Sponsorship and Freebies
Actually I am surprised this topic has not come up before in the forum. seen it numerous times in other places and it deserves it's own thread.
I will try to add to what Unglued mentioned as best as I can. I think this stuff needs to be shared as by doing so am like those over years of sport passed on stuff to me.
Nothing ever comes across the internet the way we want it to. Ever. But when you think about it there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to this. And Unglued is right in that what the concept of sponsored rider or athlete has changed from what we still think it is.
Originally Posted by secret agent
As Unglued mentions the era of being sponsored simply based on race results has long passed. Back in the 80's and early 90's you could get sponsored at varying levels simply based on athletic performance. But that era has passed for numerous reasons. Now days sponsors whether they be Duke's or Brodie bikes they want more then race results.
Originally Posted by Unglued
It takes years to get even the most basic of sponsorships. In some instances like Barry you get invited. In other cases like Running Free you have to put together a resume of results and other activities you are doing like trail work, organizing training sessions, and so on.
Running Free Canada
And if you are fortunate enough you get chosen to join the team.
As Unglued pointed out being a good ambassador for the sport and the team is a huge factor. Nothing reflects poorly on a sponsor then the athlete who snivels and whines about stuff like getting lost on a race course. And while you may not hear it now the company or shop who is your sponsor will file stuff like that away for future reference. Especially in this digital age where lousy behavior is shared in less then 5 minutes.
Funny story in regards to getting sponsorship.
Years ago...back about 93. A young racer with some results wanted a bike sponsor. And not just any sponsor but a Canadian icon. He sent in his request and arranged a meeting with the sponsorship guys at the time. Then comes up the bike company asking him what he can do for them as well as racing. The racer said he would paint the companies name and logo on the side of his van. They kind of went the usual "yeah; right". When the young racer told them to go look at his Van that he had strategically parked so they could see it. Well once they saw the side of the van...............well the rest is history.
I would not call myself sponsored. I don't get anything for free. I have the occasional opportunity to buy components, kit etc at below MSRP and it helps because this is an expensive sport. And I didn't go looking for it. I just rode my bike for about a decade, met a lot of great people along the way, and my affiliation with Dukes happened very organically. And there is not one single thing only bike or that I wear or use while riding that I got on a prodeal that I would not have paid MSRP for. Using the word "freebies" in the title of this thread is a bit of a misnomer because I have not ever received anything. For free, nor has anyone else I know with whom I ride. And the fact I get the occasional discount on parts and kit has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I am part of a team. It's about camraderie, riding with people I like, and hai g fun.
You are right that Freebie is a probably the wrong word. But it is probably the most accurate to describe how some think when it comes to this.
Originally Posted by Unglued
While the structure of Lapdogs and Running Free teams are different. The part where you mention pro deal and would be willing to pay MSRP. Same thing with RF which is the entry to the world of sponsorship. For many like you and I we are happy with that.
Unglued, thank you for sharing in my inadequacies! I now feel better. Of course, I was a bit fitter last time I did the mid pack thing back in 2010. Now I'm just slow!
(even in the middle of the Sport pack)
Originally Posted by dru
Slow is relative. Out of the folks I usually ride with I am the slow one. However, if I lead a beginner/intermediate ride for the club I have to really rein myself in and I would imagine that compared to the MTB population as a whole, I am relatively speaking one of the stronger riders.
So I have taken to describing myself as a fast slow guy, but I aspire to become a slow fast guy...
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