Here at OutsidePR, we run. A lot. And we like to pin on a race bib now and then. But when one of our staffers was mulling an entry to the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington D.C., she got a bit of a shock.
Entry fee? $175. That’s $13.36 per mile, and that isn’t the worst of it. To enter, you must also register yourself with “Nike+,”, which is NIke’s portal for marketing, community, and technology. They want your data, because they want to sell you stuff.
The event is so popular that even giving up your personal data to a multi-billion dollar company — and coughing up what constitutes half of a semester’s tuition when I went to UCLA — still doesn’t get you into the race. No, that’s done via a drawing from applicants, because the event is “sold out.”
I don’t begrudge Nike trying to make a buck, but fees like this help explain the rise of bandit races, which ultimately undermine traditional races. It’s self-defeating in the long run, and with the data mining added on, a poor reflection on one of America’s biggest brands.
If, despite all that, you’re into it — go ahead and check it out here.