Events: The Hammer Way
BY BRIAN FRANK
As 2022 heralds the return of in person, mass participation events, I thought this would be a good time to shed some light on this hugely important program, my guiding philosophy behind it, the immense resources required to pull it off, and why we do it! I’m sure you understand the general idea behind event sponsorship, but there’s a lot more to it when it’s done my way, the Hammer way!
I’ll start by saying all hail and total respect to the altruistic, kind hearted race directors who put on the B, C and D events that we all rely on to fill out calendars and prepare for our “A” races. They are the unsung heroes of our universe! It’s my pleasure to support them as they work tirelessly to create these awesome events. In 2022, we expect to sponsor over 900 events, mostly under 300 participants each. This does not include hundreds of similar events in two dozen foreign countries. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s for a worthy cause and ends up being one of our primary means of new client acquisition, along with referrals from clients like you. Win, Win, Win.
For most nutrition companies, it’s about maximizing ROI and minimizing investment, whatever that means, according to their marketing consultants. In practice, it means sponsoring as few events as possible, or none at all, writing a check to get logo placement, make the RD feel like they are pest and have to hound them to get product in time for the event, maybe, and call it a day. At least this is what we hear too regularly from frantic RD’s whose event is just around the corner when they ask us if we can help, and we always do if it’s at all possible. That’s how more than a few of our event relationships start and end up being long term.
It’s likely because when we set out to sponsor an event, our mission is to help the race director pull off an awesome event that everyone enjoys participating, they will want to keep putting on year after year and more people will come and enjoy the experience!
I can tell you from being a race director myself, it’s no easy feat, nor is it a get rich quick scheme! These special people are motivated by something else and I love to honor that. Calculating their time for the remuneration they receive, most are working for $.50 cents an hour or less, I would venture to guess.
As I am prone to reminding anyone who will listen– In my world, everyone is a client, and it’s our job to help them in any way we can! They may look different, but my goal is always the same: Help first and freely, if benefits co¬me to us at some point down the road, even better. Sounds all warm and fuzzy, and it is, but it’s als¬o a really fun way to do business when you don’t have to answer to bankers or shareholders.
So, whether you just placed your first order, are an ambassador, Autoship, sponsored athlete, three decade+ Hammerhead, you deserve our help, as much or as little as you want/need. Race Directors are partners in marketing and promoting my brand, but first and foremost, we view them as very special clients who happen to need a lot of help.
When you really consider all of the planning, organization, logistics and manpower it takes to put on even a small endurance sporting event, it makes you not want to do it. Which is just another reason we have to support those willing to make this work!
So, if we can make their life a little easier and cross a couple things off of their endless “to do” list before event date, we do. That means event bags and goodies to go in them, product on course, prizes for awards and post event give aways and more. In addition, we help each RD set up a series of non product-specific fueling success emails, based on my 5 Secrets of Success, so that their participants will have the best change of success at their event. Win, Win, Win!
In order to make this whole process go smoothly, hundreds of times each year, we employ two dedicated events staff, who are assisted by Steve, me, Miles and several others. This process entails countless emails back and forth with the RD (roughly 9,000 emails in and out at last count), determining product needed, planning and scheduling educational emails/social media campaigns, organizing the delivery of said product in a specific time window, confirming delivery of product and collateral and so much more. And we do this for every event we sponsor!
We also try to have someone on site at the bigger events and usually do fueling clinics prior to the events where Steve or I will be attending. You should come to one if you can.
Take a good look at the events stats accompanying this article to get the rest of the story. We support you and your sport like no other nutrition brand on the market, of that one thing I am sure.