“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

This has always been one of my favorite sayings. It reminds me that no great thing is created suddenly and that I must stay on course. Much like making a positive environmental impact, change doesn’t happen overnight. Marathon runners are no stranger to this concept because they learn to pace themselves for the long haul. One thing you should sprint toward, however, are eco-friendly products.

Sustainable Community Building

The role of a sports commission is extremely important to building a sustainable community in that they strive to improve the quality of life by making sure they have a thriving sports culture. One area where they can make a positive impact is implementing as many green efforts into their events as possible.

One organization, the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation, has been working especially hard at making their events as green as possible. They promote the lifetime benefits of sports for youth through educational initiatives, tournaments and clinics.  According to a press release, the 2016 The Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds marathon collected over 10,580 pounds of waste with a diversion rate from the landfill of 90%, and from that:

  • 9,535 pounds were either recycled or composted

  • 150 pounds of heat sheets recycled

  • over 75 pounds of discarded clothing donated local homeless shelter

  • 4,590 pounds of food donated to a local homeless shelter

In the end, the The Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds qualified as a certified zero waste event.


The Benefits of Going Zero Waste

But why go zero waste? These can be important issues when attracting event sponsors. By becoming a certified zero waste event through the The Council for Responsible Sport, you are making it known that you are reducing the negative environmental impacts and increasing the positive impacts at your event. Some key benefits include:

Align With Your Event’s Values  

  • An outside, third-party standardization system shows that your event’s values align with your potential sponsors. Such transparency can increase the confidence of all parties that the event is a positive and reputable platform for sponsors to market their brands and products.

Attract New Sponsors

  • This is an opportunity to create unique experiences for sponsors that cut through the fast-paced world of marketing. Taking the extra step to be mindful and to thank your event sponsors with green  products will go a long way in the minds of today’s co-conscious sports fans. By creating memorable experiences that tell a story, you will leave a favorable impression that may help sway future purchasing choices.


We’ve talked before about the surprising environmental impact running can have on the environment and that specifically, the average runner’s annual carbon output is 5,449 pounds! This means that marathon organizers have an excellent opportunity to seize the day to begin helping the environment.


For the past three years, Relan has partnered with the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation on their zero waste events journey. To assist them, we’ve taken their marathon banners to create gift bags, planners, and luggage tags to help them show their appreciation for their event sponsors.



Eco-Friendly Products to Sprint Toward

There are lots of sports commissions that could benefit from implementing a green strategy by creating eco-friendly products out of event banners instead of throwing them away. To propel making an impact on the environment, more organizations could begin using eco-friendly products in their marketing strategy. Just consider the endless and positive benefits on the community!

Sponsor Bonus

We recently received a nice surprise in our email inbox. As a partner of the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation, they extended a special registration discount code to their upcoming 27th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Family Stroll! We appreciated knowing they are thinking of us! 

It's not too late! Fun for the entire family, sign up today as an individual or as a team to have a heart healthy holiday! 


Do you have an event or need thank you gifts that you want to feel good about giving? Contact us to start the conversation!


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