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Mercedez Benz Corporate Run

Written by Jaclyn Levi

Year after year, the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run kept seeing significant growths in participation. By 2015, participation had exploded to 36,643 participants and 1,220 teams. That’s when assistant race director, Eddie Suarez, knew they could no longer rely on their basic registration management methods to handle their ever-growing corporate run initiatives. “I knew we needed a change, but I just didn’t know there was a solution. Luckily, haku came knocking,” Eddie said.


haku had identified TeamFootWorks’ unique challenges, for participants and the organizer alike. As a corporate run, company leaders needed to be able to create a team and allow employees to register as part of it. Additionally, these corporate teams needed to be able to set flexible payment options, where they could choose to cover all, part of, or none of the registration fee for all or some of their employees. TeamFootWorks also wanted captains to be easily able to purchase products, generate invoices, and pay by credit card or check.


As the organizer, TeamFootWorks, needed greater visibility into team data and more extensive branding capabilities to satisfy the strict branding guidelines of their title sponsor, Mercedes Benz. There was no suitable solution to address the complex needs of this event. “Our pre-existing management and registration methods were causing an exorbitant amount of work for the TeamFootWorks staff, which meant we had to invest in additional resources and processes to fully cover our event needs,” said Suarez.


“When haku pitched to us, there was a lot of internal resistance to change. The general attitude was that our current methods had already helped us be very successful, why would we change?” After demos and further consideration, TeamFootWorks decided to take a leap of faith with a new system.


As they say, the rest is history. The first year with haku was a huge success. “With over 1,300 teams and 37,000 participants, haku’s solution allowed captains to self-manage their corporate team. Plus it let our internal staff streamline our formerly complex processes."



"WE WERE BLOWN AWAY WITH HAKU AS THEY SAVED US CONSIDERABLE TIME AND RESOURCES, WHICH LET US FOCUS OUR EFFORTS ON THE EVENT EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN THE DAY-TO-DAY PROCESSES. SO OUR PARTICIPANTS HAD THE BEST EXPERIENCE IN THE 30 YEARS SINCE WE LAUNCHED THE EVENT.






Eddie saw a lot of benefit in using haku’s full-service platform. It gave captains everything they needed to create and manage their teams. They were given the power to approve or deny team members, make payments by check or credit card, purchase products, communicate with their members, public a public page and more.


And since captains had access to more robust features, the added investment in resources and processes by the TeamFootWorks staff has been effectively eliminated. TeamFootWorks has even benefited from better organizer capabilities that the haku platform provides them. The support staff now has full visibility into each team, their invoices, and balances. They can even process payments for a captain, see product orders, and more. The staff specifically likes how flexible the platform has been, meaning the technology is adaptable to fit their business, not the other way around. “Since we allow some sponsors and participants to pay after the event happens, we needed a way to keep them in the system but mark them as payment pending. haku allows us to do that and it makes sure we never forget to collect payment. That was a game changer for us.”


Today, haku and TeamFootWorks continue to grow together. That’s what Eddie says he likes most about haku. “They work with us to make sure we have all the features we need and that it’s always easy to use. They help us field support calls from customers and are always there when we need them. It’s like they’re not just another vendor, they are really our technology partner.”


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Each issue will feature articles and advice on how to grow participation, increase engagement, improve your marketing, simplify event weekends, and much more.