Sponsoring a 5K, marathon or half marathon any time soon? In addition to your sponsorship, you’ve probably been asked to contribute an item with your logo to the event goodie bag. Instead of donating whatever you’ve got lying around the office, check out these 5 tips for a better 5K swag bag that will get you maximum brand love from runners at your next event!
#1: Think outside the (plastic) bag.
If you’re an upper level sponsor, offer to provide co-branded packaging for all of the actual swag. Upgrade that tired, old plastic bag to a reusable bag that runners will actually use long after the race is over.
This heavy-duty sports pack features a side zip pocket, durable drawstring cords and a slot for earbuds, too. You might also consider a collapsible tote like this one from RuMe that rolls up and fits into your pocket, briefcase, etc. The medium classic tote holds up to 50 pounds of gear and is machine washable which means you can stash your running shoes and sweaty socks in there without ruining your bag!
#2: Work with the race theme or season.
Is there a theme for the event itself? If so, work with that to create a memorable giveaway. The Hot Chocolate 15K, for example, offers each runner a “Finisher’s Mug” filled with hot chocolate, fondue and dippable snacks once they cross the finish line!
If your run takes place during the winter time, think fleece blankets, knit caps, or gloves to warm up after the race. (We like these touch screen gloves which come in a black pouch. They’re great for capturing all those post race selfies!)
If you’re sponsoring a race during warm spring and summer months, sunscreen can always come in handy, as will a cooling towel or a bottle of water at the finish line! (Check out this complete kit with a cooling towel and a drawstring sport pack, too. Great way to get a 2 in 1 value!)
#3: Choose items that are genuinely useful.
Forget that random plastic frisbee and go for something practical like a flat fitness pack (the modern take on a fanny pack) which gives runners a place to stash their keys, phone and ID. Since safety is also a big concern for runners, these safety light shoe clips and wristbands offer a practical solution to increase visibility on those early morning or late evening runs.
Water bottles can be a great gift too, but be cautious about ordering the cheapest ones you can find. (Those will likely get tossed before they ever make it home, so either go for a better quality version or ask us for ideas specific to your budget.)
#4: Go custom.
Traditional items like lip balm or sunscreen can take on a whole new life with a custom package or label that fits your brand.
Keep in mind that custom orders require longer lead times and larger quantities, so if you don’t have a lot of time or you only need a few, custom isn’t the best option for you. However, if you’re sponsoring multiple events (or just one with a lot of participants) and you’ve got 3-4 months for the custom process, then this can be a great solution for you!
(Check out this post for more ideas/info on creating custom items.)
#5: Leverage social media.
Don’t just give items away and hope that someone finds your business online later! Give them a reason to engage with your brand.
If you’ve got a booth set up on race day, create a fun photo booth and put something in the swag bag that prompts people to come to your booth and take a picture wearing/using their item. (Sunglasses are great for this!) Offer an extra incentive (like a Blender bottle and fitness towel) for people who actually participate in your photo op and post in on social media using your custom hashtag.
One of our suppliers recently launched an innovative new program called Social Boost that actually allows end users to get a personalized gift featuring their own photo after the event is over! Check out this video to see how it works. (Hint: This program is not just for 5K races either. It works for any event that you’re hosting or sponsoring!)
The next time you sponsor a race, don’t just settle for the same old giveaways. Make the most of your marketing dollars by building a better 5K swag bag and getting participants genuinely connected to your brand long after the race is over.
Need ideas specific to your event? We’d love to help. Contact us for a free consultation today!