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!):
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.
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.
The 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.