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  1. #1
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Looking for event promotional ideas... Best idea wins a prize!

    Hello everyone,

    The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle charity ride is looking for unique ideas to promote our events to cyclists beyond typical media buys. Audi has just increased our event promotional budget and we'd like your help in determining the best way to promote our five-star charity ride. If any of you on this forum have ideas, please share. Our staff will review all the comments and we will award the person with our favorite idea a limited edition Audi Best Buddies Challenge jersey designed by pop artist Romero Britto! (jersey pictured below). The following are some of the ideas we currently have on the table. Keep in mind, the goal of these new promotional events would be to showcase our ride in a way that represents both Audi and our charity ride in five-star fashion.

    Ideas currently on the table:
    - Free massages booth along popular weekend cycling routes.
    - Free GU and water stations along popular weekend cycling routes
    - Free Specialized bike mechanic support along popular weekend cycling routes
    - Group rides ending in wine/food reception (we had a great ride training ride in Sonoma last weekend!)
    - Speaking engagement/wine reception with a Pro (We have an official partnership with Garmin Transitions.)
    - Tour de France viewing parties at several restaurants and bars (free appetizers and drink specials).
    - A special screening of Chasing Legends (the new TDF movie)

    Well folks, we'd love your thoughts and ideas on the list above as well as some new ideas for us to consider. Remember, the person that puts forth our favorite idea idea will win a limited edition jersey! Thanks.

    For more information on the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle event, visit www.bestbuddieschallenge.org.

    [IMG]http://www.kintera.org/atf/cf/{53603d43-c166-4491-8742-27d04fc9df77**/2010-HP-JERSEY.JPG[/IMG]
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  2. #2
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    If you want more regular people to go on this ride, how about lowering the price? Your web site is a little confusing, but it looks like your minimum fee is $1800 per person for a one-day bike ride.

    I know you want people to ask their friends and co-workers to pay for their vacation, but not everyone can or wants to do that. In this economy, most people don't put a real high value on "5-star luxury". Maybe you can offer a basic version of this bike ride for a lower price? You can probably get 1000 or maybe even 10,000 times as many people to participate for a $200 price, which is still a lot more money than most one-day charity bike rides cost.

  3. #3
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Yes, $1800 is a pretty steep minimum sponsorship level. Makes me think the "cost to raise a buck" number is pretty high too.
    Livetstrong is $250 I think... if I signed up for that one and didn't collect that much I can cover it myself.

    Anyway, my idea is to put flyers and promotional schwag in the Livestrong goodie bags.
    Last edited by DiabloScott; 06-30-10 at 04:31 PM.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    What others have said on price. For less then 1.8k I can spent almost two weeks doing cycling tour in India. Sure it won't be "5 star" or have a "gourmet BBQ", but it sure will be more memorable.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  5. #5
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
    If you want more regular people to go on this ride, how about lowering the price? Your web site is a little confusing, but it looks like your minimum fee is $1800 per person for a one-day bike ride.

    I know you want people to ask their friends and co-workers to pay for their vacation, but not everyone can or wants to do that. In this economy, most people don't put a real high value on "5-star luxury". Maybe you can offer a basic version of this bike ride for a lower price? You can probably get 1000 or maybe even 10,000 times as many people to participate for a $200 price, which is still a lot more money than most one-day charity bike rides cost.
    Hey Johnny,

    I hear where you are coming from, but our price point is set to maximize the amount raised for our charity, Best Buddies International - the most important reason for putting on our event.

    Due to route permitting, our relatively small staff size, and high quality service we offer our riders, we must limit our event to under 1,200 participants. While events like the LiveStrong Challenge can offer a rate around $250 and have nearly 4,000 riders, our limited field sizes means that our price point must be higher in order to best serve our yearly fundraising goal. For example, our last event raised 4.5 million dollars with 1,200 riders. Compare that to last year's LiveStrong Challenge in San Jose which raised 1.75 million with over 3,500 riders. So you see, having more riders at a lower cost isn't necessarily best for the cause. It's also important to note that unlike many other charity rides, all of our rider's fundraising dollars go directly back to our charity, Best Buddies, and not to cover marketing or lavish event production costs (we are extremely fortunate to have Audi behind the event for these expenses!). So you see, people aren't exactly soliciting donations to pay for a vacation, but to directly support Best Buddies programs to enhance the lives of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    All that being said, we do reward the heck out of our riders for their outstanding fundraising efforts with a luxury event... and why not, in our minds, they've earned it.
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  6. #6
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    I have to agree with everyone including the OP. Best Buddies is a very worthwhile cause, one that I would be more than happy to raise funds for but the price point is steep. TnT has high price points too but they offer training, I don't believe Best Buddies does the same. Anyway, I said I would be willing to fundraise but in this economy, I doubt if I could gather enough donations so I would have to supplement with my own funds. My little boy has Trisomy 21 so I am already contributing funds to the cause.

  7. #7
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    Maybe you could offer a more challenging ride other than a 100 mile ride down the PCH. I know for me personally, $1800 is a huge commitment for a ride that doesn't excite me all that much. I know it's for charity and I'm sure the scenery is beautiful but if I'm not interested in the ride I can't see myself signing up for it.

    Just as an example, several weeks ago someone posted up about the Norcal Aids Challenge which is 330 miles in 4 days (with a fundraising minimum of $1500) and I think there's a significant amount of climbing on 3 of the days. IMO this is a unique event that most people wouldn't normally get to do with camping, support, etc. Maybe you could come up with an equally challenging idea to get cyclists excited.

  8. #8
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBChallenge View Post
    Hey Johnny,

    I hear where you are coming from, but our price point is set to maximize the amount raised for our charity,

    For example, our last event raised 4.5 million dollars with 1,200 riders.

    Compare that to last year's LiveStrong Challenge in San Jose which raised 1.75 million with over 3,500 riders.

    So you see, having more riders at a lower cost isn't necessarily best for the cause.
    Can't argue with that logic and those results... but here you are trying to figure out how to get more riders. Which means your permit limitation of 1200 people might be more of an optomistic projection than a restriction.

    Your stats for the last event show that the 1200 participants raised an average of almost $4000 each; that is truly astounding. Maybe we could give you better ideas if you were to break down for us how many of those 1200 did the 100 mile bike ride vs the other options, all the way down to the 3k walk. But the Carl Lewis thing is probably a big attraction... maybe a bike celebrity would be a good investment.

    I wish your group continued success.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
    Can't argue with that logic and those results... but here you are trying to figure out how to get more riders. Which means your permit limitation of 1200 people might be more of an optomistic projection than a restriction.

    Your stats for the last event show that the 1200 participants raised an average of almost $4000 each; that is truly astounding. Maybe we could give you better ideas if you were to break down for us how many of those 1200 did the 100 mile bike ride vs the other options, all the way down to the 3k walk. But the Carl Lewis thing is probably a big attraction... maybe a bike celebrity would be a good investment.

    I wish your group continued success.
    Hey Scott,

    While our limit on the event is 1200, we have to work very very hard to get to that number... as everyone here clearly understands, it's not easy to find 1200 riders to sign up and commit to raising $1800. Our ride usually sells out, but not without great effort and fresh recruitment ideas so that's what I'm really looking for and Audi who is paying for the promotions is looking for us to do recruitment events that reflect their high quality brand (For example, free massages booths along popular cycling routes. The idea being, even if you don't sign up for our event, at least you see an Audi branded event doing something pretty cool, upscale, and touching the cycling community.)

    As far as the breakdown goes, the 100 mile route (featuring over 6,000 ft of climbing) is our largest start with around 500 participants. The other start lines, including the run walk, are pretty equally divided in terms of the amount of participants.

    As far as celebrities and pro-riders, I'd say we have that covered more than any charity cycling event out there. Some of our pro riders in past year's have included Greg Lemond, Bobby Julich, Sean Kelly, and Dave Zabriskie to name just a few. We have an official partnership with Garmin Transitions and this year's field of pros is looking really promising. Unfortunately we can't promote specific riders this early as their schedules aren't that easy to nail down. Other celebrities with multiple attendances at our event include Clint Eastwood, Rob Lowe, Robert Deniro, Kevin Spacy, David Caruso, Tom Brady, Cindy Crawford, David Hasselhoff, and Arnold schwarzenegger among many others. Our riders, runners, and walkers love that we have such a big celebrity presence at our event. It is pretty cool to ride 1-8 hours (depending on your start) with some of these folks.

    And speaking of our individual fundraisers, we are TRULY lucky to attract some of the most committed fundraisers out there. Last year our top three riders raised over $50,000 each (one of these individuals was a 16 year old kid!) and although our fundraising commitment is $1800, the average rider at our event brings in around $3000.

    Well guys, again thanks for all the input here!

    We'll reward the person with the best promotional idea by end of day tomorrow (6pm)... so keep posting your suggestions for promotional events for a chance to win one of our limited edition event jerseys.

    Cheers.
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  10. #10
    Senior Member obiwan kenobi's Avatar
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    When did the minimum funds level go up? When I first looked at joining, the minimum was $1550, while not a huge difference, in these lean times with so many people out of work, its not easy to raise even the lower amount.

  11. #11
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obiwan kenobi View Post
    When did the minimum funds level go up? When I first looked at joining, the minimum was $1550, while not a huge difference, in these lean times with so many people out of work, its not easy to raise even the lower amount.
    Our Early Registration Rate of $1550 ended on June 15. In the past, we've found that riders who register after June typically raise 10-20% less than than those who commit early; thus, we bridge that fundraising gap by requiring a higher commitment level after June 15.

    HOWEVER, This just in...

    Our event sponsor, Specialized, has come through big time today with an outstanding promotion. Specialized has offered to subsidize a rider's fundraising commitment by $150 and to cover 1/2 of a our up front registration fee for anyone that registers between now and July 15. So basically, between now and July 15, the upfront registration fee is $25 with a fundraising commitment of $1650. Additionally, anyone that registers during the promo will be entered to win a new Specialized Allez Comp (for men) or a Specialized Dolce Elite (for women)! Man, I love our sponsors!
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  12. #12
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBChallenge View Post

    As far as celebrities and pro-riders, I'd say we have that covered more than any charity cycling event out there. Some of our pro riders in past year's have included Greg Lemond, Bobby Julich, Sean Kelly, and Dave Zabriskie to name just a few. We have an official partnership with Garmin Transitions and this year's field of pros is looking really promising.
    I was thinking not so much of a rider actually riding the event - but that there would be promotional value in having a celebrity rider put on a dog and pony show somewhere in advance... you know slide show, stories from the peloton, Q&A session, and talk up the ride... so you get a lot of people coming to see the celebrity that otherwise might not be interested and then getting info on the event too. Sort of the thing Johan Bruyneel does in the off season.

    Kind of odd though giving a bike as a prize... since everyone already has one... if I were Specialized, I'd offer instead some kind of Specialized shopping certificate good for helmets and shoes and anything else with big logos on it.
    Last edited by DiabloScott; 07-02-10 at 01:34 PM.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Senior Member spooner's Avatar
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    If you want to promote an expensive charity ride I'm not sure free massage tables along weekend routes are going to hit the audience you're looking for.

    I think a meet and greet registration event with a biking celeb might work. Include dinner and pics/autographs for $1500. The fee also includes registration and then riders need to raise/pay the balance prior to the ride.

  14. #14
    Member BBChallenge's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and opinions!

    It seems like having an event with one of our professional riders is something that you guys feel would draw some interest. We'll certainly work on this and see what we can put together.

    Although this was one of the ideas we already had in mind, it's good to get some feedback on this sort of event. As DiabloScott first threw in his support of this idea, we've decided to award him with the jersey prize! Scott, shoot me a private message with your address and jersey size and we'll send a jersey your way.

    Cheers.
    CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE LIVES. Ride in one of Best Buddies charity events. Find out more information at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org

  15. #15
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Excellent!

    First NorCal BFer who signs up for this and leaves details on my blog comments can count on about 1% of the minimum fund raising from me.

    Nice video about the program:
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

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