We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignup users. This Case Study on Gallagher Fitness Resources and ActiveSalem.com focuses on implementing a RunSignup Race Calendar, providing resources to local Race Directors, and using RunSignup Clubs to manage Training Programs.
Overview: Gallagher Fitness Resources integrated RunSignup into the overhaul of their website, ActiveSalem.com, to create a community running hub that can be self-sustaining.
About Gallagher Fitness Resources and ActiveSalem: ActiveSalem (ActiveSalem.com) is the online running resource driven by Gallagher Fitness Resources in Salem, Oregon. Gallagher Fitness Resources, owned by John & Susan Gallagher, is located directly between Portland, OR and Eugene, OR, and has built its online presence to expand their reach beyond the physical store. They aim to be a source of information for all things running & walking within a 50 mile radius, and see the ActiveSalem site as a crucial piece in that goal. In 2013, they decided to make a major overhaul to their website to better meet their objectives, and partnered with RunSignup.
The ActiveSalem Philosophy: The Gallaghers believe the many small races and events in the area are important to the local running community, and need support to survive in the age of mega-races. Gallagher Fitness Resources has long been a resource for the little events, providing tools to help them succeed, and a way to promote their event to the local community. Operating as a de-facto race advisor for a dozen races each month, however, is a time-consuming endeavor. ActiveSalem gives the Gallaghers a way to disseminate Race Director tools & provide promotion to Race Directors collectively and efficiently.
Stage 1: Local Race Calendar
Gallagher Fitness Resources and ActiveSalem have hosted a calendar of local races since 1999; the site has grown into a destination or event-posting throughout the Northwest, with over 900 events. The calendar required extensive manual input, and was largely volunteer supported, with help from the Willamette Valley Road Runners. When availability for the primary volunteer began diminishing, the Gallaghers knew it was time to find a less labor-intensive calendar option.
RunSignup was able to write a script to bring all the races from the old calendar into the new RunSignup powered Race Calendar.
The process of completing an import of significant size was not only beneficial to ActiveSalem; it also helped RunSignup to identify the data needed from stores building a RSU calendar to ensure a smooth transfer.
“Nearly every time, the answer was ‘yeah, great, we can do that – or else, we should do that because other customers will like it too.” – John Gallagher, Owner, Gallagher Fitness Resources.
Stage 1: Advantages of the RunSignup Calendar
Zip Code Search: The Calendar has options to search for Races within 5,10, 15, 25, 50, 100, or 250 miles of the store.
Affiliate Fees: By embedding the calendar on their site, ActiveSalem is now an Affiliate of RunSignup and eligible to earn an Affiliate share of 15% of the RunSignup Processing fee for RunSignup registrations that initiate (within 30 days) from the ActiveSalem Calendar.
Saves Time & Labor: The RSU calendar significantly reduces the commitment from the Gallagher Fitness Resources staff and volunteers because it is self-sustaining. This works in 2 ways:
- New Races that want to be added to the calendar can use an “Add your Race” link to list their race themselves.
- Races that were transferred from the previous calendar show up with a “Claim Your Race” link that allows Race Directors to claim and manage the listing for future years.
No data entry, no maintenance.
The Race Director can use this link to manage their own listing.
Stage 2: RunSignup as a Resource for new Race Directors
Providing free race consultation to any small race in the area is not sustainable, but Gallagher Fitness resources wants to provide as much guidance to new races as possible. To achieve this, they include a section on the ActiveSalem website for “Race Director Tools.” This includes things like Tips, How-To’s, and Timing & Promotion Contacts. Additionally, they include a “Create a New Race” button that allows Race Directors to start the RunSignup Race Creation Wizard from within a widget on their ToolKit page.
“There is still a place for those kind of [small] fundraisers & events, and RSU helps us keep them on the calendar, and keep them relevant and introducing new people to the sport. It’s refreshing to see Bob [Bickel]’s philosophy of providing a service without stealing all the information and selling it off – we don’t do that to our customers, and it’s nice to have a partner who feels the same way.” – John Gallagher
Gallagher Fitness Resource has a variety of training plans and clinics that they have hosted for years. These include both workout groups, and Plans & Guidelines, by level and goals, sent to both email & phone. To manage this, they wanted to integrate some RunSignup features, while still utilizing the plans and schedules built into their own internal system.
Because Gallagher had an internal system, RunSignup worked with the developer at the store. They set up an OAuth connection that allows runners to sign in on ActiveSalem and pull their data from RunSignup. This allows ActiveSalem members to access their RunSignup information simply by logging in on the ActiveSalem site, and allows the Gallaghers to continue using the training plans and tools from their previous system.
Stage 3: Training Programs and Memberships as “Clubs”
Running Stores without an internal system like ActiveSalem.com will be able to replicate using Clubs for Training Plans and Clinics without the same level of development work.
ActiveSalem accomplishes this by:
- Setting up a Running Club in RunSignup, with specific “Membership Levels” for each Training Program – for example, “Injury/Recovery 2 Month Plan” or “5K Training Plan.”
- Categories are set for Beginner, Recreational, Advanced, and Competitor to allow ActiveSalem to send more personalized Training Plans.
- There is a RunSignup Club Page, with all the Training Plan options, but most people will register directly on the ActiveSalem site. Each Training Plan has its own dedicated page on ActiveSalem with details of the program. A RSU registration widget has then been embedded into the page that shows only registration for that specific Training Plan. This is advantageous in several ways: it keeps runners on the ActiveSalem website to sign up for their Training Plan, and it prevents confusion regarding what they should sign up for by only showing the Training Plan that relates to that information page.
Stage 4: Towards the Future
Looking to the future, Gallagher Fitness Resources wants to continue to improve ActiveSalem.com, and find new ways to use technology to centralize the local running community. They have 2 things they are currently exploring:
Promoting Training Programs through Race Registration
ActiveSalem can use Club Cross Promotion with races it sets up in two ways:
- Auto-identify if runners signing up for a race are also members of a Training Plan, and offer them discounts for the race. No secondary steps or coupon codes needed: RunSignup can automatically recognize that they are members and should receive the discount.
- They will also recognize when runners are not already a part of one of the Training Plans, and suggest that they join a program. This will give additional exposure to the ActiveSalem Training Programs.
Looking into new Technology Solutions
John Gallagher has also been in talks with Final Surge, a RunSigup Tech Partner, about ways to enhance their Training Plans and Coaching interactio by incorporating features offered through Final Surge. This attitude of continuous improvement demonstrates a dedication to keep the ActiveSalem site dynamic and engaging for the local community.
Gallagher Fitness Resources has used the RunSignup Calendar and integrated Race Director tools to help enhance the ActiveSalem site, thus expanding the reach of their store throughout the area while reducing the manpower and labor required by the Gallaghers and their volunteers & staff. Additionally, they have improved the experience for members of their Training Programs, and are continuing to build their presence throughout Oregon.
If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small, email us
…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!