Paralympians Get Real Time Text Updates With TextMarks
Every winter, the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) invites the country’s premier disabled skiers and snowboarders to Winter Park, Colorado to compete in the three-day Wells Fargo Ski Cup.
The event, now in its 39th year, always posed a challenge for its organizers: how do you keep dozens of athletes, their families and their fans, all spread out across a sprawling ski resort, informed of accurate and up-to-the-minute racing schedules and standings?
The NCSD used an announcer and Jumbotron, but racers and fans having a good time socializing would often miss key pieces of information.
Four years ago, the NSCD figured out a simple and effective solution to the problem: use TextMarks to provide real time text updates and announcements.
“With any event like ski races, getting the information out to the masses can be really difficult. When you have an organized event and need to get it out in real time, to keep everyone on schedule, it’s really difficult,” says Nina Jackson, an NSCD coordinator.
With TextMarks, an innovative text messaging platform, the task became easy.
The 39th Wells Fargo Ski Cup took place this past February in Winter Park, the last competition for many of the athletes before travelling to Sochi, Russia to compete in the 2014 Winter Paralympics. And again the event’s organizers turned to TextMarks to keep skiers and spectators in touch with developments on the mountain through SMS alerts.
For the fourth straight year, the NSCD subscribed to TextMarks, then promoted the SMS short code, 41411, and a unique keyword on flyers at the event. The technology empowered participants to immediately get the information they needed about start times, round advancements and qualification results. Family members and friends always knew when their loved ones were headed down the mountain.
“People really love it,” Jackson says. “We still use the announcer and Jumbotron, but to have the information go directly to their cell phones by text is really convenient.”
Ms. Jackson is pretty happy with the text messaging service too from reading her recent tweet: “Loving @TextMarks for our ski racing event! Perfect marketing feature to keep racers and individuals informed.”