You’ve worked hard to brand your race. Your online race registration is poppin’. You’re getting attention in the press and your participants are getting pumped. You KNOW that people are going to show up and bring their A-games.
But the question is - what are they leaving with?
Athletes can be a little... gimme-gimme, and there’s an expectation that in exchange for their hard earned dollars, they'll be getting some sort of merchandise as part of their race registration.
How do you get killer merchandise that will get your racers excited enough to sport your brand without breaking the bank?
Ditch The T-Shirt Idea + Think Outside The Box
Before you scream blasphemy! hear me out. T-shirts are great. People love t-shirts. But t-shirts are also:
Oh-so-likely to end up tossed in the back of a closet, never to be seen or heard from again
Size-specific, and therefore support-intensive. How many times have you heard: Can I exchange this? ... I ordered a Medium and I got a Large! ... I ordered a Small and it's too small!
Instead of trying to squeeze extra dollars out of your t-shirt budget, dedicate some time looking into alternative merchandise options. Something that's unique to you, exciting for your athletes to use, and that doesn't require a whole lot of support from you. Things like:
There are tons of things out there that are cheaper than t-shirts and can make just as much - if not more - of an impression on your athletes.
Partner with a Sponsor
What’s the best way to lower the cost of your merchandise?
Have someone else cover part of the cost for you! #duh
If you’re strapped for cash but want to get some amazing merchandise created for your race, partnering with a sponsor to cover the cost could be a great way to go.
To get momentum, sell the idea as part of your sponsorship package: in exchange for covering a certain percentage of your merchandise cost, the company gets the fancy title of Presenting Merchandise Sponsor and a big ol’ logo showcased on all of your merchandise.
Your sponsor getting more exposure to your racers and your event getting some extra cash to invest in killer merchandise?
Win-win, my friend.
Buy In Bulk
Another awesome way to get killer merchandise at a killer price is to buy in bulk. With pretty much every custom merchandise marketplace under the sun, your cost-per-item goes down when your number of items purchased goes up. The more you can buy at one time, the better prices you’re going to get.
Have a smaller race? No worries! Most companies start offering discounts right around the 50 item mark (and if you have less than 50 race registrations, you can order the extras and offer them up for sale).
There are tons of companies out there with great deals on customized merchandise. Online marketplaces like CustomInk make it ridiculously easy for the technology-and-design-impaired among us to create aesthetically pleasing merchandise without hiring a professional.
When it comes to getting killer merchandise at a killer price, you’ve got to get creative. Do your research, put on your money-saving pants and go hunt down those deals!