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  1. #1
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    As soon as I posted that, I realized it could be taken the wrong way. I also realize that not many people get stuff just thrown at them. It is usually hard earned through a lot of work and time.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    I was thinking about this. I am also on a race team, and am fortunately enough to through that have access to some pretty decent deals as well. But I didn't get to be in this privileged position by being fast. Don't get me wrong - I don't completely suck on a mountainbike, but on the OCUP circuit, I'm mid pack in the Sport category, even on a good day. So two years ago when I was invited to join the Dukes/Cannondale race team, my initial thought was "isn't aptitude a pre-requisite?"

    I went to the initial info session and found myself in a room full of skinny, athletic-looking types talking about their off-season training and felt a little out of place. But as it turns out, Dukes/Cannondale is not just looking for podium-bound racers. They are looking for people who are going to be good ambassadors for the sponsors and the store, who are going to mentor less experienced riders from the Lapdogs, and to lead rides. Now this is all stuff I can do, and like Cpt., any benefits I have received through my affiliation with Dukes, Cannondale and Lapdogs have come from showing up, pitching in, and being part of the scene.

    And now, 2 years later, I have lost 20lb, improved my fitness, and am enjoying riding (even in the middle of the Sport pack) more than every before...

    So, Secret Agent, get out there and ride your bike, meet people, maybe join a club and help out a bit with your local trails, and you will be amazed the doors it opens.
    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.

    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.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  2. #2
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    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.

    The rider?

    Wade Simmons.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  3. #3
    Lemmy Rules!
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    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.
    Strava made me do it....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    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.

    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.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  5. #5
    dru
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    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)
    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    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!



    Drew

    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...
    Strava made me do it....

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