Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Can Blue Cross Give Race Customers a Choice?

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Thank you for taking the time to educate me on the process, Ruth. And thank you for passing the post on to the City of Philadelphia - although I am not holding my breath on that one. Indeed I've come to recognize that companies want to do the right thing and sometimes take a bit of a circuitous route to them.

Race day is a bit of an issue for those who prefer to plan ahead. I do like to hear that in future years they are planning to offer the mail order option. The sports center is so remotely located that it makes it hard to justify driving there two days in a row. And my biggest concern is of course the amount of energy consumed to get there and back, even granting the time.

I thought of brainstorming a few ideas to make the race more interactive. Maybe they'll give you and your team some food for thought. The race this year was quite miserable. Of course the City has not control over the weather, but having so many participants made it almost a stampede at the end. Everyone clawing their way to some food and water, in the mud, pushing and crushing inside the tent.

I ended up walking back to the car, trying not to get pressed by other runners or those folks who were trying to push strollers back towards the stands at the Yard. Overall it was a very trying experience.

Thank you for devoting an entire post to your thoughts on the 30th anniversary of the Broad Street Run.

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is the title sponsor of the event as you note, however, in this role the company has no control over how the logistics of the Race Expo and race itself are managed. That is handled by the City of Philadelphia Department of Recreation, which runs the race.

The Department has ownership of all the race logistics, such as the number of participants, location of water stations, race set up, clean up, subway transportation, and parking. IBC has had a very positive experience working with the City of Philadelphia on this race over the past 13 years and we have shared your comments with the Department of Recreation.

The City does offer runners the ability to pick up their race packets on race day, so that runners don’t have to make a separate trip to the Expo. In fact, approximately 1,300 runners took advantage of that option this year.

The opinions of the running community and others have led the Department of Recreation to make several race improvements over the years, from widening the race course after City Hall, to using disposable timing devices this year to help facilitate a smoother finish.

In addition, as you may know, compared to other races of this size and scope, race fees are quite low, and the City does a spectacular job organizing a fun and safe event.

The race director and organizers have considered making changes to the Expo, we’re told, that would speed the process to pick up race packets, as well as enable packets to be mailed to runners. These and other improvements will be part of the preparation for next year’s race.

We hope that you will continue to share your feedback and consider running the Blue Cross Broad Street Run again next year.

Ruth Stoolman
Corporate and Public Affairs
Independence Blue Cross

It seems like a small step the organization could take to potentially increase its presence in the hearts and minds of customers. Plus it would not derail the company's established marketing channels.

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