Submission Deadline

April 30, 2018

Finalists Announced

June 1, 2018

Final Presentations

October 14 - October 15, 2018


Bike MS is the National MS Society’s largest fundraising campaign, engaging over 70,000 participants to raise $68 million in over 75 rides across the country. It is the largest charity cycling series in the United States.

The rides are typically one- or two-day events that are a reasonable driving distance from metropolitan areas and are fully supported with first aid, mechanics, rest areas, shuttles, and more. When not on the route, activity is centered in a “village” atmosphere where participants have access to vendors, dining, beer gardens, camping (in some locations), team tents, and entertainment. The routes themselves range from 10 to 100 miles per day and cyclists can decide for themselves which route to ride.

The events are team-focused, with teams responsible for 87% of fundraising. Because of participant demographics (mostly male, middle age, higher income earners), we know that Bike MS is an ideal corporate event and that corporate teams of 10 or more cyclists are seven times more valuable than any other kind of team. Companies with a large professional employee base, especially those with a corporate culture of health and wellness – regardless of industry – are key prospects.

Over the years, the charity cycling space has become very crowded with many events vying for the same audience. Bike MS participation and revenue have seen a steady decline since our peak in 2012. While retention is relatively high – over 50% – there are not enough new participants joining the series to reverse the damage caused by attrition. We must increase new participant acquisition.

We know that cyclists join Bike MS because they were asked by someone they know – not us. However, team captains are usually recruited by staff and volunteers early in the event year. Team captains who are effective recruiters are our greatest asset, especially from corporate teams. However, digital marketing efforts are strong in some markets and may make an impact in our acquisition goals.

Last year, we had 74,000 riders and a total of 6,150 teams. Our goal for 2018 is 80,572 riders (40,000 new who have not participated within the last five years), and 6,489 teams.

Teams with 10+ members raise 3x more than teams with fewer than 10 members. In 2017, we had 1,561 teams with 10+ members; 642 of those were corporate 10+ teams. For greatest revenue return, we must attract new corporate teams that will recruit at least 10 members to participate.

Please use the included data, plus external public sources, to answer the following questions:


  • What are the greatest growth opportunities for new corporate teams?
  • Can we apply those opportunities to specific rides/markets, especially our biggest events?
  • What industries have had the strongest involvement in Bike MS in the last five years?
  • What occupations were responsible for most of our fundraising?
  • Can we tie together these industries and occupations to identify gaps/opportunities?
  • What is the common denominator for our top performing corporate teams? (Is it industry, culture, executive involvement, connection to MS, other?)
  • Can we quantify the effect competing events are having in our top markets? Top competitors:
    • Best Buddies
      • HYANNIS PORT June 2, 2018 Boston to Hyannis Port, MA
      • HEARST CASTLE September 8, 2018 San Simeon, CA
      • MIAMI November 16, 2018 Miami, FL
    • Peddle the Cause
      • St. Louis
      • San Diego
    • Pelatonia – OH
    • PanMass Challenge - Boston
    • ADA – Tour de Cure
    • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    • JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes
    • Cycle for Life - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    • Ride to Recovery
    • Virtual Cycling
    • Athletic Club Stationary Cycling Relays
    • American Cancer Society
    • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Team in Training


  • What are the greatest opportunities for digital marketing investments? Where have we seen the greatest ROI?
  • Once someone is registered, what tactics and behaviors drive fundraising, and at what times leading up to the event?
  • What behavioral data do you see about usage of our fundraising tools and how it may or may not relate to performance of top fundraisers?
  • Despite increasing our digital advertising spend, acquisition continues to trend downward overall. Why? Is it an issue of needing more traffic, better targeting, or a conversion rate issue that needs to be addressed through the registration process? What can we do to reverse the trend?


  • As you studied this data, is there something else that came up as an insight into our operations that the questions above do not capture?