Swag bags, also known as race packets, are loot bags that are given at the beginning of races or running events. They can be quite predictable as they almost always have the same items, like a shirt with a logo of the event, race number bib and safety pins to attach it with, course information, and flyers from sponsors and for upcoming races.
Race packets can attract more participants to the event and present organizers and corporate sponsors with an opportunity to market their brand and products. Unfortunately, the recipients find too little use for many of the items in the bag and end up tossing a lot of promotional items even before the race starts. To avoid this, it’s important to consider how the participants can benefit from the contents of the bag. It’s also a good idea to add a fresh twist to its contents to make the bag—and the event as a whole—more memorable. Here are a few items that will make good additions to your race packets:
- Wearable items with the race logo. While cotton or technical shirts are a common choice for such an occasion, participants who have been to many races may not like them too much since they already have a lot of shirts in their closet. As an alternative, you can use towels, headbands, socks, and rubber or silicone wristbands designed exclusively for the race. You can also add bonnets and mittens to your list of options if the race will be held during the colder months. The participants don’t have to wear these items during the race itself, but they can use them while training for the event or doing everyday activities.
- Discount coupon for massages. Running is a physically demanding activity. After weeks or months of training and, finally, completing the event, the participants will want to relax a bit and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Nothing can be as relaxing and as rewarding as a massage or a trip to a spa after competing in a race. A discount voucher to a spa is something that your participants will certainly appreciate and remember the event for.
- Reusable water containers. In the same vein, runners will need something to drink while traversing the course. Because of this, bottled water is often included in the race packet. However, you can take this a step further and make it more environment-friendly by using reusable water containers instead of disposable ones. A tumbler can be used before and after the race and won’t directly contribute to the waste the event will generate.
- Sample products. Brochures and flyers from sponsors are often ignored and end up getting thrown into the trash. Instead of distributing paper, why not give away sample products that will truly capture your target’s attention? Give away items that will allow your participants to discover your sponsors’ products and see for themselves if they want it or not. Most people will appreciate items like anti-chaffing creams, sunscreen samplers, spirit bands, hygienic and skincare products, and even foodstuff in their race packets.
- Reusable bag. Finally, the swag bag itself can be a freebie. Pack the items in a cost-friendly drawstring bag that the participants can use as a gym bag after the event. Choosing a reusable item to package the freebies with is proof that your event cares about the environment. And just like other wearable items, a bag bearing your race’s logo can serve as a free marketing tool for next year’s race.
A swag bag is more than just a gift to the race’s participants; it also serves as a souvenir that participants can use to remember your event by. What’s in your swag bag, and how can you relate it to what your event stands for?