Balancing “Race Bling” With Not Breaking The Bank

Race bling is what you get in your goodie bag for signing up for the race.  Race bling can be t-shirts, socks, hats, coupons, free logo’d stuff like pens from sponsors, finishers medals, etc.    You must be budget conscience to keep costs low, but still give your participants the value for what they paid for.  T-shirts are almost always required at races, so be sure to include those in your budget calculations.  You can always negotiate the prices for most of your items that you are given away.

A lot of times your race sponsors will want to put items in your goodie bags as part of their sponsorship.  They can add pens or another item that has their logo on it or even a coupon to their establishment.

Remember that every item that you purchase comes directly from the profits of the race.  Yes, the item is ‘just $1’ but if you have 200 participants, that’s $200 you can give to your organization.  What could the organization do with that money?  For your first few years, a t-shirt will work fine for your race bling, in addition to anything else you can get donated.

Designing Your Race Logo

One of the questions we get often is how do I make a design for my t-shirts and signage?  That is a great question because it is one of the factors in determining whether someone runs a race or not.  “Race Bling” can help or hurt you when you advertise on social media or your own website.

First, decide what your theme is and choose your colors/graphics based on that.

Say your theme is a color run, so then perhaps it could have paint splatters on it or something else with wild colors, maybe even tie-dye!

Is your race during the holidays?  Perhaps red or green (Christmas) or blue (Hanukkah) could be incorporated into the logo.  Santa, reindeer or a snow globe are always great additions to holiday themed events.

A 4th of July event?  Red, white and blue with fire crackers!

Thanksgiving or Halloween?  Fall colors, pumpkins, ghosts, hay stacks, scarecrows, cornucopias, feasts!

Or maybe your event doesn’t have a theme and you want to use your organization’s logo and add a twist to it.  Make sure you get approval from the organization’s management first.

Now that you have brainstormed some ideas for your event logo, it’s time to find a designer.  A lot of designers like to have some sort of idea what you are looking for in a logo so they won’t have to go back to the drawing board each time you veto an item.  Give them an idea or multiple ideas and let their imagination run wild.

Who will make your logo?  Try these ideas!

  • For specific vendors we recommend go to our RESOURCES page
  • The t-shirt company you are using (usually a fee per hour)
  • A friend or relative
  • A volunteer that is part of your organization (or one of their friends/relatives)
  • com has graphic designers who get paid $5 per project and can design something for you. (Keep in mind that the more revision you make to the design, the more it will cost-just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully)

Should Volunteers Have a Different Shirt Than Participants?

Volunteers and Race Committee members often have different color shirts or at least “volunteer” on the back of the shirt so someone will know who to ask questions to.  Adding a different color shirt will increase the budget slightly (unless the cost of the volunteer shirt is hugely significant) but it will be worth it to stand out and be able to answer questions quickly.

At one of the races I planned the participants had one shirts (it was a color run) and the volunteers had a two color (purple and lime green-the colors of the organization) tie dye look….they were awesome and everyone wanted to buy one!

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