This is the third post in the iRunFar series on ultrarunning sponsorship in 2008. This post focuses on sponsorship of individual ultrarunners – both elite and not – rather than teams. The two previous focused on largest nation-wide ultrarunning teams and smaller or regional ultrarunning teams. Come back next week for the series’ final post discussing the role of sponsorship in the sport. (Please hold off on discussing this subject until next week!)
For now, you can read more about sponsorships by nuun, Moeben, Salomon, Brooks and more after the break.
This post is by no means meant to be exhaustive. Far too many ultrarunners receive support from individual sponsors for me to research even a fraction of them. Please feel free to note companies that support ultrarunners in the comments. [If you note a sponsor, I will add them at the bottom of this post.] Also, a line was drawn between team and individual sponsorship. It was a subjective decision made based on many factors and is in no way meant to lessen the role of any of the sponsors or teams named in this series. As always, feel free to provide additions of corrections in the comments. In addition, you can now provide such information anonymously via the contact page. Moving on…
nuun first became visible as an ultrarunner sponsor when it became a complimentary sponsor for the Montrail-Nathan team in 2007. Now in 2008, nuun has risen to a new level as an individual sponsor of 10 individuals including the likes of Karl Meltzer, Brian Morrison, Ty Draney, Scott Dunlop, Lisa Smith-Batchen, and Olga Varlamova. (Roster of nuun “Top Tier” Sponsorships) In addition to these 10 runners, nuun supports a few dozen additional ultrarunners with various levels of sponsorship. (As noted in previous posts, nuun also supports the Montrail and Patagonia teams, as well as the forthcoming Wasatchspeedgoat team.)
Either late last year or early this year, Moeben began sponsoring a handful of elite ultrarunners. One the men’s side, Moeben supports veteran ultrarunners Karl Meltzer, Hal Koerner, Jorge Pacheco, and Tim Twietmeyer. Rumor is that Moeben is quite generous in its sponsorships, which is all the more noteworthy as they support youngsters Anton Kruprika, Eric Skaggs, and Kyle Skaggs. While no women are listed along with the men on the Moeben website, rumor has it that Moeben also sponsors some women. Can anyone confirm this? [4/11 Update – speedster Jenn Shelton is on the team – thanks, Sascha’s Dad] [5/1 Update – Michael Wardian has gone Moeben as well.]
Salomon, which makes shoes, apparel, and gear, fields a trail running team with a couple of ultrarunners, including Mike Wedemeyer, Michelle Barton, and Glen Redpath. Salomon has its sites on adding a few particular ultrarunners. Also, a few of Salomon’s speedy trail runners might be stepping up to ultra distances in the near future.
Brooks has been sponsoring Scott Jurek for a couple of years now, but also has sponsors a number of other ultrarunners, including non-elites, through the Brooks Inspire Daily program. (Note Brian Morrison left Brooks to go run for Inov-8.)
Another big shoe/apparel company that sponsors a top-ultraunner is New Balance, which picked up Anton Krupicka earlier this year .
One interesting development is for causes to sponsor ultrarunners. For instance, as Matt Hart points out, last July the Bonneville Environmental Foundation began sponsoring Justin Angle by purchasing carbon offsets to balance Justin’s carbon footprint associated with his travel for training and races. Fittingly, Justin also runs for Patagonia team. (As an aside, when I was regularly volunteering at The Nature Conservancy during law school, I
dreamed of running in a TNC singlet.)
The following additional companies and organizations support individual ultrarunners through sponsorship. Other sponsors will be added as they are noted by commenters, so please feel free to give a shout out to your sponsors or those that sponsor other ultrarunners in the comments. (Links to information regarding applying for sponsorship are noted in the parentheses.)