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The 100th Anniversary edition of Forbes contained a section with short quotes or essays from 100 of the best business minds. There are a number of quotes that are thought provoking for races and for RunSignUp. Here are the highlights we took from the list.

For Races & RunSignUp

“Over the next few years, as the cost of making something intelligent approaches zero, companies (read races and RunSignUp) will succeed or fail based on their ability to translate data, including historical data, into insights and actions and products and services in real time.” Michael Dell.

“Every business is a living document, an algorithm that needs to be improved.” – Billy Beane.

“Ideas are a dime a dozen. What makes the difference is the execution of the idea.” Craig Venter.

“I use what I call the “Mother test”. If your mother calls you and tells you that she is proud of what you are doing, that’s probably a good indication.” David Rubenstein.

“With great companies, the passage of time is a major positive.” Peter Lynch.

“Find a good business with a durable, competitive advantage, run by able and honest people, and available at a price that makes sense.” Warren Buffet.

“Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile up millions.” B.C. Forbes, recounted by Steve Forbes in the opening to this magazine edition.

Why RunSignup and Races are Successful

“We’re in the midst of a gigantic transition, where customers have incredible power as a result of transparency and word of mouth. It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now with the megaphone of the internet, whether online customer reviews or social media, they can tell 5,000 friends. In the old days an inferior product could prevail in the marketplace with superior marketing. Today customers can tell whether product and service is good because there is so much transparency. They can compare it to others very easily, and then they can tell their friends – the customers will do part of the heavy lifting, marketing-wise. Rather than inferior product shouting louder, we have sort of a product meritocracy. It’s very good for customers, it’s very good for the companies that embrace it – and it’s very good for society.Jeff Bezos.

Thank you to our customers for being the megaphone for RunSignUp!

RunSignUp Leads the Way in Race Marketing with Facebook Custom Audience Support

Press Release

Moorestown, NJ – RunSignUp has released several reports that simplify the process of creating Custom Audiences in Facebook and providing races with access to a key social media marketing tool. Facebook Custom Audiences allow advertisers to target advertisements to specific lists of known customers (or lookalike profiles) instead of building the audience based on broad demographics. The curated lists lead to better conversion rates and an increased return on investment (ROI) for an event’s marketing dollars.

RunSignUp Founder Bob Bickel explained, “We have always believed that providing race directors with tools to market their events is more valuable to them than the antiquated practice of spamming runners with upcoming events they aren’t interested in. To empower those race directors, we’ve focused on innovations like integrated (or even automated) emails, referral rewards programs, Facebook sharing capabilities, fundraiser rewards, and integrations with 12 remarketing companies, including Google Adwords.  This is our next innovation: making curated advertising easier, more efficient, and available to all events – regardless of the size of their marketing team.” The new reports include three options for targeting specific groups of potential participants:

  • All Participants: A report of all participants currently or previously registered for the race; useful for creating a Lookalike audience for Facebook to find likely new registrants. The report also includes the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a participant to allow Facebook to prioritize their targeting based on those with the most value to your race.
  • Current Participants: A report to create a custom audience of participants currently registered; this is useful for targeting current participants to up-sell them on new add-ons or promotions, or encourage them to recruit their friends and participate in a referral rewards program.
  • Non-Registered Previous Participants: A list of participants who previously participated, but have not yet registered; this report allows for targeting of likely participants without including anyone who has already committed.

The reports can be used by races of all sizes and marketing budgets – for large events with that have already been using Custom Audiences it’s a time-saver; for smaller races that are less social media savvy, it offers access to modern advertising tools. RunSignUp customer Erik Young of Sour Fish Events commented, “This is a HUGE addition. While we use Facebook Custom Audiences on an almost daily basis, it’s time-consuming and tedious. This addition not only makes this rich feature easier for those not familiar with Custom Audiences, it makes it less burdensome for advanced users.”

Facebook Custom Audience support is paving the way for RunSignUp to provide increasing marketing automation and help customers to grow their events amid a challenging and saturated Endurance Event market.

More information on Facebook Custom Audience Support:
https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/runsignup-and-facebook-custom-audiences/

How-To Create and use Custom Audience Reports: https://runsignup.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/custom_audience_how-to/

 

About RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, fundraising, and race promotion, RunSignUp Go for RaceDay, RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Philadelphia Marathon, Komen Race for the Cure Philadelphia, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2016, over 14,000 races used the system to register more than 4.2 million participants. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit http://www.RunSignUp.com.

 

 

RunSignUp Q3 2017 Results

We’ve started to provide a a quarterly update this year on how things are going with RunSignUp (Q1, Q2 and 2016). The good news is that more races, timing companies, running stores and runners continue to recommend us.

For us, the highlight of Q3 was our annual RunSignUp Symposium where more than 200 race directors and timers came together to learn from each other and share their ideas with us. We are happy so many people find value in this great event, making it the second largest industry gathering to RunningUSA.

One of the key stats we follow is the number of races that process more than 3 transactions with us. We think we now have the largest number of races using RunSignUp of any registration provider in the US. Our numbers were great for Q3 with 21% growth (on a very large number of races!):

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Our bottom line has also faired well, with increased gross profit and lower legal fees resulting in a very solid Q3 as compared with last year. This enabled us to expand our User Experience Team with Meredith Klein and Darren Wambolt joining us in Q3.

This growth is impressive despite what you may have heard from one of our competitors even after 1N3/URun settled their lawsuit with Active in December. 1N3 was our largest customer last year, so it had an impact on our numbers especially, in Q1, less in Q2 and less in Q3. We look forward to not keeping track of those comparisons next year.

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The loss of 1N3 impacts our registration count, but financially, we are actually way ahead of last year. Being able to replace nearly a million registrations shows the amount of viral good will we have from our customers recommending us to new races (you can calculate this from the recent acquisition of 1N3, now called Cool Events, by Sack Lunch Events and their average ticket price of $15-30).

Gross Profit is actually the most important since it is how we pay our people and Amazon costs and for the year we are up. Because of their volume, 1N3 had a higher discount than many smaller races. We have been successful this year replacing their lost volume with more profitable races. More importantly, we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees supporting 1N3 last year – and that cost is gone. So our net profit is looking very healthy, which is allowing us to do some expansion of our development team. In addition, the 1N3 races had a high amount of customer support including above average chargebacks and participant support requests. This means we have fewer customer service issues to deal with and more time to improve the core offering.

lifecycle0220The best news is that we continue to make great progress in enhancing our product offering for our customers. We have a very broad platform for races, helping them with their entire race lifecycle. Some of the great work we are doing:

Promotion. Our Analytics and Race Dashboard have made some huge strides over the past quarter, with a bunch more planned in Q4. We have also begun to expose the source of registrations. Right now it is just email, but it will expand considerably over the next quarter to include things like Facebook ads and websites. We also just released an exciting tool for Facebook Custom Audiences – which many customers report is the most effective advertising tool available to them today.

Registration. We made a major improvement to help races meet Child Privacy laws and standards. We have also steady improved the User Experience, but more on that later.

Fundraising. We’ve made a bunch of improvements to our Fundraising platform to make it simpler and improve reporting. We also introduced a “No SignUp” option that allows charities to just focus on donations.

Race Day. Use of our Photo platform continues to accelerate as races discover the great connection they can make with their participants with an integrated platform. But the most exciting and challenging work we are doing is to create the next generation of The Race Director, and really a new model for the industry with RaceDay Scoring. We are still in Alpha, but hope to release Beta this year with Production release in early 2018.

CRM. This is a new and old focus area for us. By providing races with a single database they can use throughout their race lifecycle, we have a nice single database of everyone that a race touches, with lots of interesting information about them. It is a central reason why races now use our integrated Email System to send 8 Million emails per month – to target specific customers in a highly automated way.

User Experience Manifesto Update. Hopefully you know about our User Experience Manifesto. Meredith and Darren joined us this past quarter to help bring even more focus and expertise and passion to this endeavor. We got a ton done in Q3, such as the Race Analytics Dashboard, Header Improvements, Profiles, COPPA, Results, Sponsor Display, and a whole bunch of things to improve our underlying UX infrastructure. And wait until you see what we have in store for you over the next 2 quarters – new registration, new Race Websites, new RunSignUp.com website, restructuring and simplifying the Race Dashboard, and a bunch of CRM work to bring the data to races that can make the difference.

Unfortunately, Active continues the suits against their former customers and employees, and continues a second suit against RunSignUp for races who used the term “Couch to 5K” even after their acquisition by Global Payments. The good news is we have the resources and the cash flow to pay the roughly $500K in legal fees per year this is costing us to defend ourselves and still continue to grow.  If Active’s motivation is to slow down the technology advancements we are making, or the growth of the RunSignUp Community it is not working.

As always, thank you to our customers. Your support is really important to continuing the positive cycle we have going.

Help Wanted: Customer Support/Timing Specialist!

Yes, we are growing and hiring again!

We are looking for a Customer Support/Timing Specialist. The ideal candidate is a timer who wants to come in from the cold to help customers use our The Race Director, RaceJoy and RunSignUp offerings – working on weekends and have a couple of days off during the week. 

We are looking for another person to join our team who is a fast-learning and self-motivated with experience in the race timing/registration industry to join RunSignUp’s customer support team. This is a position that is in direct contact with the users of our online tools (race directors & timers) and the end users (participants). This role requires professionalism, patience, and good communication skills. This is a service-oriented role that requires working over weekends, with two days off during the week. Customer Support is very important to us and you will share this role with other experienced professionals at RunSignUp. Experience with The Race Director, RunScore, or other scoring platforms is preferred. You will also provide valuable guidance to our future product directions.

Responsibilities:

  • Manage and respond to incoming RunSignUp customer support emails for RunSignUp and emails and calls for The Race Director.
  • Quickly create and clearly explain creative solutions for our user’s needs.
  • Document common user problems and formalize solutions to bring up to our development team.
  • Prioritize and develop topical user guides and other support response tools to aid in customer support.
  • Be on-call support for users of The Race Director scoring software on race days.

We are looking for someone who fits our culture.  Our guiding principles are to have equal parts of Work, Learn, Fun, and Team.  We believe that customers, employees, and owners all share equally in the responsibility and success of the company.  This is covered in more detail in our About link below.  Please review our material to make sure this is the right type of place for you, such as:

Some of the key attributes we are looking for (we will look for the best mix):

  • Strong communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to listen to what customers need and provide solutions based on their needs
  • Based in our headquarters in Moorestown, NJ (outside of Philadelphia) during the business week, weekend support can be done from your home office
  • Deep running/endurance sports roots and enthusiasm for active lifestyle
  • Experience with endurance events and timing
  • Good technical background
  • High energy, hands-on
  • Gets stuff done rather than just talk about stuff
  • Attention to detail and ability to complete tasks in a high volume environment
  • Thirst for learning
  • Team player

The base salary is $50-65K depending on experience.  In addition, the company has a generous profit sharing plan that all employees participate in.  Health insurance is company paid, plus a $2,000 HSA contribution by the company.  The company also has long-term disability insurance and a Simple IRA with up to 3% of an employee’s salary as a matching contribution.

If you think you can help our customers and want to join our dynamic, fun, growing company please send a resume to kevin@runsignup.com.