The Most Recent Posts

Popular Articles

Filter By Categories
Randolph Garcia
By
May 16, 2017

The Low Down on Racepass

 

Racepass Los Angeles Online Race Registration Options
This post comes from the desk of our Senior Customer Success Manager, Randy Garcia. Randy (and all our Customer Success Managers) have a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective from a wide variety of events across the country and industry. Which means their know-how is incredibly valuable when it comes to giving pointers on how to grow your brand, grow your revenue, and reduce your workload. Without further ado... Randy. 

 

You may have heard the buzz last week from Runner’s World about how the first race subscription service is coming to our industry. Enter Racepass, the first subscription-based membership for distance running. Intrigued? Keep reading. Haven’t heard of Racepass before? You may be surprised to learn that your race is already listed on their site! (Take a peek at www.Racepass.com.) So what does that mean and how does it affect you as an event organizer?

 

Racepass is the new ClassPass

Racepass seeks to make road racing less expensive and less complicated to sign up for. It’s an interesting idea for sure and based off of the wild success that ClassPass has had in the fitness studio space. If you’re not familiar with ClassPass, the idea is that you pay a membership fee and have access to a multitude of different fitness studio classes available to you. Want to try a hot yoga class at the new studio down the street? Check. Has your friend nagged you that barre is the way to go? You can try that too. ClassPass has been successful in opening up different fitness studios and classes to people that probably would not have thought to try them.

And according to the founders of Racepass, they want to do the same by lowering the barrier of entry to distance running for newcomers and helping seasoned runners find races to participate in. The idea is that you pay a membership fee for Racepass and can pick from any of the 5,000+ events on their site.

As I mentioned earlier, you may be surprised to know that your race is already listed on the Racepass site. Whereas ClassPass works directly with fitness studios to set up relationships and establish referral rates, Racepass has largely circumvented that step by simply listing a multitude of events on its site sourced from different event databases. That said, keep in mind that extra exposure can be a good thing but be sure to understand what is going on.  

 

The scoop

Jeff, the CEO of imATHLETE, recently spoke with Chase, the CEO of Racepass, to understand how Racepass fits into the endurance industry. The feedback we got is that this version of Racepass is an early iteration of what their ultimate goal is. The Racepass folks are very eager to work with events and race registration companies in order to create the most viable offering that benefits the industry.

So here is the basic premise of Racepass:

When an athlete buys one of the three Racepass membership offerings (3-events per year, 5-events per year or unlimited events per year), they can then select which races they want to run and voila, they’re in those races! The athlete does not need to go to your event website to register themselves - Racepass takes care of the actual registration.

 

Food for thought

Now you may be thinking, a registration is a registration is a registration. And yes, that’s true in that you still collect the full registration amount. However, there are a few things in the current iteration of the service that you need to be informed about.

  • Registrations are completed as proxy registrations, meaning the athlete doesn’t sign your waiver. This has to be one of the biggest concerns for event organizers. While Racepass addresses this on their Race Director FAQ page (see below), only you know your legal situation best to know whether or not this is an issue for you. Thankfully, imATHLETE offers proxy registration so you can skip signing the waiver at the time of registration and email the waiver directly to the athlete to sign.

Racepass has worked hard with some of the best attorneys to make sure that our users accept our Terms and Conditions granting Racepass proxy consent to sign race waivers. If you have questions or concerns, we always advise you check with your own insurance policies and legal counsel and if they have questions they can contact [email protected]

  • Racepass does not currently collect all of the data that you currently ask for in your online race registration form of its members. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest disconnects of the membership service because by registering on behalf of athletes, Racepass cannot know all of the information that is pertinent to your specific race. My friends at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon want to know if you need a shuttle to the start of the race from Santa Monica or Downtown LA, the folks at Bike New York ask if you want to donate $10 to support their bike education classes that help kids across New York City, and the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon needs to know whether you are an alumnus of the University of Illinois. All of this information is not collected by Racepass so think about the type of questions you ask that are specific to your event and how missing this information not only affects you as the event organizer but also can affect your athlete experience.  

Racepass Pasadena Half Marathon at the Rose Bowl Online Race Registration Option

  • Event listings on Racepass can be outdated or incomplete. By sourcing its information from event databases rather than going directly to the source, Racepass runs the risk of having outdated or incomplete information on the site. You’ll notice that the 2017 Pasadena Half Marathon which occurred 4 months ago is still listed on the site. Unfortunately there is no mention of the 2018 date, the fact that there is a 5K associated with the event, or even a race website where someone can learn more information. Your listing is at the whim of how the Racepass team pulls your data from whichever event databases they work from.
  • You are no longer in control of your athlete experience. The membership model leaves you devoid of a relationship with your athlete and without the ability to control certain aspects of their event experience. As I mentioned earlier, it’s possible that an athlete would not be able to answer specific questions about shuttles to the start line. You're at the mercy of the person at Racepass who is entering a registration to make sure they spell a name and email correctly lest an athlete have trouble at the expo or not receive any emails from you to even know when the expo is. Without a direct relationship with Racepass your event could be listed on their site even though it’s been sold out for months. This could potentially create a situation where an athlete thought they could get into your event but was ultimately denied creating a negative look for you.  
  • 14-Day cancellation policy can run counter to your event’s stated cancellation policy. Racepass believes that canceling from an event should be as consumer-friendly as canceling your hotel reservation. In theory this is great. In reality, there will be some challenges. Every event has a different cancellation policy but don’t fret, Racepass isn’t asking you as the event organizer to reimburse them for their member cancellations. You will still be allowed to keep the full cost of the registration!

 

Our final thoughts

While most of the scenarios above can certainly be cast in a negative light, we at imATHLETE certainly do not want to dissuade you from taking advantage of Racepass and the possibilities it offers. The Racepass team is eager to solve all of the challenges above and they realize that working with event partners and registration companies like imATHLETE is their best bet for success.

Limiting barriers to entry to get new folks interested in road racing is something that we support. And looking at the image up top to see how many races are listed in the Los Angeles area just reminds us that there are races in our own backyard that we don’t know about! Hopefully your event will catch the eye of someone new.

The Racepass team is very eager to work with the running industry to fine tune their offering and attract more runners to your events. If this is something that you want to take advantage of or would like to provide feedback, we certainly recommend reaching out to the folks at Racepass via [email protected].

 

For any questions for us at imATHLETE, always feel free to drop a note in the comments, reach out to your customer success manager or [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help you!

Subscribe Now!