Competitor Group Ends Elite Support (Read 613 times)

    I suspect many of the volunteers are doing so primarily for the runners and not for the organization putting on the event.

     

    MTA:  Plus a lot of the volunteers are employees of sponsors and students at schools which have their own PR motives.

      Yes. They ask extensive questions. I think it's when you register but I'm not sure. I run a lot of big events and I might be mixing them up. They ask demographic questions (including income level), how often you race (including how many RnR events you've run), your stay in the city (whether you're local or visiting and if visiting how you got here and where you're staying), and to your question how much a variety of things influenced your decision to run the race. I'm guessing elite field was part of that list. (The race sponsors are also on that list. Not sure if they share that information with them or not. I guess I better start lying and say that it does influence me that Mega Bank and Mega Hospital are sponsors).

       

       

      I'm pretty sure the responses to these survey questions are used sell sponsorship (ie. advertising) for bigger profits.


      A Dance with Monkeys

        it's illegitimate to disqualify arguments from the get go if they don't refer to the profit motive. Arguments have to be disqualified on their own terms

         

        Dude. This is America.


        A Dance with Monkeys

          I suspect many of the volunteers are doing so primarily for the runners and not for the organization putting on the event.

           

          That may be what the believe, but they are saving the organization a hooha amount of moola.

          Julia1971


            I'm trying to remember what the questions actually are.  Because, "How much did Mega Bank influence your decision to run this race?"  probably wouldn't be a good question.  But, I feel like that's the nature of the question - like I'm going to switch my bank account because Mega Bank is a sponsor.  But maybe it's something like, "Did you know Mega Bank was a sponsor of this race?" which could be used to sell sponsorships...  I'm going to think a lot harder about these survey questions from now on.

             

             

            I'm pretty sure the responses to these survey questions are used sell sponsorship (ie. advertising) for bigger profits.

            Run the mile you are in.

               

              That may be what the believe, but they are saving the organization a hooha amount of moola.

               

              Probably irrelevant to the volunteers. Plus, they get a t-shirt.

                 

                Because people won't volunteer to flip burgers for McDonald's.  There's nothing in it for them.

                 

                The use of volunteers to do labor for for-profit entities is not so unheard of, and there are not necessarily laws against it if the labor is truly given voluntarily.  For example, many smaller wineries use volunteers to bring in the grapes.  People volunteer for this...knowing that the winery will profit from their labors...for a variety of reasons, including getting a chance as a wine lover to be involved in the winemaking process and see how it is done, and because they find joy in it.  I assume being part of the event, hanging out with like-minded folks, and seeing the gratitude of runners is why people volunteer for races as well.

                 

                But I am not convinced that CGI volunteers really know what is going on, winery volunteers do.  Perhaps I am wrong.

                 

                One can hardly blame them if they are confused on that point, given that the portion of the RnR website that solicits for volunteers urges people to "help support your community" by volunteering...


                Feeling the growl again

                   

                  One can hardly blame them if they are confused on that point, given that the portion of the RnR website that solicits for volunteers urges people to "help support your community" by volunteering...

                   

                  This, and the fact that they run races that didn't used to be for profit, is what leaves me needed to be convinced that most of the volunteers understand the arrangement.  But like I said, I could be wrong.  I have not spoken with any of their volunteers.

                   

                  It is easy for me to not see why people would volunteer for such an organization; I dislike them.  Smile

                   

                  Perhaps some of the volunteers are happy to help for free if it keeps the races going.  If CGI had to pay for all of that staff, I don't think they could work the financials favorably.  I think the races would turn into a terrible experience under-staffed by people who aren't as passionate about helping runners as the current volunteers.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   

                    I'm trying to remember what the questions actually are.  Because, "How much did Mega Bank influence your decision to run this race?"  probably wouldn't be a good question.  But, I feel like that's the nature of the question - like I'm going to switch my bank account because Mega Bank is a sponsor.  But maybe it's something like, "Did you know Mega Bank was a sponsor of this race?" which could be used to sell sponsorships...  I'm going to think a lot harder about these survey questions from now on.

                     

                     

                    It's a lot more subtle than that. Competitor's sales team will use the customer profiles that you helped them create to pitch sponsorship (advertising) packages to various mega corps looking for particular types of customers. Then those sponsor/advertisers will then use that customer profile info to sharpen messaging at the race to better build or create brand loyalty and awareness ... and hopefully more business.

                    Julia1971


                      Oh, for sure.  But it's not just Competitor.  I'm pretty sure I answer these questions for a few races which is why I'm not really remembering exactly what Competitor asks vs. the others and could be confusing their survey with another.  But, as far as the question re whether Competitor knows how much their runners value elite representation, I'm pretty sure they ask that in the survey.

                       

                       

                      It's a lot more subtle than that. Competitor's sales team will use the customer profiles that you helped them create to pitch sponsorship (advertising) packages to various mega corps looking for particular types of customers. Then those sponsor/advertisers will then use that customer profile info to sharpen messaging at the race to better build or create brand loyalty and awareness ... and hopefully more business.

                      Run the mile you are in.

                      jimmyb


                        I stated my beliefs about business clearly. It is my answer to any reasons people come up with to why this company is supposedly morally or ethically obligated to pay elite runners (whether you are paying for their hotel or fee or paying them cash, you're providing them an income). You might believe it you know what is best for their bottom line, but so what? It's their bottom line, not yours or mine.  I haven't seen evidence of the Competitor Group breaking any laws or not paying taxes. They provide a service for paying customers, who generally like their product and are willing to pay good money for it. They made a business decision not to give money to someone. No different than a company deciding not to renew a contract with another entity. That's between them and the elites. Two private entities.  Really none of my business. Companies are not morally obligated to enter a contract or to give away their product or service for free. And any argument to the contrary will get the same answer from me.This is my simple reply to the OP.

                         

                        Call it illegitimate or the result of severely handicapped intelligence if you wish. I'll still pretend to be Jeff on "Be Jeff" Tuesdays, and read your blog. Cool

                         

                        My beliefs about people complaining about business practice: go right ahead. Freedom of speech and protest.  If you feel they've done or said something wrong (these days it's "said" more than "did"), go right ahead. I just don't see anything wrong here in this case. Of course I understand some of the laws affecting business have come about because of protest and political discussion. But I didn't think I had to write about that. Perhaps, I should have written that I believe companies have a moral obligation not to kill, pollute, steal and bribe politicians and public workers, or squash civil rights. But there are laws for that now. I was keeping my argument to the present and to companies keeping on the up and up in terms of the existing laws, which are pretty vast, and if obeyed, keep companies pretty ethical.   I'm sure there is some unethical thing a company is doing out there that I haven't thought about, and for which no law yet exists.

                         

                         

                        I don't think any of your questions that you ask here have general answers, but in specific cases, they obviously do. You write as if the laws that govern business interaction just appeared divinely out of the blue. They came into effect by people doing political reasoning around the practices that businesses undertook.

                         

                        As far as this specific case goes, you write as if no one has offered any reasons why this business "has to pay a single dime to an elite." People have given tons of reasons. If you want to engage with those reasons, you can. But taking a broad stance that says "any reasoning that doesn't come down to profit-motive is irrelevant" is basically just drawing an arbitrary line in the sand. You have yet to justify this line: all you have done is said that you don't believe that businesses should be subject to these sorts of criticisms, and that no one who has any complaint about a business practice that can't talk about the way in which that complaint furthers the bottom line of the business is automatically unjustified.

                         

                        Anyways, this is obviously a tangent, and really I just want to say that it's illegitimate to disqualify arguments from the get go if they don't refer to the profit motive. Arguments have to be disqualified on their own terms -- and it's definitely legitimate to use the argument that if business X adopts practice Y, they will no longer be able to make a profit as a disqualifying argument. But to attempt to reduce all arguments to this form is to severely handicap intelligence.

                        Log    PRs


                        Feeling the growl again

                          While people like to think the worst of corporations, the truth is that most do care about more than the bottom line, and have ethical guidelines or other guidance about what is "right" with which they try to shape their behavior.  So, it is not out-of-bounds to enter this into discussion.

                           

                          Second, you're still on this "they were getting something for free" tangent.  They were not.  The elites were being hired like any employee to deliver value for the company.  The company decided there was greater value to be had by directing the money elsewhere.  OK.  But just because a company is not breaking any laws does not mean I or anyone else need to like their business model or its affect on our sport.  I'm a tried and true capitalist, but that doesn't mean that money is all that matters.

                           

                          I stated my beliefs about business clearly. It is my answer to any reasons people come up with to why this company is supposedly morally or ethically obligated to pay elite runners (whether you are paying for their hotel or fee or paying them cash, you're providing them an income). You might believe it you know what is best for their bottom line, but so what? It's their bottom line, not yours or mine.  I haven't seen evidence of the Competitor Group breaking any laws or not paying taxes. They provide a service for paying customers, who generally like their product and are willing to pay good money for it. They made a business decision not to give money to someone. No different than a company deciding not to renew a contract with another entity. That's between them and the elites. Two private entities.  Really none of my business. Companies are not morally obligated to enter a contract or to give away their product or service for free. And any argument to the contrary will get the same answer from me.This is my simple reply to the OP.

                           

                          Call it illegitimate or the result of severely handicapped intelligence if you wish. I'll still pretend to be Jeff on "Be Jeff" Tuesdays, and read your blog. Cool

                           

                          My beliefs about people complaining about business practice: go right ahead. Freedom of speech and protest.  If you feel they've done or said something wrong (these days it's "said" more than "did"), go right ahead. I just don't see anything wrong here in this case. Of course I understand some of the laws affecting business have come about because of protest and political discussion. But I didn't think I had to write about that. Perhaps, I should have written that I believe companies have a moral obligation not to kill, pollute, steal and bribe politicians and public workers, or squash civil rights. But there are laws for that now. I was keeping my argument to the present and to companies keeping on the up and up in terms of the existing laws, which are pretty vast, and if obeyed, keep companies pretty ethical.   I'm sure there is some unethical thing a company is doing out there that I haven't thought about, and for which no law yet exists.

                           

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                             

                            Call it illegitimate or the result of severely handicapped intelligence if you wish. I'll still pretend to be Jeff on "Be Jeff" Tuesdays, and read your blog. Cool 

                             

                            No, you misunderstood me. I only wanted to say that restricting arguments in this way handicaps (or hinders) intelligence. I certainly didn't want to say that you had a severely handicapped intelligence -- that's obviously not the case! Anyways, I sorta went down a rabbit hole that is a "pet peeve" of mine.

                             

                            I hope you will keep reading the blog, and I hope that I will keep writing on the damn thing some day.

                             

                            MTA: spaniel put my point more simply here: "But just because a company is not breaking any laws does not mean I or anyone else need to like their business model or its affect on our sport.  I'm a tried and true capitalist, but that doesn't mean that money is all that matters."

                              A side-note: I'm not sure about the role of private equity firms, but there certainly is a huge literature on the "myth" or "tyranny" of believing shareholder value (i.e. generating profit) is the sole (or even primary) purpose of corporations.  Here's one brief overview.

                              jimmyb


                                 

                                No, you misunderstood me. I only wanted to say that restricting arguments in this way handicaps (or hinders) intelligence. I certainly didn't want to say that you had a severely handicapped intelligence -- that's obviously not the case! 

                                 

                                Sorry for any twistage. Not too serious here, Jeff. If it wasn't so annoying, I'd be using smileys all the time to depict the jovial state of mind I'm usually in when I'm on this message board. I didn't take anything personal. I mostly try to get a little mental exercise in threads like these.


                                As far my level of intelligence...that would depend who you talk to. My Dad often called me "porous head", my dog thought I was a genius, and I once lost a a debate with a parking meter.

                                 

                                I not only read your blog, but I'm a member.

                                 

                                If you ever monetize, I'll expect payment for having my mug in that little box in your member list. After all, I'm an elite Cliff Clavin impersonator.

                                 

                                p.s. when I see that you have 220 members, it makes my blog feel like it wasn't well-endowed at all.

                                Log    PRs