The marketability of trail running has no doubt grown over the years. Though still very much a fringe extreme sport, it is evident that companies are starting to invest more of their time and money on ultramarathon athletes. It's nearly impossible to show up to a big name race and not see the logos of brands like Montrail, North Face, Udo's Oil, Innov8, Hoka One One, Patagonia...the list goes on. More and more runners are reaping the benefits of having companies support their endeavors, and thus more and more branding opportunities are showing up at events. Many of these athletes, for obvious reasons, use the brand(s) that sponsor them. In most cases the athlete very much likes the company they represent, because they enjoy the product, or have previously performed well with the product. It's a wonderful symbiotic relationship.
All of this made me wonder how it would look if I were actually sponsored by brands that I use on an everyday basis. I think we'd come up with a fairly wild assortment of logos, and a notable few that would look wonderfully out of place at any trail race. Here is my dream list of sponsors.
How could I survive, let alone train, if not for the amazing, calorie filled, delights of Taco Bell? I can't even count the number of times I've had a workout, and the first thing I eat afterwards is a scrumptious burrito, nachos, and mexican pizza. Gotta replish those glycogen stores!
Men don't need nipples, but since we have no choice but to have them, why not protect them? Johnson and Johnson band aids never fail to save my tatas from the unbearable risk of chaffing due to sweat, moisture, cheap fabrics, and the perky cold.
Now this would actually be a cool brand to be sponsored by, along with rival brand Quicksilver. Nothing says fashionable than showing up to a race in my trademark Hawaiian boardshorts. I have toed the line to more races in my blue floral shorts than other other pair of pants. Short shorts? Heck no! Boardshorts say I'm stylish, laid back, but I also want to protect the thighs from the often rugged nature of the trail.
Laugh if you want, but I'll be laughing my way to a PR. I won my first ever ultramarathon after eating several(more like four) delightful confections for a pre race breakfast. These 200-300 calorie gems have won their way into my heart, record books, and stomach. The coffee ain't bad either.
Why waste another $1.00-$1.50 on the same boring chocolate flavored gels? I mix things up by putting a small jar of this pure gold in my drop bags. Just a little scoop gives me twice the calories of a gel, plus the carbs and protein. Combine it with its partner in crime, peanut butter, and it's a match made in heaven.
The ultimate pre, or post run cocktail! It has the sugar for carbs, salt for electrolyte balance, and alcohol to dull the senses long enough to sign up for another ultra. Margaritas are also excellent for aleviating pain in the later miles of a race, or at least allowing to forget how much pain you were actually in. The only downside is that margarita is not an actual brand, though getting Jimmy Buffet to sponsor me would be pretty sweet. A good IPA is also a nice substitute.
Last, but certainly not least! The same food that got me through college is the same food that gets me on the road to race recovery. You can find noodles for as cheap as 10 cents, or as high as (gasp) 50 cents a bag. It's got all the sodium and carbs you need to recover strong for the next run.
Well, that's all I can think of for now. In case you're wondering if I really use the above brands, the answer is yes. My nutrition is terrible, and I like a good drink every now and then. If you happen to know anyone working in the marketing department for any of the above companies, please give them my info so I begin representing their brand as soon as possible.
My new slogon: "Mike Runs on Dunkin". It's got a nice ring to it :-)