Hmm… is ‘The Neon Run’ a scam?
Every time I’m on FB it seems like there’s a brand new ad for a (brand new) fun run that looks a lot like all the other (brand new) fun runs. With seemingly no barriers to entry in the booming mob-and-mud run industries, you don’t necessarily need a business plan these days. Hell, you don’t even need a product.
You can simply:
- COPY photos, videos and web content from your (soon-to-be) competitor
- PASTE swiped content on your brand new website/FB page
- RENAME the series (cribbing around 50% of your competitor’s name)
- ANNOUNCE your first event!
- PROMOTE with targeted FB ads
- USE (advance) ticket $ales to create whatever you promised
- HOPE you can pull it off
Some might argue that a similar plan worked out well for Tough Mudder.
What happens when you can’t pull it off?
What happens when you over-promise and under-deliver?
What happens when you fail on every possible level and your race is an unmitigated disaster?
Ask the organizers of The Neon Run. They’re finding out the hard way.
This past weekend, The Neon Run hosted their inaugural event at the Firebird Speedway in Phoenix, AZ. I wasn’t there, but I know what happened. Thanks to the magic of 2013, the backlash struck in real time as seemingly all 4500+ “neon” runners simultaneously stormed social media.
There was this…
And hundreds like them.
The word ‘scam’ was interwoven into countless complaints, leading to a (partial) mea culpa from the organizers.
It also led to this news segment on the local Fox News affiliate.
I’d love to write more about this, to give a voice to the thousands of bummed out Neon Runners, to explore the possible side effects this could have on the fun run industry as a whole. And I’d love to tell you how the (anonymous) race organizer explained this fiasco to me when I tracked him down and asked WTF happened.
But before I do that, I’d like to find a good home for this story.
NOTE: WRITER, 36, SEEKS EDITOR WHO WANTS TO READ MORE.