Run For It

It all started with a branded tube of blueberry-flavored lip balm. Two years ago, Marc Kozak and his wife Cheryl, the owners of Blue Monster Promotions (asi/466761), attended a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon in their hometown of Wildwood, FL. There they met Erika Corley (top right), a member of the Wildwood Rotary Club and the city’s director of events. They delivered their elevator pitch while handing her the self-branded blue lip balm; instantly “she was hooked on our creative thinking,” says Marc Kozak. “She wanted us to bring a new life of creativity to the local community.”

Soon afterward, Blue Monster was recruited to help promote the Wildwood Ides of March 5K, which appropriately took place on March 15, 2014 and benefitted the Wildwood Athletic Club and local Rotary International chapter. The first annual event in 2013 welcomed 215 participants; Blue Monster brought its marketing expertise to bring that number up to 450 people for its second year. “We marketed the event with a logo, signage, medals and these shirts,” says Marc. “We also brought on a few large sponsors from the local community, including PSL Construction, and challenged them to recruit the most people to run on their respective teams. We then designed shirts for their runners.”

The Kozaks used CoolDri performance shirts (H4820) from Hanes Branded Printwear (asi/59528) as well as performance tees (42000/42000L) from Gildan (asi/56842) for the PSL Construction team. Each features a screen-printed imprint designed by Blue Monster. “Last year, we designed an affordable Gildan 100% cotton T-shirt for everyone,” says Marc, “but we wanted to step up to the white performance tees. In Florida, it gets hot quickly and the heat lasts all day. The performance shirts are more affordable then higher-end shirts, but more breathable than a basic cotton tee.” 

In total, Blue Monster distributed 450 goodie bags, 450 official tees, 175 Team PSL shirts and 72 medals. “There are so many 5K events, mud runs, core training runs and other events that people attend just to get a medal and shirt,” says Marc, whose goal is to get an additional 100 people for next year’s 5K. “If the event has a cool and trendy design to promote it, you’ll get more attention and more runners signing up.”