In the fall of 2015, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series faced two challenges with individual runner results. The first challenge, results were displayed on our sister media site competitor.com, and the second problem—we needed better sponsorship opportunities. It also meant there was an additional opportunity to increase site traffic and further brand equity on RunRocknRoll.com. This is how we brought a new results platform to the market, solved both challenges, and brought far more value to both runner and sponsor.
The first obvious solution was to bring the results from competitor.com directly into the RunRockRoll.com ecosystem. The second solution, brand the product. By giving the results page a name, the sponsor had the opportunity to align with a tangible product, and gain high brand visibility through large amounts of traffic during race weekend. Hence, our results page was dubbed “The Finisher Zone”.
The only directive given to my team was to formulate new ways to show leaderboards—our limitations; a limited data set on the runner. A little color—we had no GPS technology, seven timing mats on the course (sometimes they went down), and limited info on the runner (which they provided upon registration)—age, projected finish time, sex, etc. Understanding this, we realized that leaderboards were limited by the very nature of their name, for leaders. So, with a limitation in data, and the exclusionary nature of leaderboards, we reframed the question from “How do we highlight the best?” to “How do we highlight everybody?” Most race companies, including ours, limited sponsorship opportunities only to leaderboards, we took a hard look, and flipped the formula. We reversed the value, and placed it in the everyman’s results. We did this, by creating the real experience in the individual runner’s page. We gamified The Finisher Zone, making it the place for runners to unlock virtual badges, receive assessments, download a finisher certificate on steroids, and tell their story. Badges, assessments, certificates—all places for a sponsor to integrate themselves naturally into the runner journey and provide value. Not everyone can share a leaderboard, but everyone can share their awesome story. For a further in–depth review take a look at it here or here.