We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users. This Colony Grill Case Study focuses on creating a sell-out race built around a single sponsor.
Overview: The Colony Grill Hot Oil 5K uses a strong sponsor connection and a unique route to build a sell-out event that the community can get behind.
About the Colony Grill Hot Oil 5K: The Colony Grill Hot Oil 5K began in 2010 as a 600-person sell-out race. Over the last 4 years, they have proven their community value enough to continue building on their participant cap, and have reached a 1,500 sell-out for 2014.
Sponsor Ties: Creating a Race Around ONE Strong Sponsor
The Colony Grill is a 3-location Connecticut Grill. The Colony Grill 5K is built around the Fairfield edition of the Colony Grill. The Race does not take additional monetary sponsors (they do have other in-kind sponsors. This single sponsor model has some unique benefits:
Logistical Benefits of a Sell-Out
Because they have always sold out, the Colony Grill 5K has never had Race Day Registration. While non-sell out races may need Race Day registration to reach their potential, reaching a cap well before Race Day has benefits for race preparation. Bib Assignment (done alphabetically), packet preparation, shirt ordering, and arrangements for the post-race party can all be handled ahead of time. This means no surprises for the Timer or the Race Organizers.
“The Colony Race is unique in many ways due to the location and the amenities provided by the restaurant who coordinates the race. People love it, and it sells out quickly. Can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I moved to RunSignUp. Still very happy with everything.”
– Tom Kulhawik, HI-TEK Racing, Race Promotion & Online Registration for the Colony Grill 5K
Creating a Sell-Out
The Colony Grill Hot Oil 5K has sold out each year of its existence. They started with a cap of 600 runners as a trial run: they needed to prove to public officials that they could safely & efficiently close down a main road, and they needed to make sure they understood the logistics of the race. They have slowly been able to increase their participant cap, and today can handle 1500 runners. A few race features that continue to attract crowds of runners:
- Unique Course: Finishes on a downhill on a main road, at the front door of the Restaurant
- Patriotic Feel: Held on Veteran’s Day, the race ends at a giant American Flag hung by Fire Trucks
- Post-Race Party: The post-race party at the Restaurant includes free beer & pizza for over an hour at the end of the race
- Family Participation: A free kids run (prior to the 5K start), age group awards for 9 & under, 10-13, and 14-18, and a spectator-friendly course encourages making the race a family event
- Themed awards & giveaways: Bib/shirt pick-up is done using a “Goody Pizza Box” rather than a bag, and champions earn free pizza for a year
- Community Aid: The race is able to show their commitment to the community by making large donations to the local Fairfield Police and Fire Departments.
“Your Site has been invaluable to our Races.”
– Ken Martin Jr., owner of the Colony Grill
When looking at online registration services, the elements that are important to the Colony Grill team include:
- Clarity and Simplicity: RunSignUp is easy to use for Runners and Organizers. The Race is built around the community, not technology, and they want the technology resources to be functional and behind the scenes instead of a focus of the race.
- Participant Management: Easy, straight-forward collection of participant information for Timing setup and participant communications.
- Timer Fit: RunSignUp data integrates seamlessly with the Timer, Startline Race Services.
- Customer Friendly: RunSignUp is always happy to provide assistance to the race.
- Fair Registration Fees: The Pricing structure of RunSignUp keeps costs low for participating runners and families. Families that sign up together can further save on processing fees because fees are based on transactions, not runners.
If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small, email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!