Learn how to nominate your event for a free promotional feature on ACTIVE.com, check out new advertising programs, and meet Andrea Dowdy of Colorado Colfax Marathon, plus more.
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Edge Newsletter
SEPTEMBER 2013   Facebook   Twitter   RSS Feed
Nominate your event for a free promotional feature on ACTIVE.com

Have a winter or holiday event you’d like to put in the spotlight? As part of our new free promotional program, we’re now accepting nominations for customer events to be showcased in ACTIVE.com articles. Read below for details…and while you’re at it, check out the feature on our new (and affordable) advertising programs. In this issue, we’ll also introduce you to Andrea Dowdy, the CEO of the Colorado Colfax Marathon, give you some product tips, and invite you to attend the Portland Marathon Event Directors’ College. Enjoy!

In this issue:


ACTIVE Network, Endurance

P.S. Take the guesswork out of setting up your next Instant Ads campaign! Attend one of our upcoming how-to webinars and receive a $50 Instant Ads coupon: September 24th, October 4th, or October 10th.

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Be promoted to 1M+ social media fans
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Race Director Blog
Free ACTIVE.com Promotions for Customers: Winter & Holiday Categories


We’re now ready to start the winter/holiday edition of our new free ACTIVE.com customer promotional program! As you may or may not know, this program offers our customers the opportunity to nominate their events to be featured in prominent ACTIVE.com articles.

Do you want to be one of the chosen ones, and get some incredible free exposure to boot? If your event falls into one of these categories, nominate yourself ... Read the full article.

This article was posted on our blog on September 12th. If you want to know as soon as an article is posted, subscribe to our blog and you’ll get an email alert. Click here to subscribe

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Event Director of the Month
Andrea Dowdy, Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon

Andrea Dowdy

The Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon features seven events over two days—including a marathon, half marathon, urban 10 miler, marathon relay, corporate cup relay, government cup relay, and 5K—making for an incredible weekend. Andrea Dowdy was named CEO in 2010 and since then has helped the event grow dramatically. Registration numbers have increased by about 7,000 runners in those three years and the courses have changed dramatically, adding unique and fun elements that participants are lined up to experience.

How did you first get started with the Colfax Marathon?
Three months before the 2010 event, I was asked to step in as CEO. There was a board in place, but no staff. I had my own company at the time but thought this was a great opportunity. That first year was pretty stressful as we only had weeks until the event, but with good team work we made it happen and were actually able to increase our numbers by 1,000 runners from the previous year. From there, we were able to grow and change the course.

Did you have a background in event directing or sports?
Previously I worked at The Walt Disney Company and one of my roles was Director of Worldwide Sports Marketing. At the time, Disney was launching a campaign to keep families engaged throughout their lives, instead of just during the younger years of children. One big event was a huge soccer initiative that brought in 7,000 kids from around the world to play 1300 games of soccer in one week. I was also on the board and Vice President of Marketing for MBS Mountainboards, an extreme sports company, and ran a few other companies as well. So coming to Colfax Marathon, I had some sports, business, and entrepreneurial experience.

How many runners participate in all seven events of the Colfax Marathon?
We had about 14,000 participants at our 2013 event in May. That is approximately double the number we had in 2010, so we’ve grown by around 7,000 runners in three years.

How have you been able to grow your participation numbers so quickly?
When I first came on board in 2010, we took a close look at the event, particularly the course. Colfax is the longest main street in America, which was our selling point, but the east-west corridors in Denver have so much to offer—America’s only downtown amusement park, Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design, Mile High Stadium, etc. To grow the event, we wanted to make the course even more interesting and fun, and have the runners experience things that are “uniquely Denver” as they ran through it.

What kind of changes did you make?
All of the races except the Urban 10 Miler start in Denver, but they head in different directions from there and circle back to the start. The Urban 10 Miler starts at the Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design, making it a point-to-point with public bus transportation back to your car post-race.

We added the Urban 10 Miler in 2012, where participants can run the final miles of the marathon course through the stadium, downtown Denver, Cherry Creek Trail, and City Park. We added this distance because there are a lot of 10Kers out there and this is a good stepping stone for them, as well as our 5K runners. It gets them over the hurdle from 5K or 10K to the half marathon.

We wanted to make the half marathon special too, so we had it run in a different direction from the marathon course. What makes it really iconic is that it runs through the Denver Zoo for an entire mile. We’re only the second race in the U.S. to go through a zoo and it’s an incredible experience. In 2011, we also added a fire station to the half marathon course. They pull out all the trucks and participants literally run through the station, getting high 5s from the fire fighters.

Whatever distance you choose to do, you will run by these iconic parts of Denver and be entertained—it’s a snapshot of the city.

How many charities are involved with your event?
We officially had 122 charity partners this year, although we supported 170. We’re a non-profit and chose to have an open door policy. Our Charity Partners Program states that all you need is 15 runners and you must fundraise on your own. That’s it—there’s no charge and there’s no minimum amount to fundraise.

Speaking of the relay teams, can you tell us how those fit into your event?
In 2013, we had 725 relay teams, making us one of the largest relay events in the country. You can register as an open, corporate, or government team. Almost 300 of those were corporate or government teams and our event is a platform for the largest corporate fitness challenge in Colorado.

Do you use social media to promote the Colfax Marathon?
Yes, it’s very important. Last year we introduced a 15-person ambassador program. The ambassadors came from all levels of experience—some were great runners, some weren’t—but they all were on social media talking about the race.

We had our largest growth in numbers ever for 2013, and I think the ambassador program was a huge factor. For 2014, we’re going to double the program and make it 30 people.

Why do you think the Colfax Marathon has been so successful overall?
We’ve developed something complex and unique and that’s why it’s successful, but that’s also why it’s really fun.

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What’s new
Meet us in Portland

Portland Marathon Event Directors College

Now in its 24th year, the Portland Marathon Event Directors’ College is your chance to learn from the best! The College is an intimate setting that features relevant topics for events of all sizes, and provides great networking opportunities. You’ll meet the Portland Marathon Race Director and a get backstage pass to the Portland Marathon on October 6th. We hope we’ll see you there!

Portland Marathon Event Directors’ College
Portland, OR
October 3-5
Register Now

Promote Your Event Better with NEW Advertising Programs
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We’ve got marketing on our minds and we’ve got two new things to share that will help you promote your event better, and more affordably.

  • New Instant Ads Features
    Our name-your-price advertising tool is now easier to use and is more automated to take the guesswork out of setting up a campaign. In just two steps, you can be up and running!
    • Edit your ad in-line and see how it will appear on ACTIVE.com
    • Receive advice on how to optimize your ad
    • Set your custom budget

    Plus, you can now get new advertorial placements on the Web as well as in ACTIVE’s Local Events e-newsletters.

    • Include an event logo or image in a pay-per-click ad
    • Geo-target listings to hit a highly engaged audience in ACTIVE’s sport-specific e-newsletters
    Learn how to master Instant Ads! Attend one of our upcoming how-to webinars and receive a $50 Instant Ads coupon for your next campaign. The webinars will be held on:

    September 24th – 2pm ET (11am PT)

    October 4th – 2pm ET (11am PT)

    October 10th – 4:30 pm ET (1:30 PT)
  • New Geo-Targeted Marketing Packages
  • If you’re looking to take a more comprehensive approach to your event promotions, try our new localized marketing packages. With a variety of pricing options starting at just $1,500, you can effectively reach potential participants in your local geography through mobile, web, email and e-newsletters. All design costs are included and a minimum of 150,000 additional eyes on your event details page is guaranteed.
    Contact us to learn more.

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Team Member Spotlight:
Kevin Cabaniss, Account Manager

Kevin Cabaniss

As an account manager for the endurance market, I work with clients to help them set up and grow their events. I deal primarily with running events across the nation and work with them on registration, marketing, and anything else that will ensure that they have everything they need to make their event run as smoothly as possible with our technology.

Outside of work I love to ride bikes! I just participated in the AIDS LIFECYCLE, which is a 7-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I raised over $3,700 in the fight to end AIDS and averaged about 100 miles per day for 7 days. I also have my Personal Training license and enjoy yoga and boot camp classes.

Yoga. Cycling. Running.

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