Head Start

Building a Race Series

November 08, 2023 Race Directors HQ Episode 66
Head Start
Building a Race Series
Show Notes

Building a race from the ground up, as anyone who’s done it will know, is a tough business. But what about planning, coordinating and growing a whole series of races, all with a common theme and brand identity?

How do you finance and grow multiple races from scratch? How do you choose when and where to launch a new race? And how can you make use of local delivery partners to deliver new races on a budget, while ensuring your quality standards and vision are adhered to?

That’s what we’ll be discussing today with my guest Sam Heward. As the co-founder of Ultra X, the multi-stage ultraramathon world series, Sam has been at the forefront of one of the fastest-growing race series concepts of the last few years, and with his help we’re going to be taking a deep dive into the benefits and challenges of setting up a race series from scratch, including the constant strive for brand consistency, the process of cross-pollinating ideas and small successes between events, and some of the difficulties of coordinating equipment, staff and sponsorship sales across multiple event locations.

In this episode:

  • Spotting gaps in the endurance event market
  • Putting together a business plan and testing the waters
  • Developing a brand that matches the race series' values and mission, and sets it up for long-term success
  • Finding your race series' unique selling proposition in a crowded market
  • Growing a race series through repeat participation
  • Engaging with your audience through multiple channels year-round
  • Outsourcing event planning and operations to local event delivery partners 
  • Using registration fees to bootstrap growth
  • Learning and iterating faster with multiple similar events around the year
  • The challenges of negotiating series-wide sponsors across multiple regions

Thanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 28,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about 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 some of the things discussed in today’s episode or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.