Author: Katie Dunlap
Amway River Bank Run 2019
As a first-year title sponsor of the River Bank Run, Amway was excited to place their name behind a premier road race that was located in the company’s headquarters of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the largest 25K (15.5 miles) in the country, the 42nd Amway River Bank Run hosted nearly 15,000 runners (in four separate races), 1,500 volunteers and created a $1.3M impact on the downtown economy.
Amway’s Community Relations team had been looking for a chance to provide employees with a local team-building event that was fun, impactful, and engaging. So, when the opportunity to champion the River Bank Run became available, it seemed to be a perfect match for Amway’s passion for wellness and nutrition.
Knowing they were going to need a lot of volunteers for a race of this size and notoriety, the Community Relations team went straight to the top, asking for executive support and buy-in early. Immediately, three top executives created a “volunteering challenge” competing to see who could recruit the most volunteers to their respective team. Employees also recruited family and friends to be a part of the race-day action. Amway widely used it’s Corporate Internet, digital monitors around campus, email with fun “trash talk” video between executives, stickers on cafeteria tables, and banners/posters to recruit volunteers.
On race day, more than 400 Amway employees showed up to work aid stations, provide course safety, and cheer on runners. Groups of Amway Business Owners, individual sellers of Amway products, traveled from nearby regions to participate at Spirit Stations that lined the course. Dressed in tropical-themed apparel, they encouraged runners in the home stretch of the 25K.
After completing their volunteer assignments, employees and Amway Business Owners visited a VIP tent where they received volunteer appreciation medals and additional race swag. They were then able to hang out, spend time with fellow volunteers, and meet top Amway executives.
Weeks after the event, the Amway Community Relations team hosted a celebration ceremony for all employees who volunteered. Appreciation was showered on everyone that made this mammoth event a great success. One team was even presented with the Amway River Bank Run Volunteer Challenge “traveling trophy,” establishing a new tradition of “friendly competition” for years to come.
With the success of the River Bank Run in 2019, the Amway Community Relations team sees the race as a valuable employee engagement opportunity in the years to come. Amway also hopes to utilize this prime event as a global destination for its international Amway Business Owners.
Learn more about Amway’s impact at the 2019 River Bank Run and see what else they are doing to build on their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
Key Takeaways: Employee Engagement & Volunteer Program Ideas
- Gamification: Everyone loves a little competition. Amyway used the volunteer challenge to boost employee participation and keep things fun.
- Recognition: Employees were recognized for their contributions and received volunteer appreciation medals
- Celebration: Employees that volunteered had the opportunity to attend a celebration ceremony, which created another opportunity for them to connect with each other and bond over the success of the event.