Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What It Means to Be An Ambassador

Earlier this week, I renewed my contract as an ambassador for Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Company as part of Team FLRTC. I joined the team last year after moving to Ithaca in the hopes of meeting people with similar interests. I made some new friends through Team FLRTC, and being a member of the team helped make it easier to transition to life in a new city surrounded by new people and places. Needless to say, toward the end of 2014 I was excited to have the opportunity to run with this team again in the new year. Since attending last weekend's meeting and listening to store manager/team organizer Lisa explain what is expected of us and what to expect in return, I've been thinking a lot about what it really means to be an ambassador.

Anyone who follows media coverage of professional running has undoubtedly seen or heard the words "Runner X is an ambassador for brand Y," or something of the sort. In this context, an ambassadorship simply means that athlete X has a contract with brand Y to help promote the brand, it's products, and its values in exchange for free gear, money, or comped expenses related to racing. While I've never had a sponsorship like that and likely never will, I've come to realize that acting as