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May 19, 2016

How Good Design Can Make Your Race (And Bad Design Can Kill It)

How Good Design Can Make Your Race (And Bad Design Can Kill It)

When you’re launching a race, there are about a million and seven things you’ve gotta get done: you’ve gotta find sponsors, you’ve gotta scout the course, you’ve gotta choose your race management software, you’ve gotta come up with a social media strategy… I mean, I’m tired just writing that sentence, let alone actually DOING all of those things.

Long story short, you've got stuff to do. And I get it. You've gotta prioritize.

But there’s one thing that too many race directors DO NOT prioritize: design.

And that, my friends, is a huge no-no. 

Good design does more for your race than you probably think it does; it has a ginormous impact on everything from building awareness in the community to driving race registration. 

And bad design? All that will do is drive racers away from you and right into the arms of a well-designed competitor.

But let’s focus on the positive, shall we? Here are some ways that good design can have a direct impact on your business:


It Increases Your Profits

Dude, I get it. Good design is an investment. And between schwag bags, permits and planning a kick-a$$ expo, I’m sure you’re not making it rain dollar bills.

But guess what? Good design = good investment.

There’s a direct correlation with investing in design, increased profits and overall company success. A 2005 study conducted by The Design Council followed 63 publicly traded companies on the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) over the course of 10 years. And guess what they found?

The companies that were all about that design game? They crushed it. In fact, they outperformed the FTSE 100 index by over 200%.

So what does that mean for you? Well, it means if you invest a bit of time and money in finding the right designer for your race, you’ll be repaid in an insane amount of new athletes and can laugh your way all to the bank. Win!


It Increases Trust With Your Athletes

Newsflash: from the second people are introduced to your brand, they’re judging you. A badly designed website or online race registration page implies that everything else about your event will be of the same caliber. Mediocre, not entirely thought out, and not much investment in the experience. 

Is that really how you want to kick things off?

Think about it from an athlete’s perspective. Say I go to your website and it’s just a hot mess. Not only am I #notimpressed, I'm having a hard time finding the information I need, and I’m also seriously questioning whether or not I want to race with you.

If your website is designed poorly, why would I think you could design a good race experience?

However, if I go to your website and it’s clear you put some thought and effort into how it was designed (and it’s beautiful and organized and appeals to my severe type-A personality), I’m going to be much more likely to trust you with my hard earned race registration dollars.

Investing in good design shows your athletes that you are invested in your brand. And that’s the first step to showing them that they can invest in you.


It Diversifies The Way You Communicate With Your Athletes

Chances are, as race day gets closer, you’re going to have a ton of information to get out to your athletes.

But sending boring, plain text emails? YAWN. 

People get bored staring at big blocks of text, which means that not all that many people read them. Plus, studies show that the majority of people are visual learners and respond better and retain more information when it’s presented in a visually appealing way. That’s where good design comes in.

Leveraging design to communicate better with your athletes and deliver your messaging in new and interesting ways can have a huge impact on how your audience receives (and retains) your messaging.


If you aren’t a person who cares about design, trust me – you are in the minority. Pony up and invest in a good designer. Your registration numbers will thank you.

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