Here in the good ol’ US of A, we are a culture of more. If one is good, two are better. This gimme-more attitude can apply to a smorgasborg of things from cars to houses to Little House on the Prairie collectible plates.
You know what else it applies to? MEDALS. What athlete doesn’t love medals? A good number start thinking of the medal before even getting to bib assignment. Sure, one medal is great, but two medals to add to the collection? Stampede! On the registration form! Medals are out there!
This gimme-more attitude has been a huge contributing factor to the rise of Double Medal Challenges across the nation.
What exactly are these challenges? More importantly, how can you use them to drive race registration and grow your numbers?
What Is A Double Medal Challenge?
The name pretty much speaks for itself, but a Double Medal Challenge is when an athlete has to finish multiple events in order to complete a “challenge.” While typically called Double Medal Challenges, these can include as many events as you’d like. The events might be spread over a weekend (athletes have to complete a 10K on Saturday morning and a Half Marathon on Sunday morning) or over the course of the year (athletes have to complete 3 half marathons before the end of 2016). Whatever the case, athletes get a medal for completing each event.
Why Do Double Medal Challenges Work?
Medals are the ultimate accessory, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the gold star earned for a job well done (not to mention a visual reminder to everyone at the post-race brunch that you earned these 15 pancakes, gosh darn it!). The more medals, the merrier.
In addition to activating the achievement-hoarder that exists inside every athlete, Double Medal Challenges also appeal to their oh-so-competitive sides.
Races are awesome, but after a certain point, many athletes are looking for a little extra sumthin-sumthin to up the ante and make participatory sports more of a challenge. Not all of these athletes want to increase their mileage or change sports, so a Double Medal Challenge is the perfect solution.
How Do You Use Double Medal Challenges To Grow Your Numbers?
Now that you know what Double Medal Challenge are and why they appeal to athletes, let’s talk about how they can help grow your numbers.
If your races happen at the national level, Double Medal Challenges can help you drive race registration across events in different states.
Let’s say you have half marathons in New York City and Washington, D.C. There’s no compelling reason for someone from New York to even look at the online race registration for the DC event, let alone compete in the race.
However, if you offer a Double Medal Challenge with special recognition for competing in both events, all of a sudden you have that handy little motivational tool called incentive. Now, there’s a definite reason for those New Yorkers to leave their thin-crust pizza behind and head down to our nation’s capital - there’s a Double Medal Challenge victory at stake!
More athletes traveling = more participants in BOTH events = more revenue.
If you've got a local race, don’t worry! You can capitalize on the Double Medal Challenge, too. Hold events based around different holidays throughout the year (like a Turkey Trot, Christmas Run, and the like) and incorporate the Double Medal Challenge mojo to get people celebrating their holidays with YOU. Or, if multiple events aren’t in your budget, partner with another local race for a Double Medal Challenge. You’ll get exposure to their athletes and mailing list, which will certainly get you more race registrations.
With the only investment being the cost of medals and the amount of time you put in to getting the word out, a Double Medal Challenge is one of the most cost-friendly ways to drive race registration and increase your numbers. It can also be the impetus behind launching new events, building out your social media presence, finding new athletes, and so much more. For what basically boils down to a necklace for runners, the medal is pretty powerful.
A Double Medal Challenge? Doubly so.