Head Start

Running a Race Ambassador Program

November 01, 2021 Episode 17
Head Start
Running a Race Ambassador Program
Show Notes

It’s very fashionable these days to hear people speak of “influencers” - people who work with brands to promote their products and services to a niche audience in which they have a strong following.

Well, our industry has had that for a while. They’re called race ambassadors and they can be your race’s special influencers, going out into the community and spreading the word for your event in their running club, weekly group run, or the next race or expo they attend.

Today I have the pleasure of talking with William Dyson, Communications Manager for High Five Events. William manages the race ambassador programs for such prestigious events as the Austin Marathon, 3M Half Marathon, CapTex Tri and Kerrville Triathlon, and he’ll be sharing his thoughts with us on how you can launch, grow and manage your own race ambassador program, including tips on using incentives, keeping track of your ambassadors’ performance and ways to come up with unique ideas to make the most of your ambassadors’ community reach.

In this episode:

  • What a race ambassador program is about and how it works
  • The benefits of running a race ambassador program: expand your brand reach in your target community
  • Inventivizing race ambassadors: comp codes, event gear, networking opportunities, and other perks
  • Building a race ambassador program that effectively represents the local running community
  • Deciding how many ambassadors you should have, based on your budget and human resources
  • Sharing content/ social media posting schedules with your ambassadors
  • Recruiting non-local race ambassadors to expand your race reach in neighboring markets
  • Bringing your team together: social meet-ups, happy hours
  • Over-communicating!
  • What makes for a good race ambassador and how to pick a good mix of race ambassadors for your program
  • Making the most of celebrity race ambassadors
  • Pros and cons of basing ambassador perks and comp codes on performance
  • Offering prizes for your best-performing ambassadors
  • Mixing up returning and new ambassadors
  • Advertizing your race ambassador program in the community
  • Race ambassador program ROI: what return/results you should expect from your race ambassador program


Thanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|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 launching and growing your race ambassador program or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.