22 episodes

Head Start is a podcast for race directors and anyone involved in the business of putting on races.
It doesn't matter where you're based or how many years experience you have or whether you're putting on a running race, a triathlon, an obstacle race or whatever. If you’ve got an interest in planning, organizing and growing endurance events, this is the podcast for you.
The focus of the podcast is twofold:
1) we bring you the latest and coolest innovations hitting the mass-participation endurance events industry, and
2) we bring you tips and actionable advice from industry experts to help you improve your race - one episode at a time.
Head Start is produced by RaceDirectorsHQ.com, an online resource platform and community network for race directors and race management professionals.

Head Start Race Directors HQ

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Head Start is a podcast for race directors and anyone involved in the business of putting on races.
It doesn't matter where you're based or how many years experience you have or whether you're putting on a running race, a triathlon, an obstacle race or whatever. If you’ve got an interest in planning, organizing and growing endurance events, this is the podcast for you.
The focus of the podcast is twofold:
1) we bring you the latest and coolest innovations hitting the mass-participation endurance events industry, and
2) we bring you tips and actionable advice from industry experts to help you improve your race - one episode at a time.
Head Start is produced by RaceDirectorsHQ.com, an online resource platform and community network for race directors and race management professionals.

    Buying and Selling Races

    Buying and Selling Races

    If you have built a business putting on races, chances are you would have thought of maybe selling some or all of those races at some point in the future. You may also have toyed with the idea of buying races from others as a way to grow your event portfolio.

    Buying and selling races still remains a big mystery for most race directors - even very experienced ones. How do you go about it? How do you find events to buy, if you’re a buyer, and where do you turn to sell your event, if you’re a seller? What is an event even worth on the market? And how does a typical purchase and sale transaction go down?

    Well, we’re going to be going into all that and more today, in a super-exciting episode with the help of my two guests, Tony Sapp and Porter Bratten. As you’ll hear in a minute, Tony and Porter have a lot of experience in buying and selling events, and they have tons of great tips to help you get a good feel for where you stand as a buyer or seller of races in this market, and how you can make the most of the opportunities available to you in this very peculiar post-pandemic environment we find ourselves in. 

    In this episode:
    Finding suitable buying opportunities: matching type of event, time of year and race locationWhat a good buying opportunity looks likeReaching out to race directors with an offer to buySelling through a business broker: what business brokers bring to the table, picking the right broker, preparing your business prospectusThe importance of instructing and consulting with a contract lawyerBuying event assets vs buying the events company What assets go into an event sale: physical, digital, intellectual property, sponsorship and other third party contractsPurchase price allocation and tax implications of your event purchasePreparing for an event sale: organizing documents, keeping track of your business data, anticipating buyer questionsThe purchase and sale agreement: asset lists, exclusions, non-competes, indemnities, transaction timelines and transition periods, price adjustment clausesAdditional provisions/considerations when selling a race mid-seasonTransitioning key contacts and making introductions with vendors, sponsors, volunteersHow to calculate the value of your event as a multiple of your revenue and net profitPrice negotiations and agreeing on a priceIs this a good time to buy or sell a race?Thanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

    You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

    You can also share your questions about buying and selling races or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    [Bonus] GiveSignup | RunSignup Winter Symposium

    [Bonus] GiveSignup | RunSignup Winter Symposium

    The GiveSignup|RunSignup Symposium series has grown from modest beginnings of just a few dozen people to be the industry conference most race directors and timers will attend during the year.

    And this January 25-26, the Symposium series returns to Orlando Florida after a two-year hiatus for an awesome two days of education and networking, and all race directors, timers and nonprofit professionals are invited - not just GiveSignup|RunSignup customers.

    So, it’s great to have with me today, Johanna Goode, from GiveSignup|RunSignup who has the unenviable job of putting the whole thing together to tell us a little bit more about what you can look forward to both at and around the Symposium this coming January.

    In this episode:
    The history of the GiveSignup | RunSignup Symposium seriesWhy the GiveSignup | RunSignup Symposium is not your regular race director conference/expoWhat you can look forward to in attending if you're a race director, timer or nonprofitHow you can attend the Symposium as a vendorThe Demo Room, the Suite Run, and other training and networking opportunities at this year's Winter SymposiumTo learn more about the GiveSignup | RunSignup Winter Symposium, and to register visit: runsignup.com/wintersymposium

    • 34 min
    SEO for Races

    SEO for Races

    If I told you “race marketing”, what kinds of things come to mind? Facebook ads maybe, maybe Google Ads. But what about your race website? Is that optimised for search engines? When people search Google for your race - or, even more importantly, for a race like your race to enter - is your race website the one they find at the top of Google search results?

    Today we’re going to be talking about SEO - a huge missed opportunity to get more qualified people to discover your race on Google. Why is this so important? (A) Because it’s free, (B) because it can get you tons of traffic and potential participants, and (C) because very few people are doing it as well as it can be done. And that’s the opportunity for you.

    My guest on today’s episode, Cory Jennermann, knows a bit about SEO, having spent countless hours ranking his awesome race listing site, RunGuides.com, to the top of Google search results pages. 

    And, as you’ll see, Cory loves geeking over keywords and structured data and the like - as do I, to be honest - so, stick with us for a fun-filled SEO chat.

    In this episode:
    What is SEO all about?Getting found by people looking for your race vs getting found by people looking for races similar to your raceHow you can't - and shouldn't try to - game GoogleWhat user behavior tells Google's RankBrain algorithm about your websiteTechnical SEO vs On-page SEO vsOff-page SEOBacklinks, site authority and link juice(!)Technical SEO: URL architecture, content discoverability, sitemaps, internal linking, data markupStructured data: marking up your website content for rich snippets and winning more Google real estateEvent schema markup: marking up your race date and start line locationRanking for relevant "near me" search queriesMarking up for your site's FAQsUnderstanding and targeting user search intentHow keyword research can help improve your race website contentBlogs: should your site have one?Creating content to win backlinks and draw in qualified trafficBuilding backlinks to your site: targeting local running clubs, race calendars, other local event sites.Useful links:
    Google Search ConsoleGoogle Structured Data Markup HelperGoogle Keyword PlannerGoogle TrendsMoz - SEO toolsAhrefs - SEO toolsMoz Beginner's Guide to SEOBacklinko blog - in-depth SEO and backlink-building articlesThanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

    You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

    You can also share your questions about building your own website, SEO or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Running a Race Ambassador Program

    Running a Race Ambassador Program

    It’s very fashionable these days to hear people speak of “influencers” - people who work with brands to promote their products and services to a niche audience in which they have a strong following.

    Well, our industry has had that for a while. They’re called race ambassadors and they can be your race’s special influencers, going out into the community and spreading the word for your event in their running club, weekly group run, or the next race or expo they attend.

    Today I have the pleasure of talking with William Dyson, Communications Manager for High Five Events. William manages the race ambassador programs for such prestigious events as the Austin Marathon, 3M Half Marathon, CapTex Tri and Kerrville Triathlon, and he’ll be sharing his thoughts with us on how you can launch, grow and manage your own race ambassador program, including tips on using incentives, keeping track of your ambassadors’ performance and ways to come up with unique ideas to make the most of your ambassadors’ community reach.

    In this episode:
    What a race ambassador program is about and how it worksThe benefits of running a race ambassador program: expand your brand reach in your target communityInventivizing race ambassadors: comp codes, event gear, networking opportunities, and other perksBuilding a race ambassador program that effectively represents the local running communityDeciding how many ambassadors you should have, based on your budget and human resourcesSharing content/ social media posting schedules with your ambassadorsRecruiting non-local race ambassadors to expand your race reach in neighboring marketsBringing your team together: social meet-ups, happy hoursOver-communicating!What makes for a good race ambassador and how to pick a good mix of race ambassadors for your programMaking the most of celebrity race ambassadorsPros and cons of basing ambassador perks and comp codes on performanceOffering prizes for your best-performing ambassadorsMixing up returning and new ambassadorsAdvertizing your race ambassador program in the communityRace ambassador program ROI: what return/results you should expect from your race ambassador program
    Thanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

    You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

    You can also share your questions about launching and growing your race ambassador program or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    [Bonus] The Big Tyvek Squeeze

    [Bonus] The Big Tyvek Squeeze

    Today, we have a bonus episode for you. And it’s all about Tyvek. Yes, that wondrous paper-like, fabric-like material, that is actually neither paper nor fabric, that our industry uses to make race bibs.

    Well, that wondrous material is now in a bit of a supply freeze. That’s right - the owners and exclusive manufacturers of Tyvek, DuPont, have informed printers that no more printing-grade Tyvek shall be made available until the end of the year, in an effort to divert production to medical-grade Tyvek, used in PPE and medical supplies, which, not surprisingly, is in high demand lately.

    So what is to become of Tyvek race bibs? I sat down with Marathon Printing President and third-generation bib printing specialist, Ryan Zirk, to find out. 

    In this episode:
    Tyvek's special properties making it ideal for race bibsTyvek's (many) other industrial uses: PPE, packaging, weather barriersPrinting on Tyvek bibs: from bulk Tyvek sheets to finished bibsPrinting Tyvek at home: can it be done?Recycling Tyvek bibs: where and how you can recycle your Tyvek bibsDuPont's announcement of halting production of printer-grade TyvekAlternatives to Tyvek for printing bibs, if printer-grade Tyvek inventories are exhausted Thanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

    You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

    You can also share your questions about race bibs or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

    • 32 min
    Growing a Digital-First Race

    Growing a Digital-First Race

    At the tender age of 24, with no prior experience or any interest in running, Matt Trevett decided to take a gamble and launch a new 10K in his hometown of Weybridge in Surrey, UK.

    Matt promised local business groups and the local council he’ll bring 1,000 people to the race in its first year. As you can imagine, everyone was very supportive of the idea - in between thinking Matt was crazy.

    Fast-forward a few months, and Matt delivered his 1,000 people inaugural Weybridge 10K, as promised, and went on to produce more award-winning races in his hometown, putting the former through-town firmly on the regional running map.

    Beyond the amazing story of Matt and the Weybridge 10K, today’s episode is not about Matt or the Weybridge 10K. It is an episode about attitude, persistence and - more importantly - taking a lean approach to putting on races that focuses on building community, forging partnerships with local businesses, and marketing smart online, often with little more than a bunch of pictures of empty roads to go on. 

    If you’re starting out as a race director you’re going to love this episode, and, if you’re a more seasoned race director, getting the perspective of a young millennial colleague will hopefully help trigger a lightbulb moment or two for you. 

    In this episode:
    The Weybridge 10K storyPlanning a new race in the town you grew up inComing into race-directing with the perspective of a non-runnerPicking your race distance: the merits of a 10K for a new local eventNot cutting corners on health & safetyPitching your vision for your event to town officials Being bold, making mistakes and learning from themFocusing on race experience, rather than profits in your first couple of yearsBeing transparent and genuine with the content that you share with your audienceCanvassing residents and local businesses before the launch of the raceMaking advocates of your biggest local criticsThe digital-first approach: launching lean, launching onlineDo organic promotion first (Facebook groups, running clubs), paid laterThe importance of remarketing to "warm" audiencesUsing Facebook Events as part of your race promotion strategyMarketing your race on InstagramGiving away free race photos and using event photos to market your race onlineManaging a participant death in Weybridge 10K's inaugural raceEmail marketing: less is moreThe future of content marketing: switching from long-from written to short, sharp video contentThanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

    You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

    You can also share your questions about launching and growing your race or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.

    • 1 hr 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

PoweredByMcAfee ,

Really enjoying the content for race directors

We are a pretty niche group, race directors. I stumbled on this through a Google search and have really enjoyed the first 9 episodes.

Bob B;-) ,

A great source of information for race directors

Pianos has built a community of race directors who share best practices. It is a place to learn and contribute.

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