Unity Technologies is a privately owned events-, apparel- and digital marketing company based in the Lowveld, in Nelspruit.

The company specialises in the organising of events, in providing a variety of casual, professional or social apparel and also provides a range of digital services. Its core focus, however, is providing support to sporting events, with a specific focus on, and expertise in, road running events.

The Unity team has, collectively, many hundreds of hours of experience in providing assistance to individuals or corporate entities in hosting a professional and memorable event, from the conceptual phase, through the planning and marketing phases, to actually hosting it and even cleaning up afterwards.

Unity has the capacity to provide all these services. Of course, organisers often prefer to do some or much of the work themselves, and rightly so. Many races have deep roots and a long history in a local community, and the organisers want to maintain that personal touch. However, even in such cases, they may require assistance in one or more of the sub-components of an event.

Races are becoming logistically and technically more complex and challenging to plan and host. In part this is because road racing is growing in popularity and attracting more and more people from far away. The complexity of hosting an event increases as participation increases, after all. In part races are also becoming more complex because of newer technology which is available. Finally, costs are increasing faster than sponsorships and organisers may want to provide an improved experience without charging unreasonable entry fees. They then look to obtaining products or services at lower prices than might be available locally.

Sub-components of a race which may be difficult to provide locally may include race products (water, shirts, medals etc.), digital services (e.g. a dedicated and professional website, or a system for online entries) or marketing (which also includes a large digital component since so much marketing takes place on social media these days).

Products (e.g. T-shirts, medals, race flyers): The race experience is greatly enhanced when nice race shirts are available to participants (whether normal T-shorts or dri-fit). A well-crafted medal also improves the race experience while a pretty and well-designed race flyer serves a greater purpose than merely providing information. It attracts attention and generates interest. It is an essential part of advertising and event.

Unity has a large, national network of suppliers so that large volumes of products can be provided at low cost, and – importantly – on time. Good quality is also guaranteed. Unity provides very good prices because having an extensive network of national suppliers and distributors gives us negotiating leverage and never because quality is compromised upon.

Websites, online entries and marketing: Organising an event, especially a large and popular event, requires tremendous administrative effort. Sometimes this work is done by individuals who are already very busy and have to perform these additional tasks in their own time. Having to juggle “regular” day-to-day duties with event organising means that one or the other task may be neglected. Furthermore, sometimes the work requires technical expertise which race organisers lack; e.g. creating and maintaining a race website, or administering a system of online entries.

Unity can handle the required workload in a way which is professional, efficient, and secure. However, Unity also has experience in working closely with event organisers. We do not exclude the organisers from any aspect of the race administration, logistics or management.

Many of the large companies which provide, say, online-entries maintain excessive control over the finances associated with it, and have strict and, in our view, unfair policies regarding when money from entry-fees is paid out to organisers, how much may be paid out and even how much may be requested before a race (with the balance paid out only after the event).

Unity feels that organisers should have control over all these aspects since it is, after all, their event.

During the course of several years, when we have had to organise events, or when some of our team participated extensively in events organised by others, we have developed an ethos which we try to apply to everything we do. This can be summarised as follows:

  1. Runners pay for, and have a right to expect a professional, and enjoyable race.
  2. Race organisers want to provide this but also – within reason – want to generate some revenue since a running club does have expenses and even social commitments.
  3. Unity Technologies are there to help bring about both of these