Running continues to boom, and we are very pleased with the growth in our sport. To help ensure and maintain our long tradition of integrity within our membership, the RRCA is happy to provide the following tips when working with out-of-town event promoters.
As with any business venture, always work with an out-of-town promoter with an eye for “buyer beware” caution. With that said, there are many great event management companies that promote and own races around the country, and they depend on the local running community to make their events a success. As you work with these groups, make sure your club benefits from the effort and isn’t taken advantage of, because you are the expert and local resource.
If your club works with out-of-town promoters, make sure both parties outline, IN WRITING, in advance, the expectations, deliverables, payments, and more for the event. Request a nonrefundable retainer fee for services you will provide with a final payment to follow after the conclusion of the event. A reputable out-of-town promoter should be willing to agree to this, because it is their goal, after all, to ensure their race is a success in your community.
Do your homework! Has the out-of-town promoter hosted events anywhere else in the country that has successfully occurred? If not, do not stake your local reputation on their lack of experience! An out-of-town promoter should have a solid track record of successful events in their home community before they branch out to other communities.
Is the out-of-town promoter already an RRCA member? We can verify membership if you inquire to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also keep detailed records of questionable promoters our organization has encountered. You can inquire if someone has a “red flag” in our database based on verifiable misconduct (collecting fees and cancelling event(s) due to lack of planning, scam, controllable circumstances, etc.).
If out-of-town promoters are asking your club to host a concept-race (powder, glow, mustache, etc) or to raise funds for a national charity on behalf of the charity, closely review the proposal to ensure the out-of-town promoter is not trying to piggy-back on the insurance coverage for the club. As a reminder, running clubs providing assistance to other organizations (volunteer recruitment, finish line management, etc.) for the production of non-club managed or owned events MUST NOT list the event as a club owned event. This transfer of insurance coverage is strictly prohibited and is considered FRAUD. Other organizations working with a club to assist in the production of a non-club owned event should show proof of insurance to the club or join the RRCA as an event member. Clubs that engage in event management services should review the information on the Certified Race Director Insurance Program page.
Check Facebook to see if they have a fan page for their events. What are people saying? Google them to find information. If they don’t have any digital footprint from a running related search, that’s a red flag.
You can also check to see if the out-of-town promoter is an RRCA Certified Race Director. Completing the RRCA Race Director Certification course shows that an event director is mindful of best practices and in turn should produce quality events. While this course is not required for all race directors, event participants should expect a safe race, quality event from a certified race director. The RRCA maintains a listing of all of our Certified Race Directors that have completed all required elements of certification including the signed and notarized RRCA Race Director Code of Ethics, which outlines how the event director will conduct their activities while following a high ethical standard.
Although the running community is growing rapidly, we are still a tight-knit bunch in the grand scheme of things. Reach out to others and check references before committing your club, your volunteers, and your local race experts to assist an out-of- town race promoter. This will help ensure the out-of-town promoters understand that your club and the RRCA take integrity and ethical behavior in our sport seriously. It is our duty as a community to work together to keep unethical and downright criminal operators from harming the sport that we have collectively grown over the last 57 years.