Sunday, March 27, 2011

Running and sponsorship

Dear Sponsors and people who make stuff for runners

I write this as someone who cares about sales and marketing. Really -- not because I want free stuff. Much.

During my run today, I got thinking about sponsorships and runners, and sponsored runners. I started thinking, why do they sponsor the fast dudes? Who is going to see who they are sponsored by? The only people who will see their sponsors are other fast dudes - and they won't care, because they are sponsored by someone else.

The people who buy stuff, cos they like what they see, are the kool kidz at the back. So, wouldn't it make sense to sponsor someone who is down amongst the kool kidz?

There is also more exposure - the fast dudes maybe out on the course half of the time of the kool kid. Also, imagine if you were a sports drink manufacturer, say "Super Dooper Sports Drink" - the skinny fast dude, all you can fit on his shirt is "SD Drink", he will be so fast that that anyone watching will only see the word "Drink" - how effective is that?

Now, contrast that to the larger than life kool kid at the back - you could fit on  his shirt, "Super Dooper Sports Drink. If this dude can run, anyone can -- look what Super Dooper Sports Drink can do. Go to for more information or call 1-800-555-1234, and ask for Pete" Not only would a spectator be able to read that because our sponsored athlete is slow, they would have time to get out their smart phone and go to the website and order the stuff because they are so in awe of our runner, and so impressed with a supplier that cares about the folks at the back.

Lets look at advertising cost - our kool kid would do anything for a beer and a t-shirt. No contracts required.

Word of mouth - you know without a shadow of a doubt that if one of the people at the back were sponsored, they would tell everyone they meet that they have a sponsorship deal, and who it is who is sponsoring them, and how freakin' awesome their stuff is.

So, to sum up..... considerably more exposure, a better billboard, cheaper and more word of mouth advertising. What's not to like?

OK, so maybe I do want free stuff. Drymax, 2 Toms, RaceReady, nuun, Nathan,  New Balance, Yuengling, Fat Tire, Balvenie, bacon producers, I love your products. Feel free to contact me, and we'll talk. :)


  1. Ha! That's perfectly sensible. I wonder why sponsors didn't think of this sooner. Clearly, they fail to see the potential in your marketing proposition.

  2. LOL!!! Thanks Jimbo for making me laugh!

  3. they already have it figured out. they get you pay to large sums of money to run the events and then plaster their stuff all over your t shirt

  4. Joey - that's where they have it all wrong - again speaking from a pure marketing perspective. Sponsors will pay vast sums of cash to put a logo on the back of a shirt worn by people with nobody behind them? What is smart about that? :)

  5. Fat Tire on a run? sounds dangerous.

  6. nothing more true was ever said about anything...ever

  7. So what company is your first victim; I mean first sponsor?

  8. I will "host" your beer habit throughout your time in Tahoe if you agree to run TRT in a T Shirt that says, "I will run for pork"
    This coming from a gal that will do just about anything for a grilled cheese sandwich...
    Big sub 24 hugs for Umstead!