A great way to advertise your website

Karen and Joseph at the start of the 2009 Ride to Conquer Cancer

Karen and partner Joseph at the start of the 2009 Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day 200 km bicycle ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of Princess Margaret Hospital. Photograph courtesy of event photographer and friend Edwin Santiago. View more of his fantastic photography at www.edwinsantiago.com.

So, this past weekend I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200 km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. What an awesome experience! Over 3,500 participants raised a record breaking $14.5 million for cancer research. Fantastic!
Now, I’m not an avid cyclist. Actually, I hadn’t been on a bicycle for over seven years until I bought a bike in April, so I only had two months to train. With the inclement weather we had in April, busy work schedule and fundraising every other weekend, I didn’t train as often as I would’ve liked. But, I managed the whole ride, even the hills up the escarpment, albeit very, very slowly.
And, I found the whole experience so inspirational, from seeing an 81-year-old blind man riding tandem to witnessing a young lady with only one leg complete the entire ride on her tricycle, that I plan to do the whole thing again next year. Only this time I will be able to start my training much, much earlier. In fact, I’ll be out on my bike again as soon as my legs have stopped aching!
Why am I telling you this. Because I will be out there wearing the official Ride to Conquer Cancer shirt that I wore on Saturday! And I will be seen by thousands of people during the course of my training! Great advertising for the sponsors on the shirt.

Thousands of potential customers see your logo & website address

Everywhere I turned on Saturday cyclists were wearing the official Ride cycling shirts… not everyone but the vast majority. Now, of course, to put on an event as large scale as this, including supplying cycling shirts to all the participants, as well as T-shirts for the crew, the organizers needed large corporate sponsors like CTV and Swiss Chalet, to help with the funding. So what better way to advertise and get noticed than have their logos on all those shirts.
On Sunday, after a full day of riding, most riders opted to wear different shirts and those in large teams wore shirts sporting their company logo and/or name. Of course, large companies can afford large scale advertising such as this… cycling shirts are NOT cheap! But individual riders and smaller teams also had their sponsors logos printed onto their shirts.
With over 3,500 riders participating, a couple of thousand family members supporting them, plus thousands of vehicles passing by, even small businesses like yours can benefit from this kind of advertising. And, if you make a large enough donation as well as supply the shirt(s), you can ensure your logo is the largest or, possibly, the only one appearing on the shirt, and take full advantage of a great advertising opportunity.

Continued promotion at no extra cost

Not only will your logo and/or website be seen on the shirt during this one event, but, like me, the participant that you sponsor is likely to continue wearing the shirt with your logo and website on it during other cycling trips. Which means continued promotion for your business at no extra cost to you.
So when you’re thinking of ways to promote your business, consider sponsoring a participant in a fundraising event, such as The Ride to Conquer Cancer or The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and provide them with a couple of shirts that have your logo and website address on the back to wear during the event. Not only will you gain some great advetising for your business and website but you will also be supporting a very worthwhile cause.
I will be walking in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in September. This is a 60 km walk through Toronto over two days, with roughly 5,000 participants. If you would like to be a major sponsor ($500 or more), I will gladly wear your t-shirt with your logo on it during the event and next year’s training walks instead of my own!
For information or to register for next year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer visit their website at www.conquercancer.ca. To sponsor me in the 2009 Weekend to End Breast Cancer visit my personal page.
You can also find more ideas on how to promote your website offline in our resources section.