SBJ/Jan. 10-16, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Network to offer discounts to endurance athletes

The Active Network will debut a new online service Tuesday that is modeled after Groupon.com, offering deal-of-the-day discounts on race registration and retail products for endurance athletes.
The service, called “Schwaggle” (swag plus haggle), will launch in the San Francisco Bay Area for a three-month test period before being extended to the Active Network’s 6 million worldwide members.
“When we read that [Groupon] is the fastest-growing online company, we said to ourselves, ‘We already have a lot of those attributes,’” said Brian Enge, vice president of strategic projects with the Active Network. “But we know our customer a lot better, so instead of sending them offers on bikini waxes and tanning salons, we can send them deals on products they want.”
According to a source close to the Active Network, Schwaggle represents a six-figure investment that will include the addition of 15-20 personnel.
The Active Network provides online registration services to nearly 75,000 running, cycling and team sports events worldwide. Each event pays a small percentage per registrant to the network, which attracts 8 million unique visitors each month on its website.
Initially, Schwaggle will offer three deals each week. The debut deal is 50 percent off the $52 entry fee for San Francisco’s 12K Bay to Breakers race on May 15. The deal will be sent out via e-mail and will appear on the network’s Facebook page, and is open to the first 100 registrants. The first week also includes 50 percent off a PacWest Athletics training camp and a Fuel Belt Helium H2O hydration system.
The Schwaggle business model is a revenue-sharing agreement between the manufacturers and the Active Network. There is no up-front fee for the manufacturers — both parties split the profit, minus the cost of production.
“We see Schwaggle as an opportunity to reach the athletic-minded consumer on a much broader level in an engaging way,” said Angela Fang, general manager of the Bay to Breakers.
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