Where have all the sponsors gone?

I love to run.  And I love to enter races where you get a nice shirt to wear next time I run or when I’m working out or just to have as a reminder that I ran that race.

To me, each shirt tells a story because every race has its own story.  The story has a narrative arc that matches the pre-race anticipation, the nervous energy of the first mile or two, the settling in to a comfortable pace and then the push to see what is left up to the finish line, that focal point of everything until now.  Then the afterword, the denouement of walking through the chutes, lungs burning, thinking back about the race, about mile splits, water stations, the choice of Poland Springs water or Gatorade.

It wasn’t so long ago that the race shirts were like walking billboards.  The sponsor logos were plastered all over the back of the shirt like sponsors on a NASCAR vehicle.  I was an unpaid media platform for advertisers reaching a small but influential group of New Yorkers.

In my last 3 races the shirts had the following sponsorships:

1. Asics, ING, “G” (formerly known as Gatorade) and PowerBar

2. The Norweigen Embassy

3. Poland Springs.  In fact, the back of the Poland Springs race shirt is bare, not a logo in sight.   Hardly a walking billboard.

It seems like the only sponsors left are the ones who know that runners have been their core audience.  The rest of the sponsors have vanished.  It is just another sign of the times when sponsorships dry up.  It is a worrisome sign for marketing.

Even so, I must admit that I like the cleaner, less cluttered look of the new racing shirts.

Next up for me is the ING New York City Marathon.  There the ING sponsorship is still strong, no doubt from a contract written long before the current troubles.  I’ll fill you in on the walking billboard situation when I pick up my shirt later this week.

0 Responses to “Where have all the sponsors gone?”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 27 other followers