Participant study from renowned agency sets future races up for success

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 24, 2017) – 2017 marks the 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon, an event that has grown to nearly 30,000 participants across three races (full marathon, half marathon and 8K). Now, thanks to new insights from Achieve, a global research and marketing agency for causes, the Marathon is in a unique position to make the event bigger and better.

The decision to hire Achieve stemmed from the city’s desire and commitment to instill evidence-based research in strategic planning. Hired by the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, Achieve was tasked with uncovering what participants of the Philadelphia Marathon weekend of events seek in the world-class event as a way to improve the race and surrounding activities.

“It was critical that we hire a non-biased, experienced research firm to help us understand what participants think about our race – good or bad,” said Leo Dignam, Assistant Managing Director and Executive Director of Philadelphia Marathon Weekend. “Their strategic approach uncovered information that will allow us to create a more runner-focused event – and, we hope, draw in more participants over the next few years.”

“We applaud the city for having the insight to include the runner’s perspective and committing to use evidence-based decision making when addressing an event that evokes so much local pride,” said Robert Anderson, executive vice president of Achieve. “Utilizing a data-driven approach gives city officials a deeper understanding of how to activate their participants.”

Through a mixed-methods study, Achieve’s research revealed critical details the City is using as a basis for future decisions – such as returning the half marathon course to Philadelphia’s iconic neighborhoods for enhanced atmosphere and spectator support.

“In the Millennial Running Study, we found that this generation of runners is most influenced by two main areas: health/fitness and the overall experience of running events,” said Amy Thayer, Ph.D., director of research for Achieve. “This finding was consistent within the Philadelphia Marathon study as well. To truly capture and retain millennial runners, event directors must consider the holistic experience of a running event in addition to the race itself.”

“With Achieve’s findings, the Philadelphia Marathon is now in an advantageous position to grow in years to come,” Dignam said. “Because of their unique experience and long history in the endurance industry I strongly recommend Achieve for event directors seeking critical insights that lead to positive results.”

For more information on how Achieve’s research can provide a deeper understanding of your cause, event or constituents, contact Rai Masuda at [email protected].

About AchieveTM

Achieve is a global research and marketing agency for causes. We leverage our expertise in research, technology, marketing and strategy to understand and inspire your audience – whether current or yet to be discovered – to take action. Learn more about Achieve, our research, events and cloud-based technology solutions, at


Rai Masuda
[email protected]
866-553-6783 x854