On Becoming a Coeur Sports Ambassador
Posted: Sep 03 2017
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and this year has been a ton of fun! The pages of the calendar have flown off and the end of the year is fast approaching. That means we’ll be announcing our 2018 Call for Athletes in the near future (it’s not open just yet) and we wanted to start sharing information about the process and our aspiration for the team.
Since we started Coeur, we have posted a similar blog about this time of year and really, our expectations haven’t changed. The team is so important to us and our mission. Every year, we try to get a bit better about sharing our expectations and pre-answering any questions you may have.
Before we get into this though, we just have to say how proud we are of the 2017 team. We've had a record number of Kona, 70.3 Worlds, Team USA and Boston qualifiers. But the team has also had a mission of outreach in addition to racing flat out. Time and again, we’ve received notes from athletes who thanked us for having women who went out of their way to be helpful. Sometimes it was simply a smile and a wish for good luck (amazing how nice that is pre-race when tensions are high) and on occasion we heard about an ambassador stopping her own pre-race preparations to help pump up a tire or answer a beginner’s question.
Our class of 2017 Ambassadors has been fantastic
We try to let our ambassadors know that we do want them to be role models, However, this shouldn't be that hard. Just be friendly, race clean, help others and cheer for folks on the course. We love hearing messages from other athletes like the following:
"Hey Coeur, I thought you'd want to know that your ambassador Kirby is exactly what this sport is all about. My friend and I traveled from Denver to Chicago for the Chicago Tri. My friend's bike was damaged in transit so it was un-rideable. Kirby is on the Coeur team with my coach Erin Trail, and offered to loan her road bike to my friend. She dropped it off at the bike shop and we just picked it up. Amazing!"
Kirby's response when we asked her about it? "Anyone would've done the same thing or should have." She is right, of course, but that sort of action in such a competitive space is rarer than we'd like.
OK, let’s get into some of the details about becoming a 2018 Team member. Here are the most common questions we get and our answers.
1. When will the application process open and how will it be announced?
We're targeting mid- to late September to start the process and we'll post the link to the application on our website and we'll share it via social media (see last year's call below). The plan is to announce the team in early November.
We'll post something similar to this (the 2017 Call for Athletes) on Social Media
2. Can I apply if I’m a runner or a cyclist, but not a triathlete?
Absolutely! We’re a women’s endurance sportswear brand and we love having pure runners and cyclists on the team in addition to triathletes.
3. Do I need to be fast to be on the team?
Nope! While there are many, many incredibly fast women on the team, speed is not a requirement. We always say that if someone is a turkey (in private, we use different words) and they are fast, then they’re just a fast turkey. So, please, turkeys need not apply.
4. What are the main things you’re looking for in an Ambassador?
Our favorite question! As we've mentioned before, our primary goal is to encourage others, inspire healthy lifestyles in others, and have a ton of fun doing it. Everything we look for relates to this goal.
First, we want you to be a real and relatable role model. In our opinion, someone who is relatable has a better chance of connecting with others and getting them to take that first step into endurance sports. Another way of saying it is that we want our ambassadors to just be nice and honest and real.
Second, we need you to have some type of platform with which to share the message. We do occasionally get some grief that many people on the team have large social media followings, but these people actually have the vehicle to share our social mission which is as important to us as selling clothes. Again though, just because you have a lot of followers doesn't mean we will necessarily take you. We look at content as well (again, turkeys need not apply.)
5. Are Ambassadors supposed to sell your clothing?
Nope. Ok, that's the short answer but before anyone starts rolling their eyes and saying "suurrrrreeee," let us do our best to explain. We are (as you probably know) a “for profit entity”. We need to sell clothing to stay in business. The last time we checked, all of our employees and all of our suppliers expect to get paid. That being said, selling clothes is not the job of our ambassadors. We buy ads, pay pros, and sponsor events to do that. We’re not shy about saying that our gear is fantastic, that we have an exceptionally generous, no-hassle return policy, that the shipping is free and we give our team free kits to race in. But we don't ask our ambassadors to go around sharing all that. While we love it when they say nice things about the items they truly like, if they didn't like the clothing, we'd hope they would have elected to not apply.
The primary job of our ambassadors is to encourage other athletes get into endurance sports and build connections once there. If they do that job well, then we suspect we’ll be just fine. As we mentioned, we have confidence in our gear and know that if new women come into the sport, we’ll get our fair share of customers. Even if we don’t that’s ok. We’ll sleep well knowing that our ambassador team helped to change someone’s life by getting her to go for a jog or to sign up for her first century, and then in turn encourage someone else.
6. What does it cost to join the team?
This one is easy: Nothing! There’s no cost to join and you don’t have to buy anything.
We saw an interesting thread on a triathlon discussion forum where they were talking about teams. Someone said, “anyone can pay $300 to be on a team so they can call themselves a sponsored athlete.” While we get wanting to be on a team, that just makes you a customer. We give our members free team kits, hats and tees because if we didn't, we feel like we’d forfeit our right to ask our team to go the extra mile (see number five above) in helping other athletes since they were required to buy our gear - even at a discounted price - from which we would still profit.
6. What do I get if I'm on the team?
Well, we believe the answer is a lot. As we alluded to, you'll get free team package, free accessories (hats, water bottles and the like), free world championship gear for Boston & Kona qualifiers, access to free race entries for events we sponsor, significant discounts on all our other gear, a great group of new friends, and (we think most importantly) the chance to be a resource and role model and to make someone's life better by getting them into endurance sports.
7. How many people are on the team and how many new members will you take in 2018?
We don't know the exact number of openings that we'll have in 2018, but inevitably, a few people leave the team each year due to family reasons, the desire to take a break from training and racing or something similar. We try to do everything we can to accept as many awesome women as possible on the team, but at some point our budget runs out and then we just have to hope that anyone who applied and didn't make the team will understand and re-apply again in the future. Last year, we had 150 athletes from all over the world.
So, that's a run down of some of the most common questions we receive each year. We absolutely love our team and we do our best to make the experience incredibly positive and rewarding. So, if this sounds like your thing, then we hope you apply when the call for athletes opens in a couple of weeks.
Your Friends at Coeur Sports