Recently, Coeur Sports announced their team for 2017. For those of you not of the triathlon world, Coeur is a very popular triathlon clothing brand with the hashtag #NoAngryKitty. There was there was a lot of hurt in one of the facebook groups that I’m part of. I saw the exact same hurt when InkNBurn (the athletic clothing that has art as print – like the one I’m wearing in my profile picture on the right sidebar) ambassadors were picked. Athletes were miffed that they weren’t picked because they weren’t fast enough, or “athlete-looking” enough, or they weren’t on social media enough, or … So I wanted to take a look at brand ambassadors from a non-blogger perspective.
Why be a brand ambassador?
Ambassador teams are formed when a company (food, product, gear, etc) “sponsors” non-profession athletes, aka the age-group athletes. You don’t get paid (sometimes you even have to pay to be part of the team since they prove you with a kit), but you usually get free or discounted gear. In exchange for the gear, companies will require you to wear their gear and promote them at races and over social media. Look at it as promotion for the brand that you would anyway wear because you love it.
Some of the perks of being a brand ambassador may include,
- exclusive team kits available only to the ambassadors
- discounted gear
- private Facebook groups with similar athletes and a ton of encouragement and friendships
- product discounts from sponsors and partners
- bragging rights of being a “sponsored” athlete
How do brands pick ambassadors?
Short answer – I wish I knew 🙂
I’ve only been an ambassador for InkNBurn and that too only for 6 short months.
So I’m totally the wrong person to answer this if you are looking for the secret sauce. But I’ve applied to plenty and been rejected plenty of times. This year, I didn’t apply for any. I’ve been swamped with life and work. And I have far less time to be in social media all the time, and far less heartache for me.
From my understanding what makes you a good candidate are some of the following –
- Are you devoted to that brand? Is most of your training and race gear from that brand?
- Do you let the world know that you love the brand? Are you over your social media with hashtags and use them to support the brand?
- What is your story? And how does your story enhance the brand or strength the brand’s core values?
Does being a speedy athlete who podiums/BQs/KQs help?
Probably. Which brand wouldn’t love to boast of their team member’s crowning achievements?
Does having a strong social media presence help?
Sure. Which brand wouldn’t love free advertising, especially if you are an influencer?
Does promoting and talking about the brand even when you are not an ambassador help? Definitely so. Which brand wouldn’t love to see loyalty even when it is not asked for?
But that is not all. While some brands go specifically for those with a social media presence or meet their pace/podium requirements, most look through your history as a genuine ambassador for your sport and for your involvement in your local community.
The problem is – there are still THOUSANDS of people who fit these requirements. Heck, I fit these requirements for many brands that I love and If I look through my social media (with a combined reach of about 24+K), a whole bunch of my friends fit it too!
So long my answer – I still don’t know.
If someone else reading this has insights, I’d love to include it.
What do you do when you get rejected?
Don’t take it personally – There are literally thousands and thousands of people who apply and it is hard for the brands to choose based on a few canned questions. While it might appear that the brands picked the exact type of athlete that you are NOT, brands base their decision on so many things that we wouldn’t even think about – like location.
Don’t reject the brand – Just because a brand that you had previously loved could not see your awesomeness at that moment, don’t stop using the brand. Who knows, you might get picked the next year with continued loyalty.
Most of all,
You be You – Continue doing what you love, keep inspiring people and be a good ambassador of the SPORT that you love, not just a brand.
And if any of the brands reading this want me to be your ambassador, you know how to contact me 🙂