Reimagined 2021 #TankwaTrail
June 29, 2021


Stage 2 of the Dryland Traverse 2019 will forever be remembered. Not only for its winding single track cutting through the heart of the Klein Karoo, but also as a mad dash for the finish line to get to watch the Boks become champions of the world! Captured by Sage Lee Voges

How do you make the best mountain bike and trail running events in the world even better? You acknowledge that they’re world class and shift your focus to giving your entrants something back in exchange for their loyalty. A South African events company is challenging the status quo with an innovative loyalty rewards program that’s set to change sports events forever.

Being rewarded for your loyalty is not a new concept. Almost every major retailer has a loyalty program these days that encourages you to earn loyalty ‘points’ in exchange for spending your cash with them. Loyalty programs work by offering mutual benefits for both the service provider/retailer and customer. They’re popular because it’s an easy-to-understand win-win arrangement.
But that’s retail. When it comes to sports events, there’s always really only been the simple transaction of ‘pay this amount to us and we will give you that experience’. If the experience delivers as advertised, the entrant is content. If not, he/she won’t return.
Endurance sports events are not like shopping. They’re not essential, they’re voluntary. But they’re special. They wear you down and build you up – simultaneously. They take you out of your comfort zone physically, mentally and emotionally, stripping you down until only your character is showing. They add purpose to your life, and they help you find out exactly who you are.
Nobody really puts a value to this because they can’t. It’s priceless. Finishing an endurance event that you have been preparing for doesn’t just earn you a medal. It earns you respect and self-confidence. With Dryland’s new loyalty program, it also earns you rewards.

That’s right. You don’t get rewards for entering a Dryland event, you get rewards for finishing a Dryland event. Anyone can enter. But not anyone can finish. You have to earn your rewards with sweat and courage and commitment.

How does it work?

There are two systems in place:

Finish a Dryland event and earn the corresponding % back on your entry fee as well as establish a Dryland Athlete Ranking.
Finish a few Dryland events and accumulate entry-fee % return, qualify for various event extras at no charge and progress your way up the Dryland Athlete Ranking.

The points earned convert to the corresponding percentage entry-fee discount.
The points earned also determine your Dryland Athlete Ranking, ranging from Gritty to Fearless.
Points can only be earned in a rolling 12-month period. So, if you earned points at a Dryland event in April 2021, they fall away once that same event is held in April 2022.

Phase 1 will kick off with the launch and will only focus on offering event entry-fee discounts. Phase 2, which offers event extras based on your Dryland Athlete Ranking, will kick off in 2021. Event extras at no charge for top-ranking athletes will include accommodation upgrades, bike transport to and from events, technical back-up and sports massages. In some instances, complimentary flights to and from events.
Phase 3 launches discounts offered from various event partners, such as discounts on apparel, supplements and various other products (will be launched later in phase 3).

The program will be further extended to include supporters and spectators by offering priority parking, subsidised supporter packages, including meals and accommodation as well as access to certain rider-only areas. The focus is on making events affordable and accessible for family and friends following their spouse, family member or friend.

The entire Dryland Rewards Program will be activated and managed through the Dryland Rewards app, which is available now and free to download via Google Play and the App Store.

“We have been organising high quality events for 15 years. We realised that there are so many athletes, both amateur and professional, that keep returning to the same event year after year; or participate in a number of our events throughout the year,” said Henco Rademeyer, co-founder and director at Dryland Event Management.

“This repeat investment in our events by the athletes makes us, as organisers, proud. But we felt like we wanted to give something back in exchange for this investment. By their nature, events tend to be quite conservative. This helps with consistency, which athletes appreciate. It made sense therefore to maintain the consistency of our high-standard events and introduce a rewards program, which as far as we are aware, is a world first for mass-participation running and cycling events.

“We believe our Dryland events are already in a class of their own in terms of the complete event experience we offer. Now we are innovating further by adding the Dryland Rewards Program, which will undoubtedly add even more value to our entrants, especially those who enter multiple Dryland events in a year. We are excited and we believe our loyal event entrants and committed event finishers will be too,” added Rademeyer.

Download the app now and sign up to the Dryland Rewards Program today:

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