Racing events photography have been there since the days running events became a popular leisure and recreation activity. Runners would sometimes train months for a marathon – and would love to get their moments of achievement memorized in great photos.
For years the dominant business model driving racing events photography was selling photos to athletes. This model however is becoming challenging for race photographers these days. People are taking and sharing photos all day using their smart-phone and are reluctant to pay for their own photos. Yet, at the same time – race finishers are still enthusiastic about sharing their race experience with their friends. This would usually translate to sharing their race photos to their social media profiles.
Sponsored race photography offers an alternative, up-to-date model. With this model the race or (most probably) the race sponsors would pay for having athletes’ photos taken and instantly posted to athletes’ social media profiles.
Athletes would enjoy having their professionally taken photos posted to social media – free of charge. The photos would be branded with sponsors’ logo/watermark and exposed to the hundreds of thousands of social media friends of the athletes - generating huge social media reach and on-line buzz for the sponsor.
Race owners will enjoy providing a great service to the athletes and "free" marketing for the race.
For race photographers this model secures the income through a fixed fee set prior to the race. In addition they might also have the chance to sell the high-res photos for extra revenues.
Operating Sponsored Race Photography should be simple – given the right platform is used. It is very important that the photography-operation would not get complex or require special equipment. At the same time – it is important that there is a fast photo-tagging solution (based on automated bib number recognition) in place as well as an instant social media photo-sharing technology available. Both athletes and sponsors would like to see the branded photos sorted and posted to social media as soon as possibly – within minutes or very few hours rather than days!
Leading race sponsors as Samsung, Gillette, Adidas, Nike, The North Face and Vodafone are already utilizing the sponsored race photography model in key events around the globe as – Malta Marathon, Moscow Marathon, Tel Aviv Marathon, El Cruce Colombia, The North Face Endurance Challenge and many others!
Vodafone Malta Marathon 2014 operates Sponsored Race Photography - Athletes Instructions