What You Should Know About Race Logos

Clean, Simply, Stylish – Great Logo


I’m going to let you in on a secret.  At RunColo we send out a monthly e-blast where upcoming races can advertise their event.  I’ve gotten good, really good at being able to pick out which races will have the most click rates.  You might think its name recognition or the description of the event, yes those things help, but the number one factor is the logo design.  Does the logo capture the reader’s attention, if it does that generates a click.  If you create a flyer or a postcard for your race and place it in a local running store the same logic applies, your race flyer will be sitting there competing with all of the other races, will the customer pick up your flyer?

It’s common for races to cut cost when creating a race logo. They hire a friend to design a logo or they simply grab a photo off the Internet or even worse from Clip Art.  Spend a hundred or two hundred dollars and get a logo that is professionally done.  The ROI is positive.

As they say on Madison Avenue, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  When I see a weak logo, my first thought is that if they don’t care about their logo how much are they going to care about their race?  Yes, I am generalizing, but that’s what people do.

Another pet peeve of mine is a lot of races that benefit children will have a contest where the children get a chance to design a logo and the winner is used for marketing and for the race t-shirt.  I’m not a fan of cute; I’m a fan of professionalism.  Everyone loves the artwork from their kids or kids that they know, but I’m not interested in having a crayon-drawn logo on a race shirt and I can assure you that those shirts go straight to Goodwill.  If it’s one of my own kids, I make an exception.

Most races look at the race t-shirt as an obligation.  They buy the cheapest cotton t-shirt they can find and slap a generic logo on there.  Look at the race t-shirt as future advertising, advertising for next year’s race.  Why spend $4-$6 on a shirt that no one wants, instead put some effort into the logo so that people will wear that shirt and your race will be exposed to future runners.

If you’re a race director get that permit and then start working on the logo, it’s money well spent.


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