Cover Story

G-Vegas Striders sprint toward community health

May 16, 2017 | Charish Badzinski

Editor’s note: In our last issue, we asked readers to tell us which group earned #SwaggingRights for its creative and effective use of promotional products. Meet the G-Vegas Striders, our 2017 #SwaggingRights contest winners.

G-Vegas Striders Claim #SwaggingRights

As a community organization that gets people of all fitness levels moving on their way to a healthy lifestyle, the G-Vegas Striders have discovered promotional products are a valuable tool for building brand recognition, fostering brand loyalty and keeping their community motivated about healthier lifestyles.

Motivating Others with Goodwill

The G-Vegas Striders started in 2012 as a running club, but swiftly ballooned into something much bigger, explains Founder Jim Hunt.

“The purpose of creating the group was to create a community where runners and walkers in the area could meet and work out together and help motivate each other.” – Jim Hunt

“From there it just kind of grew into a community-based, mission-driven organization where we’re doing events and we’re supporting other community agencies and their mission to provide health and wellness initiatives in the community.”

One example: the Greater Gardner Turkey Trot. The race has worked the Gardner, Mass. community into a sweat every Thanksgiving morning for 37 years, but the G-Vegas Striders only recently took over planning the event. While others are planning second helpings on Thanksgiving, the Greater Gardner Turkey Trot is encouraging people to take strides toward fitness and give back. The race is a fundraiser for programs at two high schools and the community food pantry. Funds raised are earmarked for high school track and cross-country teams as well as the purchase of fresh produce for the local food pantry.

Promotional Products Inspire Participation

Swag plays a huge role in building enthusiasm for the event, according to Hunt. “We’re very excited about it. Our goody bag usually values at around $75 to $100 when it’s all said and done, with all the coupons and gift cards we get from other local business, on top of all the swag stuff that goes into it. So, it’s a great, great gift that they get.” The bag sports a huge treasure-trove of goodies, including branded promotional products from G-Vegas Striders and other community organizations.

Runners this year took home the Value White Mug, perfect for sipping from on a cool Thanksgiving morning. They also received a custom Stadium Cup, a Value Lip Balm, and a promotional pen, among many other promotional products and giveaways.

G-Vegas Striders filled swag bags with these promotional products!

4imprint Promotional Product - Value White Mug - 11 oz.4imprint Promotional Product - Value Lip Balm4imprint Promotional Product - Stadium Cup 16oz.

In fact, the swag bags combined with a $15 race entry fee motivates many people to lace up their sneakers for a good cause. Participants’ entry fees cover the event budget and they are also invited to make additional donations for charity.

G-Vegas Striders donated $5,000 to the community causes they support.

Branded Apparel Makes Organizers Easy to Spot

On race day, goody bags aren’t the only place participants will spot the G-Vegas Striders’ promotional products. At the race, the G-Vegas Striders’ leadership team is easy to locate in the Bio-Washed Cap, a Knit Beanie with Stripe and branded jackets. The branded apparel makes it easy for participants to spot organizers. And, it’s one more way the group can easily draw attention to its community work.

Put solid advertising on top—of their heads, that is.

4imprint Promotional Product - Bio-Washed Cap - Solid - Embroidered 4imprint Promotional Product - Knit Beanie with Stripe

Leading the Way in Creative Branding, Fundraising

The Greater Gardner Turkey Trot is just the beginning, leading the pack of events G-Vegas Striders plans, including several road races, walks and even a soup-making contest.

Creative use of promotional products plays a key role in keeping people engaged in the group’s work. Hunt says that’s the reason they put a lot of thought into the promotional products they choose. “We take a unique approach when it comes to branding and marketing with our business. I actually think I learned about it from watching a TED Talk® one time and that was to know your customer base,” he explains.

“So when we’re thinking about swag, or just an event to put on, we don’t necessarily choose what’s going to be most beneficial to the club, we look at what will be most beneficial to the people we’re serving.” – Jim Hunt

“That’s how we pick all of our swag items, and that’s why we’re so successful.”

Seeing the Reward

As a group of volunteers leading a major community-wellness initiative, Hunt says G-Vegas Striders is a labor of love. “We’re just there to try to help people live happier, healthier and more active lives. That’s where we get our enjoyment and our reward from, when we see people achieving their goals.”

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