Download PDF version: October 19, 2015 BIBSWITCH Announces Its Official Launch
BIBSWITCH ANNOUNCES ITS OFFICIAL LAUNCH
New online platform facilitates bib transfers between athletes; provides race organizers with a simple, easy to use system through which to track transfers and add to race revenues
New York, NY (October 19, 2015) – Aimed at addressing a source of mounting frustration in the running community and the road race industry, a new online platform launched today that is designed to facilitate bib transfers between athletes and race organizers: BIBSWITCH.
Using a fair and transparent process to create a marketplace, BIBSWITCH was developed by a runner for runners in order to create positive change in the running community while eliminating the existing black market for race numbers (“bibs”).
“I constantly hear the agony and the frustration of runners and triathletes training for months for a race only to have an injury or other unforeseen event keep them from participating,” said Edina Leiher, founder of BIBSWITCH. “Adding to that frustration is the fact that even though they could no longer use the bib that they had paid for, there is no way to transfer it to someone who actually could use it. They lose out on the opportunity to transfer their bib, another runner loses out on the opportunity to race, and the race organizers lose out on a potential source of revenue. That’s why I had the idea to launch BIBSWITCH.”
Typically, when a runner manages to secure a bib for an upcoming race, no small feat given how competitive the market is just to gain entry to various races, majority of those bibs are non-transferable and non-refundable, even in the event of injury, pregnancy or other circumstance that keeps a runner from being able to participate. Race organizers have long pointed to the logistical issues that they believe would accompany the introduction of sanctioned bib transfers, so change has not been forthcoming.
“Technology has disrupted just about every facet of our daily lives, but for some reason it has not yet disrupted the legacy approach to transferring race bibs,” continued Leiher. “That’s where BIBSWITCH comes in.”
With BIBSWITCH, not only do runners have the opportunity to transfer bibs they can no longer use, or donate them back to race organizers, but race organizers themselves can also partner with this easy-to-use platform to track bib transfers and collect a small fee on each bib that is transferred between runners. BIBSWITCH removes a major source of frustration for runners and is a major step in eliminating the black market that tends to appear in bibs, particularly around major marathons.
“We’re both pro-runner and pro-race organizer. Both communities work hard and both are driving the explosive growth in running’s popularity. Before this year has come to close, there will have been close to 700 marathons in the U.S. alone and well over 500,000 people in this country will be able to say that they are ‘2015 marathon finishers,’” added Leiher. “But how many of those people will have finished those marathons using bibs they had to buy on the black market; and how many more runners could have competed if unused bibs had been made easily available for repurchase?”
BIBSWITCH’s platform was built with an eye toward keeping the costs of re-sold bibs at reasonable levels. “There is a cap on how much someone can ask for a bib relative to the price posted by the race organizer,” said Leiher. “We are not looking to move the outlandish prices of the black market onto our platform so we can participate. Instead, we are looking to make the transfer of bibs seamless, transparent, and low cost.”
To learn more about how BIBSWITCH works, please visit www.bibswitch.com.
Additionally, BIBSWITCH recently launched an iPetition campaign that has gathered a number of passionate responses highlighting the challenges runners face on this issue in their own words: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/runners-lets-change-outdated-bib-refund-policies.
“I invite both runners and race organizers to explore our website and to find out how they can be a part of the positive change we’re bringing to racing,” said Leiher.
BIBSWITCH is a New York City-based technology company, founded in 2015 by Edina Leiher, a runner who has completed various road races in the past seven years. The idea of BIBSWITCH came when Edina realized that the main complaint from people in her running circles was around the “no refund or exchanges” policy on race numbers. She believes that the existing rules and their limitations are outdated and don’t make a lot of sense in today’s digital age. She figures that if runners can push through the challenges of a race; they can also push through the challenges associated with changing these policies.
Note to reporters, editors and producers: Leiher is based in New York and is available for interviews.