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The triathlete’s guide to ambassadorship

Looking to build some relationships with your favourite triathlon brands for 2018? Here's our complete guide to navigating the world of triathlon ambassadorship

The race season is over, but as a triathlete you’re likely already thinking about next year and all the races — and gear — you’re excited to try out. Late fall is the time when many endurance sport companies open applications for their annual ambassadorship programs. For triathletes looking for free, or discounted, products from their favourite brands, these programs are often highly attractive — and competitive to land. What’s the key to creating a stand-out application, and having a successful mutual relationship with a company? Here’s our guide to the navigating the world of triathlon ambassadorships:

Which companies offer ambassadorships?

Nutrition, apparel, gear, races. There are programs in all areas of the triathlon world. To name a few that are popular in North America — Multisport Canada, Nuun HydrationBetty Designs, Cycleops, Timex

Who should apply?

It will depend on the program and the company, but for most ambassadorships you don’t have to be the fastest or best triathlete. Involvement in the triathlon community, the right type of image on social media and engagement with the company usually far outweighs race results. When building your application, look at what the brand stands for. Do your values line up? If so, that’s a good indication of whether you have the potential for a partnership.

What will I get out of it? 

The number one thing to realize about ambassadorships is that while you, the triathlete, will certainly get some amazing perks — new kit, discounted race entries, access to an exclusive team of like-minded individuals, ambassadorship is a two-way street. You are expected to provide excellent exposure for the brand, and this will take some planning, creativity, and commitment on your part!

How can I make my application stand out and how do I be a good ambassador?

Let the brand know what you bring to the table that makes you different — and how your association with them, will bring them what they’re looking for.

Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches, a young pro triathlete with long-standing ambassador partnerships with several brands, shares some words of wisdom:

“When you apply to become an ambassador for a brand you should explain what you can bring to the brand, not the other way around (what you want from the company). You should find and describe what makes you different and unique, whether it’s your talent in photography or videos, your humour, your interaction with the community or maybe your ability to write well. A company doesn’t only want to support the fastest triathlete who will wear their logos, but the everyday triathlete with a job and family who can share their experience in a unique way.”

While it’s a great idea to show on your application that you’re active in the triathlon community by racing lots (include your race resume), support your application with creative content where possible such as short videos and pictures that show the brand who you are.

Don’t over commit

You’ve put the work in for a strong application. Now, come up with a plan for how you’re going to deliver on your end. You’ll likely be expected to post a certain amount of content for the brand on social media. Plan ahead of time where you plan to get that content (races, training camps, and training sessions are a great place) and make a schedule for posting. You may also be required to share a certain number of discount codes for products, and help drive sales. Getting on top of this early in the season will save you from reaching the busy point in race season and realizing you have a ton to deliver in your contract.

When choosing an ambassadorship, look at what’s going to be expected of you and be honest with yourself about how much you can do. Being a poor ambassador could result in a damaged relationship with the company and affect your reputation in the triathlon community.

I want to be ambassador, but can’t find the right company for me

Are you a loyal consumer of a particular brand and think you’d like to build a relationship with them? Just because a brand doesn’t offer a structured ambassadorship program doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for a partnership. If there’s a company you absolutely love, it can never hurt to reach out them yourself, tell them what you have to offer and why you like their products, and see if you can build something from there. Companies will appreciate that you took the time to reach out, and if you can prove that you’ve been a great spokesperson for them in your triathlon community, you never know what can happen.

Happy ambassadorship hunting!