Adventure sponsorships are a tough gig.
This week, a sports nutrition company called Clif made international news headlines by discarding 5 of their biggest athletes.. including one of the most powerful adventure brands on earth right now… Alex Honnold.
Hostile reactions have rippled through social media and caused volatile debate. Who do they think they are?
When we first started trying to secure proper funding to cross the Tasman Sea by kayak, we kinda viewed ourselves like a charity….thinking, this is cool what we’re doing, surely some big brands will throw us gear and cash? After close to 130 rejections and no sponsors we started to learn that to secure funding you had to provide a return on investment to each and every sponsor. The trick was that each sponsor wanted something different and defined that return in their own terms.
Clif made a tough call that these “risky” athletes weren’t representing the values of the company and thus not providing the ROI that they were after.
Ballsy move, given the marketing value of these athletes.
What do you think? I personally….. dip my hat to them.