Social Media and the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon

October 16, 2015 - By: Sarah Pease

Say ‘Detroit,’ and the words ‘Motown’ and ‘Motor City’ usually spring to mind. Today, we’re talking about a third ‘M’—Marathon. For almost 40 years, runners have traveled to Detroit to participate in the
Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon—the only North American marathon that includes two international border crossings (to and from Windsor, Canada). Check out how organizers used social media in 2014 to get participants pumped to run!   

Promotional Giveaways Who doesn’t love free stuff? Get with your sponsors and offer giveaways. Leading up to the race weekend, Talmer Bank gave away a
free gift bag every Tuesday. And in honor of #NationalCoffeeDay, Tim Hortons gave away a
$10 Gift Card.
Partner Spotlights partner
CrowdRise knows the value of having a
strong charitable component connected to your race. Highlight those running for a reason, like the
Hope Water Project, which had roughly 1,500 runners participating and
raised nearly $800,000 to build new wells in Kenya.
Play Me a Song! Get heart rates pumping by posting your official
‘Starting Line Playlist.’ It’s a sure way to have everyone playing music critic in the comments section. One must-have song for Detroit? “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, of course.
Photo Finishes People love documenting life’s moments; especially all the time, effort, and sense of accomplishment that go into training. Hold a photo contest and give away a free registration to one of the races by asking people to
post a photo of them in action. Make sure you
post the winning picture. And make sure you thank the hundreds of
runners who entered the contest. Photo contests are also a wonderful opportunity to include all the race supporters! Organizers held a ‘Finish Line Contest’ to award one person the honor of holding the finish line tape. Organizers asked people to post a picture holding their
most creative motivational sign. As it turned out,
the winner was a past runner who couldn’t compete because she was recovering from a severe illness that had left her weak and bed ridden. So, the organizers awarded her with a fully-paid registration for the 2016 marathon. Now that’s a picture worth capturing. Best of luck to the 2015 Detroit Free Press Marathon runners! Tell us in the comments how you’ve used social media to motivate race participants.
Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon