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When I ask Race Directors why they want to add a Kids Run to their existing or new running event, their answers usually reference childhood obesity and revenue. Great answers, but the benefits of adding a Kids Run go well beyond that and understanding these advantages can help you lean into them in your marketing and outreach.
The benefits of a Kids Run include reaching new audiences, attracting new sponsors and vendors, and taking advantage of new marketing outlets. Let's go into a little more detail:
REACH NEW AUDIENCES – beyond your typical runner scanning the race calendar for a goal race, fast 5K or, BQ, there are lots of families who are looking for something fun and active to do on the weekend with the kids. They may first come across your event through their relationship with another organization but the family activity may be what convinces them to sign up. Organizations where families connect include:
ENGAGE NEW SPONSORSHIP & PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES – adding family activities to your event may engage new sponsors who might not otherwise feel connected to a running event, including:
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW MARKETING OUTLETS – hosting family activities may open up new marketing opportunities where the target audience is parents. Examples include:
Finally, while not as tangible as the reasons above, another benefit of adding a Kids Run is the it will help your event grow and can enhance the event as an experience, not just a race. A Kids Run or Kids Zone will encourage people to stay at your expo longer to visit vendors, buy food, and make a day of your event. It will allow you to welcome multiple generations – including children and older generations like grandparents who want to support, cheer, or spend time with the family. A fun event can establish annual family traditions and feed the pipeline of running events – kids who start with a 1K will eventually age up to the 5K. Remember that kids don’t come alone to events - they come with adults and siblings who will register for the event, spectate, or volunteer!
NEXT STEPS: Reach out to a few potential partners in your community to gauge interest in partnering with your youth event. If you need help developing a plan, Run Kids Run is available for consulting and event management.