Competitor Group Ends Elite Support (Read 606 times)

    Great post, WG. For most of us professional sports is entertainment. Solo athletes need to consider their personal brand much more than those who do team sports. It's a differentiator too many professional runners are neglecting. But are enough of them skilled enough to do it or wealthy enough to pay someone to do it for them? Just imagine if half the players int he NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL had to manage their own brand? It would be ugly.

     

    Just my point of view but ... I see pro cyclists do a better job at relating to recreational cyclists through personal brand building. All while being better paid overall, having better team structures, and more reliable race schedules. Perhaps there is something to be learned.

        How many of the really big names in this sport have a regular blog, not just an occasional contribution to a running mag?  I think the pro runners need to do more than just run if they expect to make a living at this sport.

       

      One Dean Karnazes is all I take.

       

      I like Jeff's link and the excerpt he cut out. This pretty much sums up my feeling.

      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

      TripleBock


        More free beer and brats after the race!

         

         

        My guess is that they realize it is actually GOOD press for them to make this move. Your standard marathon runner likely feels like the fact that someone is fast doesn't mean they deserve special treatment and would prefer that their entry fee be spent on their amenities.

        I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock


        A Sweetheart

           

          One Dean Karnazes is all I take.

           

           

          I'm talking about people that can back it up, not self-serving attention whores. I loved watching Deena Kastor race, but tell me something funny or interesting about her. There is nothing.

           

          Forget Dean Karnazes.  The ultrarunning model is something to look into though, because in some ways it mimics what runners in the 70's (who were household names) were doing. Show up at some small races. Race for the love of it and sit around and shake some hands and bullshit with some runners post race. Have a beer with everyone. It won't derail your whole career.

           

          FKT's are the rage in ultrarunning. I'd love to see some of that trickle down to shorter courses all over the country. That's fun stuff, even if it starts out with local elites.  Want to know what people talk about in Percy Warner Park in Nashville?  That Dick Beardsley went sub-60 on the 11.2. This took place in the early 80's and it is still brought up. It gets communities involved and familiar with runners.

           

          The blog, as I brought up. Let me know about your training, fun stuff you do that lets me relate to you, and where you will be racing this year. I'll be on the lookout for your races. Social media as a whole. I follow Lolo Jones because she is hysterical on twitter. Do I pay more attention to the women's 100 hurdles because of her?  Damn right, I do.

           

          Make yourself visible. At the end of the Leadville 100 the winners are there cheering on the last finishers before the cut off. People notice that and respect that. I have seen this done at ironman Hawaii. I know these big races don't seem to have any cutoffs, but come back to the race.  Maybe stay in town a day or two.

           

          As far as the Kenyans go, I don't know what to do. Wanjiru seemed to break through to people, but that was an exception.

           

          MTA:  All of this is also good for them from a sponsorship standpoint. The runners that put themselves out there also put their shoes, sunglasses, clothing, and fuel out there for everyone to see. Ultrarunners work with The North Face, Montrail, LaSportiva, and Salomon.  They discuss what they are wearing and what works in their blogs. This gives running shoe companies a reason to support them.

          I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

            Interesting thread.

             

            I understand CG's move from a business standpoint.  They're owned by a private equity firm whose goal is to make money.  They are focusing on a profitable segment of the market, which is largely uninterested in elite racing. They hike race fees and people keep showing up. Not my cup of tea but, fine, it's a business; I get it.

             

            But then there's this (from this weekend's RnR Virginia Beach 1/2 web site):

             

            "Volunteer Program Overview.  Help support your community, as well as thousands of runners and the walkers by volunteering! With over 1,000 positions available there is a spot for everyone, including teams, corporate groups, or just friends and family. Click the blue “Race Crew” button below to volunteer for the Race Crew. Click the red “Medical” button below to volunteer for the Medical Race Crew."

             

            Wait a second.  You want us to volunteer so you can keep costs down and help your business make more money?  Seriously?

               

              Wait a second.  You want us to volunteer so you can keep costs down and help your business make more money?  Seriously?

               

              I agree.  If I am going to volunteer my time, it's going to be to help a good cause, not help a "private equity group" make money.

              Longboat


              Letting off steam

                And, just BTW, they had considerable problems with the aid stations at Virginia R&R - left water and gatorade to warm up in the sun so it was undrinkable, not enough "volunteers"...

                Neil

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

                Base building time!


                Feeling the growl again

                   

                   

                   

                  Be careful though - I ran my first marathon so I could hate from experience and look at me now.  You may become a convert.

                   

                  Shocked  <<shudder>>

                   

                  If that happens, someone please ban me for life.  Big grin

                  "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

                   


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                    But then there's this (from this weekend's RnR Virginia Beach 1/2 web site):

                     

                    "Volunteer Program Overview.  Help support your community, as well as thousands of runners and the walkers by volunteering! With over 1,000 positions available there is a spot for everyone, including teams, corporate groups, or just friends and family. Click the blue “Race Crew” button below to volunteer for the Race Crew. Click the red “Medical” button below to volunteer for the Medical Race Crew."

                     

                    Wait a second.  You want us to volunteer so you can keep costs down and help your business make more money?  Seriously?

                     

                    I'm curious how many of the volunteers at their races realize that they are really working for free for a for-profit entity.  I've run into a number of people who don't really understand that CGI is a for-profit company unlike most of the races they volunteer for.

                    "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

                     


                    Feeling the growl again

                      Road racing and T&F even fail to pull in regular runners as fans. How many RA'ers could spot Tirunesh Dibaba if she was standing right next to them?  Runners can't even market themselves to people that like to run.  How many of the really big names in this sport have a regular blog, not just an occasional contribution to a running mag?  I think the pro runners need to do more than just run if they expect to make a living at this sport.

                       

                      As much as I detest much of social media, you are spot on that elite runners need to develop their brand more to make them more marketable and raise their value.  Fast times are a vital component to that, but as you aptly point out the Bolt examples shows that there is so much more potential to a runner's brand.

                       

                      I just hope many of them can do it without simply making spectacles of themselves.

                      "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

                       

                        And, just BTW, they had considerable problems with the aid stations at Virginia R&R - left water and gatorade to warm up in the sun so it was undrinkable, not enough "volunteers"...

                         

                        I run this race each year since it is one of our local events here in VB.   Heat and humidity were very high this year.   I don't drink much during a half at all, but the heat and humidity had me looking for the tables more than usual.   When I got to the water stations, it was like a swarm attacking!   Everyone was stopping.

                         

                        Also, most of the folks stopped at the very first table causing a traffic jam, instead of moving farther on down.  There are tons of tables at each stop after all, but that is another issue.  Amateurs...(grin).

                         

                        It did appear there were not enough volunteers at some of the stops and they were scrambling to try and pour gatorade for 3 hours as it was quickly taken by the 'swarm' of folks all stopping on that hot day.

                         

                        ---It seems to be a tough position to volunteer for, and I as well don't understand why they do it for free when the company itself makes millions, but I still do thank each volunteer as I see them.   -- There weren't enough volunteers, and I don't know why they do it, but I am glad they do it.

                        .

                        The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer (PR 80 Miles) ///  Nov:  New York Marathon  ///  Dec:  Seashore State Park 50K  ///  ∞


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                           

                          I'm talking about people that can back it up, not self-serving attention whores. ...

                           

                          Forget Dean Karnazes.  ...

                           

                          But, Dean is a shining example of marketibility & brand recognition (& notoriety), is he not?

                           

                           

                          FKT's are the rage in ultrarunning. I'd love to see some of that trickle down to shorter courses all over the country. That's fun stuff, even if it starts out with local elites.  ...

                          I had to google. FKT = Fastest Known Time.

                          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


                          Feeling the growl again

                             

                            But, Dean is a shining example of marketibility & brand recognition (& notoriety), is he not?

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                              

                            I just hope many of them can do it without simply making spectacles of themselves.

                            "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

                             

                              Here's one Comp'd entry that ended up with a record time that has stood for 27 years...maybe 28. We'll find out in a month.

                               

                              “Phil wrote to me about running the marathon,” said Jack Moran, the race director for the Twin Cities Marathon in 1985. “I hadn’t heard of him, but I looked over his times and said, ‘Sure, I’ll give you a comp,’ ” referring to a free entry.       

                               

                              http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/sports/phil-coppess-still-holds-twin-cities-marathon-record.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&emc=eta1

                               

                              Just a tiny little insight in the world of competitive racing from a few decades back.

                              www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

                                One of the things that jumps out at me in this thread is that I grew up outside of Philadelphia and never heard about the Philadelphia Distance Run until now.  I was well aware of Philadelphia Marathon, the Penn Relays and the Core States Cycling race, but I don't remember hearing about this race.  I left the area in 1990 and I was less into running then, than I am now, but I am still surprised I never heard of it.  Perhaps I tuned it out or local media did not embrace it the way they did the other races.

                                2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20