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Why Competitor Group is Going Digital (and Why Your Event Should Too)

The October 2012 issue of Fast Company included an article on the investments that the Competitor Group is making in digital.  Why is CGI making these investments?  As the article quickly points out, because that is where the money is!  But when you peel it back, these efforts are really focused on the participant experience, because if participants are engaged, sponsors get what they seek, which is access!

Going digital is much more than simply offering online registration, having a website, posting to a facebook page and tweeting to your followers, at least from an economic perspective.  For your event to "Go Digital" and provide real value to your Sponsors (which you in turn can monetize), you need to be able to provide an integrated platform that provides your sponsors high quality, efficient access to your participants.


Source: Fast Company; Illustration by Jan Kallwejt

A Digital Platform for Endurance Events of Any Size

We created the Virtual Race Bags platform to do just that, enable endurance events of any size to provide their sponsors a world-class marketing platform that delivers incredibly high rates of engagement.  The platform is turn-key, which means we handle everything for the event, from the welcome email invitation to the collection of sponsor offers to the distribution of performance stats after the event.

"Seems simple enough," you may be thinking, "I'll just send an email or add a page to my website."  As Lee Corso of ESPN would say … "Not so fast my friend!"  Before you take that step, consider that if your event decided to build your digital platform in-house, it would need to:

• Restrict access to only participants
• If access is restricted, invite participants into the bag without requiring them to log in (it's magic)
• Enable your participants to save offers for future use without returning to the digital bag
• Provide your sponsors more than just click thrus (social media, full motion video, etc.)
• Incorporate and manage single-use coupon codes for online discounts
• Offer fraud protection for printed coupons
• Automatically collect demographic and performance metrics for every offer and every engagement action

All for only $500?  Keep in mind that even beginning level designers make $75 – $100 / hour, which means you have only 5-7 hours to create your own platform that does all of the above (and then some)!

Integrate Your Digital Efforts

The other important point to consider is that your digital efforts should be integrated.  Start by looking at the participant's digital experience from beginning to end.  From when they first learn of your event on your website, to online registration, the week prior to the event, race day, and the week following the event.  Can you offer some of your top sponsors a consistent, relevant digital experience throughout the digital life cycle?

You don't have to have the resources of Competitor Group to start incorporating a more digital friendly experience for your sponsors, you just need to get started with good partners!

If you would like to read the article on Fast Company, you can find it here.

Curious about how Virtual Race Bags can help you take the step to digital?  Watch this video to see the entire platform in action.



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