Mar 20, 2013

running is big. MARKETING IS BIGGER!

I had always looked running before from a runner’s point of view. So it’s about runners and stories, and finding races, which basically is runroo / about.
But lately when I find myself in press conference of race events, I realized how BIG is marketing in race events. The bigger the event, the bigger the marketing is. I felt how little my marketing knowledge is.
But on the other hand it’s like finding a confirmation to a not-so-pretty truth which we or I tried to deny. I mean running is all about freedom and life and anything sunshiny. But somehow it does not extend to “some” race events.
Being such a noob to “marketing,” at first, I always wonder why press cons of running events (even how small a race is) have food but none of runners. I didn’t really get it at first when we’d be talking about “running” to get fit, and there are always food. Not just finger foods, but the whole she-bang buffet kind of food. But later on, I get it. I think I don’t need to spell it out to you why.
There are 2 main things that motivated me to be so loud about running:
I want to be NEDBANK (Goals are meant to be scary and impossible.). That incident with that talented athlete who randomly asked me for a sponsorship kind of gave me a reason that maybe it’s worth wasting my time — this talking about running and running and more running.
I feel that dole-out sponsorship is just not the most sustainable way to do it. There must be some better way of doing it. And, I read somewhere that getting sponsors to sponsor an athlete, you have to have those media outlets where they can post their logos. That’s why athletes even write books — it’s another venue for posting logos. Well, I thought runroo can be a start.
* Pushing consumer web app to the PH market. Runroo was also made to promote or other local web app. Coming from the software world, like the talented athletes, it’s hard to get a consumer web app mainstream with the Pinoys (to think we’re the social media capital of the world), and then maybe beyond. The is our NTH attempt. 
It’s going to be a business so we can finally soon be a sponsor. But it’s also about giving a push to the local tech start-up community. With how Americanized we can be, with not-much need for localization of web app / social network sites, it’s surely a struggle for local web startups to get into the local consumer market. But this is a whole different story, I will spare you from that woe.
So I’m writing this down because it feels like being in a crossroad — between the less and well-travelled paths.
It’s just too tempting to abandon my original goals.  Making money from MARKETING is tempting. It’s not easier. It’s definitely going to be a lot of hard work. But is more of a sure-ball, than having to go about the fuss of building a business out of a web/mobile app. Web/mobile app takes a lot of educating on both the clients and the customers. With marketing business, I only need to find thick-faced friends and thicken more my face, more late-night works, and some psycho stuff, I can probably get something right.
While the web/mobile/software app’s success can be as clear as zero visibility. It’s going to be a lot of experiments before we can finally hit one right. So I wrote this to remind me not to be tempted. But of course, I might be eating my words in some fancy press conference. =)
So on the athlete sponsorship side, I believe athletes should not only work on their running skills, but they also need to brush up their social and marketing skills. If you look at sponsored athletes, they have websites, facebook pages, twitter — these are all free except the time you’ll invest in these. I encourage to abuse these free online media.
But first, athletes should stop being too humble. As a Pinoy, we tend to be so humble, and we don’t like to self-promote. Thing is if you cannot promote yourself, how can a company/sponsor/brand trust you to promote them. 
Just thinking aloud.

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