Recent Penn State grad Kristin Goett dishes out advice for the U23 crowd (and the U23 at heart) in her Tri University column.
Ah, yes. The elusive world of ambassadorships. So many triathletes seem to have them, but the details on fostering that key relationship with an endurance company is shrouded in mystery—until now. Welcome to your tell-all guide about what companies look for in their ambassadors, what to expect from a company’s offer and what your responsibilities may be. Get ready to have some serious knowledge dropped!
‘Tis the Season
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to ambassadorships is when to reach out to companies. When you cross your last finish line sometime around October, your season is not yet over. The ambassadorship season has, in fact, just begun. Look for applications and contact information to begin popping up any time from August to October. After all, endurance organizations want to give you every opportunity to accumulate bragging rights during your stellar season. You’ll use those hard-earned talking points to flesh out those glittering applications, which brings us to our next topic…
While being yourself is excellent advice for all facets of life, it is exceptionally important to adhere to when answering calls for ambassadorships. Although you might think you’re being clever by over-stating your success or passions, most organizations are pretty good at sifting through those who only apply for the free product.
To add legitimacy to your applications, create an account with Athlinks. This will help verify your results and add a touch of professionalism to any app. Likewise, don’t be afraid to add some personality to your responses. Are you witty? Let the company know by throwing in some intelligent syntax. Do you really like post-race beer? Detail your favorite IPA and why it is undoubtedly a better recovery drink than chocolate milk. In essence, stay true to yourself in all areas of life—but mostly in triathlon.
Set Some Expectations
Alright, let’s get real for a second. Chances are, you are not a professional triathlete. Not that you aren’t great—I, for one, think you are—but there are far more age groupers reading this than pros. So let’s set some expectations about ambassadorships.
That being said, what you can realistically expect from an ambassadorship is some free product and some freakin’ awesome discounts. Companies like Run Gum offer quarterly free shipments of the caffeinated gum to its ambassadors, while others, such as Nuun, provide steep discount codes unique to its ambassador team. The important thing to remember is that every little bit helps. No ambassadorship will set you up with all the equipment you need, but they are an excellent resource for age groupers and can be an invaluable stepping stone to those looking to make the jump to pro.
Let’s Get Mutual
There is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter how hard triathletes try to mooch off of our favorite mid-ride cafes. This rule also applies to ambassadorships, and it is an important note to internalize: Ambassadorships are a mutual relationship.
When applying to ambassadorships, do your research. Reach out to current product ambassadors and ask what their responsibilities are. Do you need to put on wellness events in the community? How many social media posts are required per month? Is there a sales quota with a discount code? These are all important questions to consider before clicking the “submit” button on your application.
The worst mistake you can make when acquiring ambassadors is to over-commit yourself and become a poor ambassador. Be honest with your schedule, your passion for the product and your desire to be a community influencer before you delve in full throttle.
Establishing relationships with triathlon companies is both helpful and fun. It’s only August, so keep attaining those magnificent results, stories and relationships that will be the kindling of what will undoubtedly be a totally fire application for the companies of your choosing. Good luck!
A Place to Start
There are several companies that offer ambassadorships, but here are a few of the most popular in the triathlon space.