There was some exciting sponsor news announced this year and I jaust want to take a moment to reiterate that in case you missed it:
There is a new (well, kind of) FEMALE PRO TEAM!
Cue the applause.
Yep, this is pretty unique and a very special reason to celebrate. NUUN Hydration came on board in 2019 to join forces with the existing Smashfest Queen pro team, creating the Smashfest Queen-NUUN Pro Team! You can read the press release here, which also details some of the other amazing women that NUUN will be supporting this year. If nothing else, read this paragraph:
The Smashfest Queen Team, led by former professional elite triathlete Hillary Biscay and avid amateur Michele Landry, exists to create a global community of women supporting each other through triathlon. Their Smashfest Queen Pro Team was created to help make it financially possible for deserving athletes to pursue careers in the sport. Beginning in 2019, the team has been re-named Team Smashfest Queen – Nuun, and is composed of Alyssa Godesky, Haley Chura, Kelly O’Mara, and Nicole Valentine. “We are very thankful for Nuun’s support of our hard-working ladies and our shared goals for gender equality in sport,” said Hillary Biscay. “The elevated commitment to our pro athletes means so much to us and we are delighted to co-brand the team with Nuun.”
I know that people shy away from talking about money, but I personally think that there can be more transparency around it in the industry. A lot of the marketing dollars are not going towards the professional athletes themselves. And it’s not just that they aren’t going to me, as a consistent a top 5 finisher. There are multiple IM and 70.3 Champions who are being dropped by sponsors and unable to find some consistent money coming in. And I can tell you that makes a living as a professional athlete very tricky! I firmly believe that if long course triathlon is to be a sustainable sport, companies need to support the pros. Otherwise (and I’ll take a line from Kelly O’Mara) it’s just a bunch of people exercising around parking lots.
I am able to continue racing at this level because of the continued support of Smashfest Queen and now NUUN Hydration. Both of these companies have made deliberate and purposeful investments in women, and I am very thankful for that!
Haley and I will continue this conversation about marketing and sponsorship on the IronWomen podcast later this month, so stay tuned for that! We will be joined by industry marketing experts to help field our questions and even get some guidance on best practices for both athletes and fans.
I am also excited for the continued support in 2019 of these other amazing companies:
ISM Saddles – no brainer for saddle comfort
Adaptive – My website/marketing gurus!! If you need a website, marketing materials, graphic design….anything – these are your people!
Ice Friction Technology – Save watts and go faster with ICED Chains
Cadence Running Company – Dan Beaver is the man to see for shoes and other supplies! It doesn’t even matter if you’re not in Phoenix. He’s got you covered!
DNA Movement – If you are local to Cville, Anne Pike should be your go-to for body work! She’s the best.
In addition to my own personal sponsors, keep an eye out on the February IronWomen episodes as well where new sponsors and a contest to win a Wahoo KICKR!