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Birkie – PowerPack Case Study

Birkie – PowerPack Case Study

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, more commonly known as Birkie, is the largest cross-country ski race in North America. Home to multiple races each year, the 107-kilometer Birkie Trail located in Hayward, Wisconsin attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers of every skill level. Every February, tens of thousands of ski enthusiasts travel from around the world for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation’s Slumberland Birkie Week.

In addition to hosting multiple events, Birkie is a non-profit organization committed to supporting local community initiatives throughout the Midwest as part of what is known as the “Birkie lifestyle,” which promotes a healthy, active outdoor lifestyle while giving back to the community.


As the organization grew, Birkie needed a reliable platform that could unify their historical and existing data. Using Dynamics 365 for Sales and Marketing in conjunction with five of PowerObjects’ PowerPack Add-ons, Birkie was able to customize their CRM functionality. This resulted in a streamlined event registration process; improved communication with participants; volunteers and staff; and increased productivity.

Featured PowerPack


With multiple events open for registration at one time and a large volume of historical data to search through, it can be a challenge to get the information needed without the right tools. Birkie utilizes PowerGlobalSearch to quickly locate and view participant data within Dynamics 365.

PowerGlobalSearch enables any user in their organization to look up a contact in CRM and view the vital information on the record – in one window – without having to go into their actual contact record.

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Streamlining the Registration Process with PowerZapEvent

The PowerObjects add-on, PowerZapEvent, Birkie’s exclusive event management engine that drives all online registrations straight into Dynamics 365. With PowerZapEvent, Birkie can maintain their event data for every race year over year, including revenue numbers, total registrants, and more. Together, Dynamics 365 and PowerZapEvent have streamlined their processes and provided a platform with easy-to-reference and organized data. Now, Birkie is equipped to make better marketing decisions with PowerZapEvent’s ability to automate marketing tasks for each event. This includes sending promotional offers and distributing surveys for shirt sizes. Not only that, but PowerZapEvent’s user interface is simple and easy for staff and registrants alike to navigate.

Keeping Data Clean with PowerWebForm

In addition to collecting new contact information, PowerWebForm is used as a tool for keeping existing participant data clean and up-to-date. By filling out a simple web form, Birkie participants can update their personal information, such as name, phone number, and email address, without assistance from Birkie staff. Any information submitted via a web form will update all related and existing records in Dynamics 365 automatically.

Improving Communication with PowerMailChimp and PowerSurveyPlus

Birkie uses PowerMailChimp to communicate with participants, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and media contacts. Working right out of Dynamics 365, they can create customizable and dynamic marketing lists that can be updated in real-time. Using MailChimp’s robust designer interface, Birkie is then able to create custom communications tailored specifically to each marketing list.

“For events like the Birkie Trail Run Festival, PowerMailChimp gives me the ability to reach out to all of our participants with customized messages based on whether they’re running in the Ultra, the 5k, or are a general participant in the event,” says Nancy Knutson, Director of Marketing and Communications for Birkie. “I have really come to embrace PowerMailChimp because of the efficiency, it saves time, it’s so focused, and allows me to be creative while still getting the message out in a really easy way.”

With PowerObjects’ surveying solution, PowerSurveyPlus, Birkie staff can easily build robust surveys from within Dynamics 365. These surveys can be synced directly to contact or lead records. As the organization continues to grow, PowerSurveyPlus has been used to collect and track additional input from foundation members and participants.

Enhanced Productivity with PowerGlobalSearch

Because Birkie has multiple events running concurrently, PowerGlobalSearch is used to easily find and view participant records in Dynamics 365. Each contact record contains information specific to that registrant, such as how many races they are registered for, what place in the race they’ve been assigned, race history, and event orders without having to open multiple record types.

“If I didn’t have PowerGlobalSearch for what I do every day with registration and wave placing, I’d be using a number of different spreadsheets or programs and having to go back and forth,” says Colleen Dresses, Registration and Office Manager for Birkie. “It would be a lot more time consuming then our current process with Dynamics 365.”