What it takes to be an Ambassador
Posted on September 15 2018
It’s that time of year again. Many companies in the endurance sports universe are gearing up to select their ambassadors, sponsored athletes and club members for 2019.
In an effort to explain what we look for in ambassadors here at Coeur Sports, we try to release a blog post prior to the opening of our “Call for Athletes” so people can decide if they’re interested in applying.
Now while the Coeur program is similar to others in the market, there are a couple of key differences and we feel that it is important to call those out whenever possible and especially before connecting with all of you.
First, we feel compelled to thank the class of 2018 from the absolute bottom of our hearts! Throughout the year, we received an incredible number of emails, social media posts and even a few hard copy....what are they called again? Oh yeah..."Letters" from women around the world mentioning the support that they received from members of the 2018 team! Time and again, we’d hear about an Ambassador who helped someone out in transition or gave an encouraging (albeit out of breath) shout of “you’re doing great” to someone they just met on race morning.
We’ve always said that we want to build a world-wide community of supportive women and our 2018 team did great work in support of that cause!
Expect to do this at races all around the world if you're part of the Coeur Team
Ok, let’s talk a bit about how Coeur is a bit different than some other sponsors. The first thing you might notice is that you don’t have to buy your team gear (Yay…free stuff!), there’s no cost to join and we’re cool if you go the entire year and never make a purchase from us.
The second is that we’re not going to require that you post x number of times online about the brand. Now that’s not to say that we don’t get all giggly and happy when we see social media posts talking about the gear, but we don’t force anyone to make those comments.
However, just to be clear, we don’t have a team just so we can give away clothing and there are a few requirements and expectations. As we mentioned previously, creating this supportive and encouraging community of women is a big, big deal for us! Bigger than big. It’s a HUGE part of who we are as a company and our ambassadors play a big role in that mission.
You supply the motivation and we'll supply the t-shirts
So, while we do not require ambassadors to buy or pay anything, we do ask them to do something to get other women off the couch and out onto the trail, the road, or into a pool. This could be a swim clinic, a transition clinic, a group run or even hosting a ladies night at your local shop. Anything to help women take that first step.
We also insist that they race clean. This is also a Huge deal to us. We’ve mentioned this before but we’re big supporters of the Clean Sport Collective and we do not feel there is any place in any role in endurance sports for dopers and cheats.
We know how hard you all work and to have your rightful finishing position stolen just breaks our heart.
Ok...with that, we'll get specific and answer a few of the questions that we get most often.
1. Let's get this party started. When can I apply?
We're targeting late September or early October to start the process and we'll post the link to the application on our website. We'll also share it via social media. The plan is to announce the team in November.
2. What if I’m a runner or a cyclist, but not a triathlete?
3. Does speed matter? What if I'm not super fast?
No worries at all. There are many, many incredibly fast women on the team, but speed is not a requirement. We like to 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, if you're a turkey (even the fastest turkey on your block), please look elsewhere. This is a turkey free zone!
4. How would you summarize what you are looking for in an Ambassador?
We love this question! As we've mentioned before, our main goal with the team is to assemble a group of women who will encourage others and inspire them to adopt a lifestyle of health and fitness. Oh...and we want them to have fun doing it. Everything we look for is related to these points.
So, first, we want you to be real. Our view is that someone who is authentic has a greater chance of connecting with others and getting them to take that first step into endurance sports.
Second, we need you to have some type of platform with which to share the message. We do occasionally get some grief that people on the team have large social media followings, but our view is that these people have a great platform to share our social mission. To be clear though, just because someone has a lot of followers it doesn't mean they are a perfect fit. We look at content as well (again, turkeys need not apply.)
5. Are Ambassadors supposed to sell your clothing?
Short answer is...No ma'am. Now, before anyone starts rolling their eyes and saying "yeah right," let us do our best to explain. We are (as you probably know) a “for profit company”. We need to sell clothing to stay alive and we kinda want to stay in business. Our hard working team and all of our factories expect to get paid after all. However, selling clothes is not the job of our ambassadors. We buy ads, pay pros, and sponsor events to do that. We don't shy away from the occasional mention that our gear is fantastic, that we have free shipping and free returns, and that 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, we think people can see through comments that are forced.
Instead, the primary job of our ambassadors is to encourage other athletes to get into endurance sports and build connections once there. If they do that job well, then we suspect we’ll be just fine.
6. What does it cost to join the team?
Easy one: Nothing, Nada, Zilch. There’s no cost to join and you don’t have to buy anything.
7. What do I have to do if I'm selected and what do I get?
Let's start with the "what you get". We think the answer is that you get a lot. You'll get free team gear, 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, big honkin 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 to others. If things fall into place, there's a good chance you'll make someone's life better by getting them into endurance sports.
Now, as we mentioned, there's no dollar cost to join, but maybe "free" isn't quite the right word. To reiterate, we expect the ambassador team to be that shining light on a hill. We'll ask you to get groups of women together, to answer their questions and to get them out there and encourage them to move! We'll also want you to be that friendly, smiling person out on the course and when you're training.
8. How big is the team and how many new members will come on in 2019?
While we don't know the precise number of openings, we do know that a few people leave the team each year due to family reasons or the desire to take a break. We'll do our absolute best to accept as many awesome women as possible on the team, but, of course, at some point our budget runs out and then we just have to hope that people understand. Last year, we had close to a thousand applications for the 100'ish spots on the team. Please don't let that keep you from applying though. Fortunately we're growing very fast and the bigger we are, the bigger the budget for ambassadors!
Ok, there you have it. We hope this answers a few of your questions and we hope you feel compelled to apply when our Call for Athletes opens in the near future.
Your Friends at Coeur Sports