No Free Lunch
Posted: Mar 01 2017
Exciting news on the production front. In addition to a brand new zippered cycling bib (very similar to our Zele bib) which will officially be released shortly, our Ambassador Team kits are scheduled to ship out shortly. They just arrived in the Coeur office and all we’re waiting for are a few of the other accessory items that will be included in the package.
While we were getting the roughly 150 orders ready for shipment, someone mentioned that this is a lot of gear to be giving away for free. Now, it is true that the ambassador package does include several hundred dollars of gear. It is also true that every ambassador gets the tri kit, the t-shirt, hats etc. at no cost and that they are not required to purchase anything else.
Even so, we would make the case that the program is far from “Free” for the ambassadors. In fact, quite the opposite. While we don’t ask for $$’s from the ambassadors, we do ask for several things that can be very challenging to provide.
The Coeur Ambassador Team is made up of some amazing women
First, we ask them to encourage others to live a lifestyle of health and fitness. Now on its surface, this may not sound that hard, but looks can be deceiving. Endurance sports training can be a solitary or at most a small group affair. While you do engage with other people, they are not the primary group we’re hoping to impact. The folks joining you for a 5:00 a.m. Masters Swim Class or a 50 mile bike ride in the mountains are already onboard. While we encourage and love these groups, we also want our ambassadors to engage with the person who thinks a 5K fun run is beyond reach and that can be harder than opening up the checkbook to buy a team kit at a discount. We think it takes a special individual to make this type of connection and convince someone to move away from habits that may have been ingrained for a lifetime.
Second, we ask our ambassadors to be role models during their events. In our welcome letter, we say that they should be willing to offer a helping hand in transition, say hello to the person next to them at the beginning of a group ride, and smile on-course even (or perhaps especially) when it isn’t her day. Again, on the surface this doesn’t sound that hard, but we honestly don't see it occurring as much as we'd like.
Now we get it. On race morning, people have their game face on and the focus is generally on getting the transition area set up and on getting a warm up done. Time flies by and before you know it, the gun is going off. We know all this, but even so, the “ask” is still there. We know they don’t have time to answer questions or pump up a first timers tire, but we expect it anyway.
An event start can be a tense environment
Finally, we ask them to be a good person. Both online and in real life (“IRL”). Now that is a broad request, but to us, that means doing their best to be positive person. To be gracious in defeat. To try and unite, not divide. To not speak ill of other women’s brands (a rising tide lifts all boats) even if they are direct competitors to Coeur, and to be inclusive no matter how attractive it may be to make the Coeur Ambassador team an “exclusive” club.
Karen embodies the Coeur values
On a given day, it may be fairly easy to do one or a couple of these things, but we’re asking our ambassadors to do them all year, all the time. So, while we think there are many, many benefits to being a Coeur ambassador (including a bundle of amazing “no charge” clothing), the last thing we’d call the program is “Free”.
Happy Training and Racing!
Your friends at Coeur