A Call For Brand Support

Two months ago, I stepped away from my typical column topics to thank you, the iRunFar reader, for your tremendous and unexpected personal support of late. This support has continued through the summer, including this past week. Thanks again!

When penning that earlier article, I began writing about brand support, but decided to focus on all of you instead. Now, it’s time to turn an eye toward the companies and organizations that make iRunFar possible.

Frankly, the ongoing support from a collection of brands, races, and organizations has made iRunFar possible these past eight years. Without their support, we would not have been able to provide our daily articles from a wide variety of authors nor our race reporting from around the world. We here at iRunFar and you the reader owe them gratitude.

It’s with that in mind that I want to make it more apparent where to focus that gratitude in two ways.

The first way is by creating a page that notes the companies and races that have recently supported us by advertising or the like. This our tip of the hat to them and a place where you can go to find out who’s making our in-depth reporting on the sport we all love possible.

One of the reasons I’ve decided to create the supporters page is that it’s not always clear which brands and races are actively supporting iRunFar. That’s because in addition to the ads of our direct supporters, iRunFar runs what are known in online advertising as remnant ads. Basically, these ads run when there are open advertising slots on iRunFar. They’re pulled from “ad networks” that pool ads from an unimaginable breadth of companies. So if you see an ad for a toothbrush, baby formula, a flight, or a new BMW, those ads are coming from an ad network. That’s all well and good, as these remnant ads add a small, but meaningful income source for iRunFar. For me, the downside is that you’ll also see ads from brands that are paying pennies on the dollar for ad space, yet appear in every other way as being full-strength supporters of iRunFar. (To be clear, brands whose ads show up on iRunFar via these ad networks are almost always buying ads to run across a broad swath of the internet with an ad network showing their ads when you check the weather, read the news, and otherwise browse the internet.)

This spring, I did away with remnant ads for a couple months in hopes of further highlighting iRunFar’s brand supporters (and speeding up the website), but put them back up in a time of stress. (See July’s article.) I’d like to remove them again. Here’s where trail running brands, races, and other potential advertisers can help make for an even better iRunFar experience for all of us: you, them, and iRunFar. We need them to step in and help support iRunFar over the coming months. I’ve got a substantial, but reasonable dollar figure in mind (roughly a month’s operating expenses) and if we get that much in new brand support committed though year’s end before the end of the month, I’ll turn off all remnant ads until next year… with the hope that later commitments for 2018 will keep those remnant ads off iRunFar. [Heck, in good faith, I’ve turned the remnant ads off for now. Comment if this enhances your experience. Maybe it’ll help! -bp]

If brands make it possible for us to go this route with their direct support, the ads you see going forward will much more directly represent that brands and organizations that make iRunFar possible. Let’s all hope this happens!

So, if you work at a brand or put on a race and you’re interested in possibly advertising on iRunFar, sponsoring our race coverage at an upcoming race (possibly Ultra Pirineu if supported, possibly Les Templiers if supported, and The North Face 50 Mile), or otherwise partnering with iRunFar, please contact us. Not only will your support help us to continue providing what we hope is the best information on trail and ultrarunning on the internet, but also enhance the iRunFar user experience as well as be recognized as a direct supporter of what we do!

If you otherwise have influence with a brand and feel strongly that they should be supporting iRunFar’s work, please consider putting in a good word for us!

Thanks!
Bryon

[Evening Addition] Ps. Please, let’s not turn this into a shame fest. If you don’t see a brand you like on the Brand Support page, try contacting them and letting them know that you’d love it if they’d support iRunFar. Frame what we do and what they could do positively. :-)