[Column#1] The Rise of Run Events in Thailand and the Potential of Character Collaboration

*Original Column by Our Writer* 
In recent years, Thai people began to be more concerned about their health and how to take care of it. As a result, many public sport events emerged in Thailand and the main and biggest type of these is running event. Column.png

In 2015, there are totally 70 running events organized in only Bangkok, and the trend is increasing this year with more events than the last. The amount of running events is very overwhelming that there are many events trying to differentiate themselves from the others.

One way of making the event unique is themed decorations and activities. This kind of themed running events add some gimmicks into the run itself.

The Color Run is a good example, in which the runners wear white t-shirts to the event and get color splashed into while they run on the route. Another example is The Music Run that invites famous DJ to play music during the run to build up entertaining atmosphere for the participants. This kind of gimmicks help promoting the events and attract more people who do not normally exercise to join and have fun.

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Another type of gimmick is using popular characters as the events’ themes. The character run events have recently emerged and are now in high demand as there are many fans for those characters, and the tickets are sold out during the early sale period.
Some popular character runs that has been taken place in Thailand are Star Wars Run, Batman v Superman Run, and Hello Kitty Run.

Many factors are the reasons why character runs are successful.

The nostalgia is one of them. These characters that are the themes of the events has been around for over at least 20 years. The participants/runners were involved with the characters in some points of their lives, either in their childhood or adulthood.

The runners all have memories of admiring these characters as their heroes, role models, inspirations, or just plain out lifestyle-related things. They remind them of those time and bring out their inner selves.

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Another factor is the gimmicks that come along with the themes. Some runners only register these events just for the limited-edition race kits. Some enjoy the decoration aspects of the event venue, which they can take pictures, walk around, and have fun.
Events such as Star Wars Run even had gimmicks during the run, like the Space Tunnel which the runners can go through and also some stormtroopers shooting laser guns at the participants.

These kind of gimmicks can get participants excited and more involved.

As for the business side of view, there are plenty of opportunities here. Companies can promote their brands by providing sponsorship to such events.

The most basic practice is to rent a booth and distribute product samples on the date. However, there are much more ways to utilize the chances. The companies can become the so-called “the main sponsor” which has an opportunity to put their company or brand names on the event’s logo as well as on the event-related premium items such as race kits. Tie-in promotion with the events is also possible for the interested firms.

The event will help improve brand or company image as a whole and will leave the runner to remember about them.

Personally I think Thailand is one of the countries with most potential as an event venue. With the suitable general weather for outdoor-styled events and health awareness of Thai citizens, the opportunities for sport events are endless.

Companies also have more chances to promote their products with proper marketing practices, so it will be a great opportunity to encourage all firms to become the sponsors for running events.

(Writer: Win)