I did the Warrior Dash over the weekend. I highly recommend you do it if you’re looking for a fun, dirty and exhausting Saturday outside with your friends. The Warrior Dash brand is strengthening as they continually draw thousands of people out to fields all over the US, New Zealand and Australia. It’s no wonder that they’ve started to bring on large, national sponsors like Monster, Reebok, the National Guard, Miller Light and Anytime Fitness. However, this sports sponsorship professional thinks they are missing the mark on some inventory, categories and activations. Here are the 3 sponsorships the Warrior Dash is missing out on:
1. The Obstacles
There are about 15 or so obstacles. A lot of them, like the Giant Cliffhanger pictured here, are wooden with a large blank face that’s screaming to be branded. How easy would this execution be? I’m not typically a fan of just branding but this is like an MLB team not selling outfield signage. This could be a huge value add for brands already associated with the race and possibly entice new sponsors to join up. The brand impressions from racers posting their Go Pro videos alone would be substantial. People love posting their videos and photos from these adventure races so it just seems silly to be wasting this valuable sponsorship signage. This would also be a great opportunity for local companies to get involved. The restaurant down the street could purchase signage on one of the last obstacles reminding people that muddy runners are welcome.
2. Laundry Detergent Sponsor
Why, oh why, does one of the largest mud run series in the nation not have a laundry sponsor? Inside the race packet I imagined I’d probably find a sample of detergent to wash my ridiculously dirty clothes with afterwards. It would be even better if they could bring on someone with a truck like Tide’s Clean Start semi. Most people changed after the race. You’re wet, dirty and quite possibly torn. If you could bring your dirty clothes over to the semi, go enjoy the festival and come back in an hour to gather your clean clothes, it would make a major impression. The mud washed right out of my clothes but I wouldn’t have known that my detergent was capable of that if they’d been washed at the race by the miracle of (Insert Detergent manufacturer here). You could give out coupons and make it a trackable promotion. I understand that it would be a huge investment but I think it makes more sense than a NFL-wide sponsorship. People are there. They are dirty. They want to get clean.
3. Reebok needs to activate around this sponsorship.
Reebok is a sponsor, I think, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the Warrior Dash website but I vaguely remember signage at the festival. They’ve also got links on their site to the Warrior Dash site. This is a great fit. Reebok is trying to corner the rapidly expanding Crossfit crowd by being the official apparel brand of the sport. Avid Crossfit fans tend to love mud runs where the obstacles get to let them show off all the hard work they’ve put in at the gym. After runners finish the race, they can donate their muddy shoes to a company that cleans them up and sells them back at a much lower price point. A lot of people choose this option as you can see from the picture of my friends and I a top the mountain of shoes. So, why doesn’t Reebok have a mobile store set-up on site? I understand storage is an issue here but they could even have fittings where people give Reebok their information so they know which shoes to look for when they get home. If Reebok is indeed a sponsor, they are missing a lot of great opportunities to reach the target audience.
Have you competed in the Warrior Dash? Do you see any other missed opportunities?