Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Active Ambassadors

Last year I received an email from about this other website they have,  They wrote about "sponsorships" for the average athlete, which sounded right up my ally.  I checked it out, and sure enough, it looked like a good deal.  They would get companies that wanted to have a large group of amateur athletes represent them at local races.  So I created a profile to see what it would lead to.

I  waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally, after about six months, they started posting some opportunities.  There were multiple sponsorships that I applied for, but most of them I wasn't actually qualified for.  There was one company that selected me to represent them.  That company was Marathon Bar.

I have to be honest.  I hadn't heard of Marathon Bars until this opportunity was posted.  Once it was posted, I started doing my online research, as usual, and found out that this is actually an older bar.  They are going through a revamping period and trying to get their name back out there.  And what better way to do it that by having a bunch of athletes wear and use your products at local races?

I wasn't entirely sure what all the deal would include or require.  Once they sent over all the paperwork, it became pretty clear.  All they were requiring of me was to compete in four endurance events of my choice between July and December of 2010.  Easy enough.  I would also have to sample the bars to other athletes on at least two occasions, and take pictures of any time I was out there spreading the word.  The real question was how were they going to compensate me for my time...

These are the two flavors they sent me.  They sent me almost 300 bars to use for training and sampling!
In return, Marathon Bar was offering me some pretty sweet things.  First off, they were going to be providing me with racing attire, to include a bike jersey, tri jersey, running shirt, bike shorts, running shorts, a hat, and a jacket.  On top of that, they were sending me a crap-ton (which technically means 288) of Marathon Bars to not only use during my training, but to hand out at races.  I estimated all of this stuff to be worth at least $500.  Heck, the bars alone cost about that much!  And the racing attire that they sent me was absolutely phenomenal.  It was all really quality stuff.

Here I am getting ready to hand out Marathon Bars at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 2010
An unknown Team Marathon Bar member showing off the cycling kit
Unknown Team Marathon Bar members showing off the tri tops
They even sent us temporary tattoos! Not my foot by the way...
Throughout the course of our "partnership", Marathon Bar had little incentives for the team members to go out and get noticed.  They had cash bonuses that we could earn if we earned any media attention, with the value being based on the type of media outlet we were in.  I had a chance to earn some money during the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I received a comment on my old blog site that a woman recognized me when I ran by the camera during the morning news!  I called to get a copy of the clip, and they wanted me to pay $75 for the clip.  Well, I was only going to earn about $50, so I said forget it!  Oh well.  But, one of my pictures did get selected my Marathon Bar to be used on their website.  I think it's a pretty funny picture, because I was just goofing around when my wife took it.  If you want to see it, you'll have to go here.

Being part of Team Marathon Bar was pretty fun.  I didn't get together with any of the other local teammates, which may have made it a little more fun.  There was supposed to be a group of us doing the Soma Triathlon here in town, but the dam lake, er, the lake dam broke, causing the race to be canceled.  It was fun handing out the bars at the races I participated in.  There was a couple of times where people just saw me holding the boxes and wearing my jacket.  They approached me and asked if I was a rep for the company and would be handing out samples.  My response was, "Sort of, and yes.  Here you go!"  That actually happened in an elevator, so I think they were going to take those bars one way or the other.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I want you to know my whole life story.  And because Team Marathon is going to be recruiting again pretty soon!  I'm not sure exactly when, but they sent me an email that they are for sure doing it.  This year is going to be slightly different though.  When I was on the team, they used all sorts of athletes (triathletes, runners, swimmers, adventure sports, etc.).  This year, they have some sort of deal with the Rock'n'Roll series and are only going to be sponsoring runners who live near one of the Rock'n'Roll events.  Which is great for me!  I can't speak for what the perks of this years team will be, or what the requirements will be.  All I know is that it was well worth my time last year, and you better believe that I'll be applying to be part of the 2011 team...meaning I'll be adding this race to my schedule if I get selected...

I suggest you head on over to and create a profile.  You never know what other companies might be looking for someone just like you!

Oh, one other thing.  I use a website called to keep track of all of my race results.  It's free and very convenient.  After you finish each race, you go to the site and look for your results and add them to your profile.  It really helps in cases like, where you will need you past results any time you fill out a sponsorship application.  It's also much easier to look at old races and compare with more recent ones.

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