The Importance of Ambassador Programs & Referrals – Guest Blog

Guest Blog by Big Run Media

While no race is the same, we’ve found that most race directors struggle with the same challenge: how to get participants to their event. With increased competition and continually changing media outlets, it can be difficult to stand-out. A good course, medal, and a t-shirt aren’t gonna cut it. Let’s face it, you are in the entertainment business now. There are lots of races to choose from. Your race has to have buzz. The good news is that there are some easy ways to spread the excitement about your race. Let’s start with your event advocates/ambassadors.

Yinfluencer-image-squareou already have a core group of athletes who love your event and sign up every year. Use them… the right ones. It’s critical for you to vet and qualify ambassadors — the supporters you’re entrusting to generate referrals — before enlisting them to sing your praises. Check their networks and see what kind of reach they have. Are they the right demographic for your event? You are looking for a team that has a good network and that is willing to promote your event to their own network.

After you’ve qualified Ambassadors, encourage them to share their passion through social media. To keep your ambassadors active, you can seed them with weekly missions/challenges. What are challenges? Challenges can be anything that help generate buzz around your event. For example, we ask our advocates to upload their favorite running photos using your event hashtag. Is there a price increase approaching? Have your ambassadors spread the word. Communicating your goals with the ambassadors is critical to the success of the ambassador programs.

So how do you ensure that your Ambassadors share your content? Referral incentives. RunSignUp makes it easy to distribute unique coupon codes to each ambassador through their referral tracking feature. The RunSignUp platform automatically generates a URL for each of your ambassadors and includes that in their confirmation email. Plus, RunSignUp just released a new feature that offers complete flexibility to set up your own rules for motivating Referrers. For example, you can set up a $2 refund for each new participant the referrer attracts. Or set a threshold of 5 registrations and then give the referrer $20. It’s a win-win.

Creating an ambassador program and/or setting up an automated referral system is an important factor to get increased participation for your race. In 2015, our ambassador programs accounted for 12 – 20% of all registrations.

Working with influencers and setting up referral campaigns can be time-consuming.  You need to find and vet individual bloggers, create incentives and then devote resources to managing those campaigns. At Big Run Media, we take all of that work off your plate so that you can focus on the logistics of your event. We know running, we know RunSignUp and we know how to increase participation at races.

About Big Run Media

Big Run Media, LLC is a full-service branding, digital marketing and creative design agency that focuses on active lifestyle brands. Big Run Media provides digital media planning and buying, social media management and influencer marketing campaigns. More information here:

Author: RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, RunSignUp Go for Race Day, RunSignUp 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, Blacklight Run, Bubble Run, Night Nation, 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 2015, over 10,000 races used the system to register more than 2.7 million participants. In 2016 over 14,000 races will use the system to process over 4.3 million paid registrations. 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

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