One street pole banner blowing in the wind over the Willamette River can’t tell its story, but a line of corresponding banners helps show the tale of a community that understands the importance of supporting a legacy. While Eugene has been called TrackTown USA for many decades, the generation of fans who stomped on the east grandstand bleachers as the 1,500m runners blew by are only a fraction of the fans who occupy the green of the new Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

By dressing the community in a universal brand, this new generation of fans and athletes will begin to feel the history and legacy that’s theirs to own and help keep alive. The collective visual welcoming from the community that is called the world’s home for track and field surely made for a powerful greeting to TrackTown this year.

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sport Commission, TrackTown USA, the University of Oregon, Eugene Marathon and several other track and field and running stakeholders came together to support a notion that something must be done to revitalize track and field in the community. Educating businesses, residents and athletes on the value and importance of truly owning the title of TrackTown was the first step to reinvigorating a track-centric community.

A robust communication plan was developed to help spread the word locally about the importance of track and field and its annual economic impact on the region, along with the significance of ensuring the event organizers, officials, athletes and fans felt a hearty welcome when visiting TrackTown this year. See below for examples of media campaign coverage.

In addition to having individual event pole banners lining the streets during their respective event, six different groups came together to create a universal look for all six of their events that allowed banners to remain on display for the entire track and field season in certain areas, namely the Ferry Street Bridge area. The collective effort showcased several of the many elite events hosted this year in TrackTown, a lineup unrivaled by any other destination.

Beyond the pole banners, the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission produced table tents, buttons, postcards and posters designed by TrackTown USA to help local businesses and hotels show their support for the sport. This initiative was the springboard that encouraged multiple businesses to go above and beyond by decorating their windows, storefronts and billboards in TrackTown-branded vinyls and window art.

Through the University of Oregon, the Wild Duck Cafe and The Original Pancake House had their windows professionally painted with event logos and nods to the legacy of TrackTown. Banners were draped on buildings at Oakway Center and along Franklin Boulevard. The Eugene Airport welcomed athletes, coaches and fans to TrackTown upon arrival. Hotel windows displayed welcome messages and check-in counters were decorated with balloons and event signage. Lane Transit District buses featured Welcome to TrackTown ads and backlit ads were placed throughout Lane Events Center. From April through June, the Eugene-Springfield metro area turned into the face of track and field.

Restaurants and hotels had the opportunity to outfit staff members in concert-style tees branded to match the community look on display throughout the area. This not only showed guests the support the community has for the sport, but it also shared the story of TrackTown with the employees and residents. By embracing the type of clientele coming into businesses and hotels, the staff had the opportunity to welcome each track and field visitor with open arms. Nearly 450 shirts were ordered by local hospitality companies.

TrackTown USA designed custom shirts for local legends Prince Puckler’s Ice Cream and Track Town Pizza. These exclusive, collectible tees are only available in TrackTown, and athletes, fans, coaches, families and residents have the unique opportunity to support these local businesses through the excitement of track and field. Market of Choice took the opportunity to provide athlete coupons for the 2024 NCAA Track & Field Championships and the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field as the Official Grocer of Welcome to TrackTown.

Beyond the visual representation in the community, TrackTown USA, the University of Oregon, the NCAAEugene MarathonUSTFCCCAHayward MagicSport Oregon and many other entities have shared the branding of TrackTown on social media. Through this, individuals who weren’t able to experience Hayward Field and TrackTown in person had the opportunity to experience Eugene’s heritage and track and field presence through both local and national digital platforms.

Understanding a legacy lays the groundwork for helping it live on. By learning from the past, the next generation of track and field fanatics, residents and athletes will have the ability to carry on the historic memories of TrackTown and create new ones as the sport continues to grow and evolve in Eugene.

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission, along with the entire Travel Lane County team, would like to thank all members of the community who rallied to make this year’s Welcome to TrackTown campaign special for the visiting track and field athletes, coaches and fans. We look forward to helping to do it all again next year and to helping to keep the spirit and legacy of TrackTown alive and thriving.