I've been racing since 2008 and have a few companies that sponsor me each year. I am 48 years old and an enthusiastic age group amateur athlete. I try to look for companies to sponsor me in a few key areas each year:
- running gear and accessories - running shoes and run clothing
- bike gear and accessories - helmets, sunglasses, wheels, clothing
- sports nutrition - gels, blocks, recovery drinks, etc...
- personal care products - sun screen, lip gloss, anti-chafe cream, etc...
What is Brooks ID?
According to the Brooks website; "Brooks I.D. stands for Inspire Daily. The 800+ members are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. They are runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their limits, and encouraging others to do the same."
Brooks has been my run shoe sponsor for the past few years. Here is my history of sponsorship with Brooks.
- 2009 - Brooks ID member - monetary allowance plus deep discount on additional purchases
- 2010 - Brooks ID member - deep discount on purchases
- 2011 - Brooks Fanatics member - smaller discount on purchases
- 2012 - Brooks ID member - generous monetary allowance for free gear plus deep discount on additional purchases
For the 2011 race season, Brooks had stricter requirements to become a member of the Brooks ID program. Many former Brooks ID members were switched out to the Brooks Fanatics program. My pet peeve with the Brooks ID sponsorship was that they never had a good way to report race results for anyone that wasn't a pure runner. So for someone like myself that raced mainly duathlons, and now triathlons, I couldn't report the results of those races. I participate in 15-20+ events per year, but only only a few of them are running only events.
In the fall of this year I decided to send Brooks a copy of my 8 page sponsorship proposal. A few weeks later I received an email inviting me to apply to the Brooks ID program for the 2012 race season. I filled out their on-line application and heard back from them a few days ago saying I was accepted back into the Brooks ID program for the 2012 race season, SWEET!
Social Media Rules
I got back into the Brooks ID program as influential member of the media, not because of my spectacular race results. I have 3 sports blogs, I'm very active on both Twitter and Facebook, and I participate in close to 20 races per year. My husband and I have volunteered since 2006 with Team in Training to help raise $$ for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, he is the cycle coach for our local Team in Training chapter and I have mentored two cycle teams. I am also active in a couple of running, cycling and triathlon clubs where the members see all the gear I train and race in.
Here are my social media links
Main Facebook page - www.facebook.com/bikediva
Twitter - twitter.com/#!/thebikediva
Bike Diva blog - www.bikediva.net
Run Diva blog - www.rundiva.net
Sports Nutrition Diva blog - www.sportsnutritiondiva.net
My Favorite Brooks Gear
I have a ton of Brooks running shoes in my closet. When I find a pair of shoes I like I have a tendency to start stock piling the shoes so if the shoe is going to be retired, I will have a pair or two in reserve. I wear different shoes depending on the type of training and racing I do. Except for my trail running shoes, I like very minimalist/neutral, lightweight running shoes.
Here are my current favorite Brooks shoes:
Brooks Launch - my go to shoe for longer training runs and for racing half and full marathons. This is the kind of shoe most of my running friends use. It is a bit stiffer than I like to run in now that I made the switch from being a heel striker to a mid-foot striker a couple of years ago. I still use the Launch for longer races where I'm worried about fatigue setting in for the last few miles.
Brooks T6 and T7 Racer - lightweight racing flat. I wear the T6 sock-less for races up to 5k distance and for my sprint distance triathlons. I'll usually use them with a pair of thin socks if I'm going up to 10k distance or doing an Olympic distance triathlon. I loved the T6, which Brooks no longer makes, so I have a pair of the T7 waiting in my closet for when my T6 need to be retired.
As a triathlete I am always looking for ways to shave a few seconds off my race time. I come out of the swim with wet feet, I don't wear socks with my bike shoes so I started thinking about going sock-less on the run. I've gone up to 7 miles in the T6 and T7 without socks. My advice if going sock-less, start out with short runs and use a lot of Body Glide or similar anti-chafe product all over your toes and heel.
Brooks Green Silence - I'll wear these for training and racing up to 8 or 10 miles. A cool shoe, made out of recycled products, available in lots of funky colors. Yup, I like really loud/obnoxious colored run shoes, part of the reason why I love the Green Silence.
Brooks Cascadia 5 - very stiff shoe with lots of traction. Great trail running/off road shoe. A lot more shoe than I normally like but I've had problems slipping/falling/twisting ankle every time I go for a trail run so I decided a more stable shoe is what I need when trail running.
Brooks Pure Grit - I wear tested a pair of these minimal trail running shoes in the spring of this year. I actually never wore them on the trail and only wore them for road running. I really loved these shoes, they were like wearing slippers! I wore them to death and recently wore them for the last time at the south Florida Warrior Dash. Everyone donates their shoes to Green Sneakers at the end of the race so I need to purchase another pair of Pure Grit for myself. Read my race report of the Warrior Dash - Run Diva at South Florida Warrior Dash.
Additional Sponsorship Information
Brooks I.D. has changed to an invitation-only system. If you are interested in the program or know a qualified applicant, please send a resume to:
attn: Brooks I.D. Program
19910 N Creek Pkway, Ste 200
Bothell, WA 98011
Read my detailed articles on the Bike Diva blog regarding how to find sponsorship opportunities.
Lynn Smythe, AKA the Run Diva