Serving a big need to share and spread information, Endurance Sportswire dishes out the industry's top news
In our latest Spotlight on the Sport, we caught up with Tina Wilmott, founder of Endurance Sportswire.
For those of you unfamiliar with the site, Endurance Sportswire is the leading source of endurance industry news and news distribution. With 20,000 monthly visitors to her site, and more than 6,400 industry insiders receiving the daily and weekly newsletter, Wilmott has created the go-to resource for race directors and brands to share their news.
RUSA: Where did the idea of Endurance Sportswire come from?
TW: I launched Endurance Sportswire over six years ago after leaving Active Network where I was the director of corporate communications. I'm a news junkie and would compile competitive coverage and industry trends to help our executives stay up to speed on what was happening in our market. As head of the PR department, I also regularly got requests from our Endurance Sports division to promote their new business news and product updates, and there wasn't really a resource covering this type of news.
After researching other markets, I strongly felt our industry would benefit from a B2B news report that would also serve as a way for companies to get their announcements out to pertinent reporters and people within our industry.
RUSA: How has the business grown over the past 2-3 years?
TW: A couple ways - 1) Last year we expanded our service offering giving companies the option to post a single press release or unlimited press releases based on their news cycle. 2) We also signed a partnership with PR Newswire. Companies can post their press releases with us to reach a very targeted audience of media and people interested in endurance sports business news AND also have their news go out via PR Newswire and reach thousands of news sites. Both of these new additions have really helped grow the business and bring in new customers.
RUSA: What’s the value of a race director or brand of joining Endurance Sportswire?
TW: We are often told that Endurance Sportswire is the first email people open in the morning to find out what is happening in our industry. For race directors or any brand in the running, cycling or triathlon industry, Endurance Sportswire is an affordable and effective way to get the word out about their event, product, sponsorship and more to the most targeted audience of reporters and people in our industry.
RUSA: What are 1-2 trends you’re noticing in the running industry right now that race directors need to react to on the marketing/PR front?
TW: Not only is there a consolidation happening in running industry with acquisitions (i.e. Competitor Group), we are also seeing some well-known individuals entering the event space such as Richard Branson with his Virgin Sport division. Competition is at an all time high.
One idea is activating partnerships with existing unrelated events taking place in your city. Is there a food and wine event, bike race, fitness expo? Join forces to increase participation and PR opportunities.
RUSA: Do you have any examples of a race using PR well to grow their participant numbers?
TW: I don't see actual registration numbers, but I think Conqur (Los Angeles Marathon) has done an amazing job partnering with sponsors to engage participants and generate coverage in new ways. Their recent Snapchat partnership
involved specially designed geofilters for the race that got spectators, volunteers and runners sharing their marathon moments on Snapchat.
Additionally, their sponsorship with Guinness World Records gave runners the chance to set some fun and obscure world records
that resulted in great press.
RUSA: What’s one tip you have for a small race director looking to create their own PR campaign?
TW: Create an editorial calendar to identify the wide range of news opportunities available for your event throughout the year. Here is a link to press release topics
that we have found to be the most popular on Endurance Sportswire.
Also, since it is difficult to compete with larger established events for coverage, start small and identify human interest stories that will resonate with your local regional media.
RUSA: What’s next for Endurance Sportswire?
TW: We recently held a successful webinar with PR Newswire on press release best practices. We will be conducting additional webinars and giving away more free resources to help companies with their PR/marketing needs. We also plan to expand our distribution via syndication by offering bloggers/organizations the ability to stream Endurance Sportswire news on their own sites. More info on this coming soon!