I was about to say Long needs to win big races before he gets big sponsors like Redbull, but then there's Baekkegard. So except if Redbull decided to sponsor DB because essentially he is Frodeno Junior, this is indeed a strange situation.
Sponsors may not be big fans of the image Long conveys of himself (also what irritates a number of people here), not sure we'll ever see Sam with a Breitling, covering himself in La Roche-Posay sunscreen, and driving his plant-powered Mercedes to a fancy gala evening. Which is probably for the best.
Uh, what in the world are you insinuating here? Because he's an honest and earnest athlete? It literally has everything to do with his "profile" and nothing to do with how he "carries" himself. Baekkegard's social profile fits what the company probably wants in Denmark and Europe.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I like the guy and I think heâ€™s a colorful character bringing more people to our sport.
At the same time, he doesnâ€™t fit in well next to the other current top athletes. Just look at their faces when Sam starts talking at the St G pro press conference. What do you make of that? Do you see the elephant in the room there? It has to do with how he carries himself. And it doesnâ€™t reconcile too well yet with the typical type A average age white man showing up at IM events.
I think it is fair to say that â€śpolishâ€ť is part of someoneâ€™s profile and that isnâ€™t what Sam is about. That is perfectly okay. He is young and brash in a fun way. At one point, Andre Agassi was the â€śoddballâ€ť in tennis.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all have different profiles and sponsors and widespread appeal for different audiences.
It isnâ€™t like Red Bull is the â€śmust haveâ€ť sponsor in triathlon.
No idea why my head went to tennisâ€¦.