We just got back from a fun filled 4 days in New Orleans for Running USA. For those who are not familiar, Running USA is a non-profit organization that was created to improve the status of road racing in the US through collective marketing and promotions, services to runners and events and the development of American world class stars.
Every year Running USA puts on a conference that allows over 600 people to come together and share ideas/network with other endurance organizations. One of the topics that was covered at the conference was: How are you Attracting Millennials?
They were pretty spot on with their methods for attracting those 20-something year olds. So spot on, in fact, that I had to share a few tips with you!
1. Cause and consumer assets
People look at a cause and purpose as the ultimate driver. Most millennials are pretty passionate and want to know that they are helping a good cause in addition to doing something adventurous. Example: Team in Training- Not only does a participant get to run a fun race, but they know that the money they raise for this organization is going towards lifesaving research.
You have to promote offline as much as you do online. I know, I know. I bet you are thinking, “but millennials are ONLY online”. The idea here is that you get people talking about your organization online AND offline. If you have someone who is signed up for your race, talk to them about asking a friend or two to join your event for free. The idea here is that you focus on the acquisition not the dollars made. You are getting people in the door to experience your cool event first-hand.
3. Experience is in the details
Every minor detail matters! Was the sign up process short and sweet? Were there fun unique details to your event?
Take the Myrtle Beach Marathon, for example. They had a photo booth at one of their mile markers and everyone was looking forward to reaching that marker to jump in a take some fun pictures.
Another example was the Nike Women’s Half in DC. At the end of the Half there were volunteer firefighters dressed in tuxedos handing out Tiffany’s necklaces! What a sweet reward! Your details don’t have to be extravagant, they just have to set you apart from the rest.
Millennials are looking for 3 things: Are they serving a good cause? Can they easily get their friends involved? What separates you from the rest?
Thank you Running USA for a fantastic conference! We look forward to joining you again next year in Los Angeles.