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Why do athletes like to be sponsored?
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This time of year, I see a lot of social media posts about new sponsors. I don't know, I guess to me I like the freedom to be able to try new brands and products if I want. I feel like you can be a pretty high-level athlete without being on the absolute cutting edge 2019 equipment. I'm just mulling why so many athletes seem to seek out sponsorship, when it seems kind of limiting in some ways.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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total shot in the dark - money?

Nah. That cannot be it.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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if you’re talking about pro triathletes it’s more limiting to not be able to eat so there is that option with no sponsors.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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A) They are getting cash from the sponsor
B) They are getting free product from the sponsor
C) They are building up their reputation as a good “sponsor-able” athlete for future sponsors that can offer more A and B

Alex Arman

Strava
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
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I got the impression he was -not- talking about pro's. If he was, ignore my above comments... :)
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....

My bike shop gives me pretty good discounts (some of which are at cost) which easily adds up to over 2k in savings, and I'm just a lowly cat road racer. While I don't tell people I'm sponsored, I shill the crap out of that place because I feel I owe it to them.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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avatar78 wrote:
This time of year, I see a lot of social media posts about new sponsors. I don't know, I guess to me I like the freedom to be able to try new brands and products if I want. I feel like you can be a pretty high-level athlete without being on the absolute cutting edge 2019 equipment. I'm just mulling why so many athletes seem to seek out sponsorship, when it seems kind of limiting in some ways.

I like that freedom to be able to pick and choose. In the perfect world companies would find athletes who already use and love their product and can be authentic ambassadors. Athletes should seek out companies whose product they love and use.


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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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Are you referring to amateur age groupers or folks who race as a significant source of income? Sponsorships play a HUGE role for someone who pursues the sport as a career as it allows them to support themselves financially. While you think of it as limiting, I think of sponsorships as quite liberating given that it probably provides more than the checks the "pros" get from racing (I use the quotation marks since many of the elite folks require other jobs for a living such as realtors, personal trainers, or other jobs with flexible hours).

Being sponsored as an AGer is pretty cool as well. I was a product sponsor many years (and pounds!) ago and got a ton of free stuff and tried products before they made it to the public (backdoor brag alert! - As an example, I had an unmarked pair of Nike Free shoes that I ran in for about a year before they hit the market).
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....

Actually you sound kind of jealous. :)
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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So you don't look like a goof at Kona with a blank jersey like Cameron Wurf.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....


Actually you sound kind of jealous. :)

Busted. :)

OK, if they get 'sponsored' by pizza hut, then I'll be jealous!
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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SBRcanuck wrote:
trail wrote:
SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....


Actually you sound kind of jealous. :)

Busted. :)

OK, if they get 'sponsored' by pizza hut, then I'll be jealous!

Pizza Hut? Srsly??

Jessys or Alexandria's, then we're talking!

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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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Me, I'm way too fat and slow to ever be sponsored. But in actuality I would love to. I daydream of getting all sorts of free equipment. Even if it's just a simple tri kit with logos all over it. A really sharp looking one maybe similar to the Road ID kit, with that cool matching visor. Even a helmet that matches too and matching sunglasses. Then I take a swig of whatever drink sponsored me with this tasty stuff that's totally not Gatorade which I know it sucks but it's cheap and I can't really justify using anything else since it's so damn cheap and works for me. Yeah, and it's not piss warms like my Gatorade always is. It's ice cold. Not in one of my moldy bottles either. This is a nice bottle. It's not scratched up with dirt from countless rides embedded into the plastic. It's brand new and shiney and matches my jersey, shorts, hat, and yes.... Even my socks. Sorry I drifted off for a second.

Athletes like to be sponsored for free stuff and it looks cool.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Thomas
Very true, finding a current pro, thanking them for using Polar, and they love the fact they are recognized and have a go to person for future needs. This tends to be the best case scenario for both parties. Some pro's have trouble with no financial support which I can understand and it ends up not being a good fit if they can not accept product only. Some well established pro's, especially word of mouth amongst pro's in their training squad are happy to be affiliated with a brand and on occasion tag us in social media. Age groupers who we provide a discount code to really want to use the term sponsored, similar to the bike post above. I use the term product support or product partner in many cases. We understand limitations with professionals but those we have in our circle, are wonderful to partner with and love new product launches and feel special, which they are.

Disclaimer... I WORK FOR POLAR USA
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [doublea334] [ In reply to ]
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doublea334 wrote:
A) They are getting cash from the sponsor
B) They are getting free product from the sponsor
C) They are building up their reputation as a good “sponsor-able” athlete for future sponsors that can offer more A and B

Pretty much this. Good friend of mine used to be a sponsored wakeboarder. He got free use of a boat (new one every year) and wakeboards, clothes, sunglasses. It's also more than just being good at your sport, you have to be good at PR and dealing with others. Part of his deal was he had to do all the boat shows in his area, talking to customers and promoting the brands.

You can be the best athlete in your sport, but if you are a wet rag when dealing with people, there is no sponsorship (or limited opportunities). Even more to the point, my buddy would have a hard time winning even a small local competition, but looks REALLY good in magazine shoots (lots of style to his riding, just not as much difficulty), and is very personable.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
SBRcanuck wrote:
trail wrote:
SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....


Actually you sound kind of jealous. :)


Busted. :)

OK, if they get 'sponsored' by pizza hut, then I'll be jealous!


Pizza Hut? Srsly??

Jessys or Alexandria's, then we're talking!

If we are talking serious pizza, then it's 'On The Wedge'!
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
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Grant.Reuter wrote:
if you’re talking about pro triathletes it’s more limiting to not be able to eat so there is that option with no sponsors.

Yeah, sorry if I came across as denigrating those who are sponsored. I'm not, I was more just curious about how people make the decision to pick up sponsors.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [bretzky] [ In reply to ]
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bretzky wrote:
So you don't look like a goof at Kona with a blank jersey like Cameron Wurf.

I try to tell every new pro to forget about sponsorship - just focus on swimming, biking, and running and achieving all you want to achieve in sport. You don't do triathlon for the lucrative nature of the sport, you do it because you love it.Triathlon contracts are getting smaller and smaller as companies realize the ROI is minimal and usually a loss. It is hard to calculate the brand awareness/building aspect of it and that is what a lot of budget dollars go to without being able to tie it back. The reality is triathlon is a participatory sport with very few fans so the value pros have is tremendously small and is getting smaller and smaller with social media. The people who are really good at social media and are talented pros likely have someone doing just that for them. It is rare to have someone like Jesse Thomas. At the end of the day there is so much to triathlon beyond swim, bike, and run, pros don't have time to really build their brand the way they should, and most are too small that someone isn't going to want to help them because the piece of the action is not worth.

At some point there is a crossover and it becomes more valuable, but you have to get pretty darn good. Cameron doesn't look like a goof to me, I would rather see someone achieve their dreams, unless having sponsors is really why do you sport in the first place.


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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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SBRcanuck wrote:
Ego.

I get a good laugh at people who tell me they are 'sponsored' by Giant, because their LBS got them a discount on a bike. So now they feel obligated to wear their Giant shirt everywhere and talk about it.....lol
I'll get flamed for that....

My roadie is a Giant, and I do wear the Giant kit as well, and yes the LBS gives me a discount as I am a regular through the door, but I am not kidding anyone. I am in no way shape or form sponsored or will I ever claim to be! And There are days when i walk out the door looking like a Giant billboard and I do shake my head at myself!

Ask me how much I love my Kiwami LD Aero Trisuit
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [Leavitt] [ In reply to ]
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What you, and the other poster described, is not what I am talking about.
I'm talking about people who got the deals you got, then make it a part of their life to remind everyone, every day, that they are a 'sponsored athlete' (as they get dropped on the local club ride...).....
:)
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [SBRcanuck] [ In reply to ]
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As an AGer...if my social following got big enough like it seems to be for some folks in AUS...if Giant gave me (for free, not discounted) the next Trinity Advanced Pro...then why not?

The more product that I don't have to buy the better. It's not a big deal. We're all trying to get to Kona, right? However, if it's a product that puts you at a competitive disadvantage then I'm out.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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A lot of AGers do these "sponsorship" just so that they can brag about being sponsored. I think they are really buying a bunch of stuff and may get some free samples to hand out to people along the way.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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TheStroBro wrote:
We're all trying to get to Kona, right?

Nope.
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Re: Why do athletes like to be sponsored? [avatar78] [ In reply to ]
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Isn't there a feeling of worth associated with being sponsored? As in I am a really good athlete see all the companies that are sponsoring me? If you are quite high level its about the money, money, money.

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