Off and Running in the Money Race

Currently, the Fond du Lac Running Club has enough funding in the treasury to successfully implement and manage all its events on an annual basis. The club’s largest event takes place in June and is known as the Walleye Run/Walk. Through its immense participation rates and revenue, the Walleye Run/Walk basically funds all the club’s other events. If the Walleye Run/Walk were to have a less successful, low-income year, the club would not be able to fund any other events. Whoa, can you say large problem?!
So, you ask, “What are you going to do about that?” And we have an answer to your question. We are going to implement another large, profitable event. The new event will be just like the Walleye Run/Walk but with a different name, the Hot Trot Run/Walk. The Walleye Run/Walk has grown to exist over the last 35 years but we can’t wait 35 years for the Hot Trot to do the same. Instead, we are turning to social media to advertise our event. More advertising = more participation = more revenue. Through the use of registration and its “share on Facebook” campaign and through on-site registration and Foursquare, we will increase participation. This will be measured through the club’s budget and a participant survey.
The hard ROI of the Hot Trot event is to increase the profit of the club by 40% and will be measured with the budget. The soft ROI of the Hot Trot is to better the community’s health through participation in our event. This will be measure through social media clicks and the participant survey.




  1. Madelin – Yes, we are actually implementing a new race (the Hot Trot 15k) in August this year. And we are doing it specifically because of our budget currently being basically fully funded on our largest event, the Walleye Run/Walk. I am very excited to see how it goes!


  2. I was impressed with how concise and direct your argument is- very “if, then”, which I think is great for delivering an ROI argument. Are you actually going to implement this (it sounded factual and I know you’re involved with running organizations)? I’m convinced you could/will get people on board!


  3. I loved reading your post! Your idea to promote a new event through social media is awesome! My favorite part of your post is “more advertising=more participation=more revenue” this quote is so true and using social media websites to advertise is the perfect way to achieve revenue and participation! Using social media sites to promote this run will be cheaper and the club won’t have to waste any money on other, more expensive, advertisements. I also liked the soft ROI that you mentioned, bettering the community’s health shows that the club’s goal is not just seeking to bring in money but also trying to serve the community. Great post!


  4. It was nice to see all the figures associated with the various run events that the club hosts. You obviously have a lot of internal knowledge as to how these events directly affect the budget and it was easy to see how this could be further developed into a strategy with real measurements and outcomes. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Excellent post. And even better slideshare. I love the mathematical portion of the slidshare as it clearly demonstrates what will be measured and how it will increase revenues.

    Also, I like your example, what if the event didn’t make money? Yes, the till may be full and lucrative, but it didn’t get that way on its own without money coming in from special events or campaigns.

    Using ROI as a form of measuring what events or campaigns will make money to “keep the till full” is the best way for any organization to succeed. Old school or traditional marketing methods are quickly falling to the side of the road because your audience is changing. The intrinsic rewards for new participants and re-enrollments are usually found on social media sites in the form of new friendships (networks) free services ( Foursquare) or five minutes of fame ( being seen on campaign video).

    Really liked your post and slideshare, as Sid mentioned, I still think that any good ROI strategy should go in steps according to the life of the event or campaign. I often tell people to start with a three year strategy with “check-in’s” every six months to be sure you are on track with your strategy and are able to reach your end-goal. The same would be with an ROI strategy. Make sure the Soft ROI you will be using to convert to hard ROI is on track and will help you to reach and increase your end goal of increasing run/walk revenues.


  6. I like your approach to this. Focusing on one event to start is likely a much more realistic way of kicking off a campaign like this in any situation.

    Actually, when I first started my post, I was going to focus on how the YMCA (or any organization, really) focus on small steps and build or “test the water before jumping in.”

    Your entire post and your slides depict how this approach could work. If you saw success and ROI from this campaign, you would be better equipped to use it for other campaigns, as well as your entire organization.


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