BibRave and 50 Launch Partners Unveil “Release the Runner” Movement
March 31, 2020
Collective initiative will leverage existing runner networks to recruit and support NEW runners to the sport
Portland, OR – BibRave, the running industry leader in grassroots digital marketing, and 50 launch partners representing more than 200 races, brands, and companies, have teamed up to promote “Release the Runner,” a collective initiative to grow the number of people running and racing.
Self-isolation and gym closures mean thousands of people are logging miles who would not otherwise be running. This phenomenon means the biggest barrier to entry for running – simply getting started – is organically being lowered. Despite all of the anxiety and tension, the current landscape represents a chance to “Release the Runner” currently being discovered across the country.
“Release the Runner” is a movement to take advantage of this opportunity by arming races, brands, vendors, sponsors, and trade organizations with messaging, visual assets, and other tools to encourage current runners to recruit and support new runners throughout the Coronavirus and COVID-19 lockdown and beyond. BibRave will supply content calendars, themes, assets, and other messaging guidance for all pledged partners to promote via their email databases and social channels.
As a completely brand-agnostic and free campaign, “Release the Runner” will easily fit with any brand or event’s current or future marketing messages. Partners of the initiative are only asked to pledge support in spreading the message, and they can customize the campaign message to their own channels’ look, feel, cadence, and tone wherever and whenever it’s relevant. The only request placed on launch partners and any other organization interested in supporting the cause and growing the sport is to include the hashtag #ReleasetheRunner on related social posts, and aligning with the weekly theme and CTA where possible. While 50 launch partners jumped in immediately to pledge their support for “Release the Runner,” interested organizations can join at any time. Information on how to join can be found here.
“We see a tremendous opportunity, but also an imperative for our sport,” said Tim Murphy, Co-Founder of BibRave. “Tons of new runners are organically logging miles – a huge opening and something the running industry has struggled to make happen for years. But we must convert these people to longer term runners. We simply HAVE to grow the sport. With all of the event cancellations and postponements, the next running season could have double the races occurring over the same number of weekends and vying for the same number of runners. We NEED a bigger pie, otherwise many elements of the industry will not survive.”
After less than a week of outreach, reception for the movement across the sport has been outstanding. Roughly 50 partners from every corner of the running industry, quickly signed a pledge showing their support across channels, in addition to offering pro bono resources like design services, advertising, and more.
“Running is an amazing sport and we’ve been so energized by the support for ‘Release the Runner,’” said Jessica Murphy, Co-Founder of BibRave. “Races, brands, retailers, and partner vendors are all suffering right now. By leveraging the collective networks of runners to seek out and nurture emerging runners, the entire sport can continue to thrive.”
“Release the Runner” Pledged Launch Partners (representing over 200 races)
America First Ogden Marathon
Atlanta Track Club
Big Sur Marathon Foundation
Blistering Pace Race Management
Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon
Detroit Free Press/TCF Marathon
Flying Pig Marathon
Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon
Groundwork Endurance/Carlsbad 5000
Hartford Marathon Foundation
IMT Des Moines Marathon
Kansas City Sports Commission
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Team in Training
Life Time Events
Louisville Running Company
Louisville Sports Commission
Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon & Half Marathon
Race Day Events
Rhode Races & Events
Run Local Events
Run Wild Missoula
Science in Sport
Sour Fish Events
St. Elizabeth Healthcare Honor Run Half Marathon
BibRave works with races and brands to help them engage with runners and ultimately drive more sales and registrations. Through their large network of running bloggers (BibRave Pros), their popular Twitter event (#BibChat), and The BibRave Podcast (Apple, Android, or Spotify) BibRave helps endurance brands and races go beyond simple advertising and truly connect with more runners.
The company’s consumer-facing product is a race review site where runners can learn about a race before signing up, and leave feedback after the event.