What’s Your Dream Trail or Ultrarunning Sponsor?

I’m thankful (as always) for Dakota’s thoughtful and thought-provoking look into the pros and cons of ultrarunning sponsorship. Now it’s time to have a bit of fun. If you could have any single running sponsor who would it be and why?

Go nuts. It can be anything from joining your favorite existent running team to convincing a company or group that they should form a team and you should be a part of it. Maybe you want sweet ultra travel accommodations, be it at W Hotels… or in Big Agnes tents. Do you want to be rehydrated by the maker of your favorite fruit juice … or, like AJW, Karl Meltzer, or Neal Gorman, do you dream of a beer sponsor? Perhaps you’d go for an RV company or you and I are kindred spirits waiting for SylvanSport to sponsor our start line sleeping setup. Would you prefer for the Beef Council or Justin’s Nut Butter or Chipotle to limitlessly fuel your training?

Ok, you get the idea. Dream on!

There are 53 comments

  1. mylesmyles

    Goldman Sachs or American Express. Both have deep pockets and a fleet of private jets at their disposal. Oh and don't forget the stock options!

  2. Neal Gorman

    Okay…okay… I must chime in here again. First off, I am proud to say one of my bro-in-law's long-time client’s is Chipotle and Chipotle, in turn, IS his sponsor, as he battles an asthma condition and runs a half-marathon per-month in 2011 in search of charity dollars for Wounded Warriors. Generous donators receive burrito gift cards. Neat partnership.

    Second, my dream sponsor would be the Department of the Interior. National Parks and Forests: that is where it’s at, my friends! Without all of the wonderful open space we are blessed with I think all of us would be far less off, in terms of our running ability. Charging up and down mountains is a right, true enough, but it is also a privilege and without that privilege where would we be endurance, strength, fitness wise?

    1. Tina

      Neal, first I just want to say I think it's awesome what your bother-in-law is doing. I can definitely see why you're proud of him. Really awesome!!

      I'm also in agreement with what you said about the National Parks and Forest Service. As a trail runner, my ultimate ultra dream isn't necessarily to run some race, but simply to run 30, 40, or 50 miles of forest land and other amazing scenic single track trails. I know a lot of you ultra runners have experienced this already. I'm not an ultra runner, yet. So, for me this is still a dream, but one I'm working on making a reality. :)

  3. runtrap

    Do I have to list just one!?

    I could go with REI or LL Bean, both seemingly responsible companies with deep pockets. And awesome outdoor gear.

    Also on my list would be some of the (probably) commonly listed companies – New Belgium Brewing, Montrail/Mountain Hardware, Clif Bar, etc.

  4. Jeff

    All-Pro Science – their supplements come from natural sources and they back responsible farming methods (whey from grass-fed cows). And they sponsor a ton of athletes, but no endurance athletes.

    And if Clif or GU wanted to hit me with some fuel, I'd take that, too!

  5. Andy

    I agree with Neal's purist ideal of the Park Service, but as of midnight tonight you'd have a sponsor with no budget and, worse, no trail access! So, I'd have to go where the money is. I would feel very "authentic" (Krupicka, 2011) with Injinji or Starbucks. Or, I'd be happy to join Scott Jurek at Brooks, but only if I could exert some influence and get them to revert the minimalized Cascadia 6 back to it's former incarnation!

  6. matt woods

    Nike. I love their apparel and the nike lunaracer shoes. Like some sponsored athletes, I would want to assist in creating some apparel and shoes geared towards ultra distances.

    Shaklee has some great green products for athletes. I think they are going to be a major sponsor in the 2012 olympics for usa.

  7. Shawman

    Chock another up for Team Salomon! Looks like they know how to support their athletes and the trail community. Beside the fact they make top notch trail gear.

    Two thumbs up!

  8. ScottTomKretz

    I'd take Ska Brewing for my hydration and post-run recovery sponsor, 'cuz nothng beats a nice Modus Hoperandi after a good long, or even short, run. Nuun for pre- and in-race hydration. HoneyStinger and Omaha Steaks as fuel sponsors. And then probably Rogue Valley Runners because Hal definitely changed my opinion and got me loving topless hats (or visors, if you prefer).

  9. Erik

    Fat Tire Beer

    Windpowered, Employee owned Craft Brewery in Ft Collins,CO. They could name a beer that has trail/ultra running in its name.

    1. Erik

      I need to clarify my own post in regards to Fat Tire Beer it is actually New Belgium Brewing that is the Brewing Compamy.

  10. Justus

    Amazon. The web site, not the river – they could supply me with any and all my ultra running needs from shoes, to nutrition, to clothing, to books (except Relentless Forward Progress, buy it from Bryon, he will probably make a little more $$ and sign it for you!).

    If not Amazon I would go with my favorites: Vasque, Hammer, Patagonia, Drymax, Headsweats, Nathan, Nuun, and Chipotle.

  11. Ash

    I feel so uncreative after reading your out-of-the-box ideas for sponsors, Bryon. I mean, I'd never considered that a beer could sponsor my running. How nice would that be?!?!

    But, really, after much consideration, I'd just want free shoes from my sponsor. So, I'd choose Inov-8.

  12. Tina

    I like the "free shoes" idea. A single sponsor? Well, it's a toss up between New Balance (they have a good assortment of minimalist shoes), or REI. I guess I'd go with REI since I can get VFF's, Merrell, and Salomon's, plus fuel and other gear. Wow! How awesome would THAT be!

  13. worm

    It'd be sick to join the Montrail/Mountain Hardwear team -or-

    irunfar.com…spreading the love through product tests, destination reviews, race reports, and overall trail running goodness!

    1. Andy

      There you go, Bryon. You know the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for!" You can't get a better name for an ultra sponsor than iRunfar …

  14. Jacob

    Saucony. I love the Peregrines! But really, I would love to be some sort of tester. I mean, I know I will never be on elite status, but to be able to test out companies new gear and give my opinion? That would make me the happiest man alive.

  15. stevie

    I wish I could be sponsored by Trader Joe's since my existence depends on

    this single grocery store. Either that or Bob's Red Mill organic oats.

  16. Shad

    I can't believe nobody has chosen the obvious. The Playboy/Google, or Google/Playboy, would be absolutely brilliant. Not locked into any particular brand of ultra gear. Google has all the money and could you imagine the a car load of bunnies as your 100 mile crew? I'd sprint into every aid station although I'd probably be a bit slow to leave.

  17. ScottD

    I would have to go with Apple. Outdoor training and photo editing seems to produce an endless need for iPods, iPads, and photo editing and printing. Plus it would be cool to see how their design orientation might rethink the outdoor experience.

    I'm +1 for beer sponsors too. I just love the idea that you can count on one team to roll out the kegs at the end of every race.


  18. Jon Allen

    Great topic. For food, I'd have to go for Subway and Chipotle, since I love them and eat there so often. And Nestle Quik!!!

    For gear, I couldn't put together a better combo for myself than the Pearl Izumi team- quite literally, I have 7 PI shoes, tons of Nathan gear, Petzl, use only First Endurance liquid shot in ultras, and go through Body Glide by the truckload here in South Carolina. Yeah, that's my dream sponsor.

  19. Dave Hunter

    The Megatransect is one of top trail events on the east coast. We have a few solid sponsors but one comes to mind because the CEOs not only sponsor our gnarly event, they do it. Off the mountain the Try Chips Team promotes healthy choices and tour the country at races and events with their all natural snack, enhanced with carefully selected super foods to replenish energy after pushing the body beyond the comfort zone. They are always there helping on the trails, sponsoring events of all types. Think twice what you grab for the trail. They have a great product and are great to work with. Dave Hunter Race Director of the Megatransect.

  20. Sarah

    Ooo, I would have to say my top 3 choices would be Garden of Life. I use all their products and I spend a fortune on supplements, but their stuff is excellent and it works. 2nd would be Lululemon. They actually make cute running clothes for women and since I'm in my running clothes the majority of my waking hours it's nice to look cute in them, unfortunately they are really expensive. So, please sponsor me! 3rd would have to be Starbucks/Alterra Coffee. It's a no brainer, coffee is awesome I would die without it and if you haven't tried Alterra Coffee you need to stop what you're doing and go to the internets and find a way to get some now.

  21. Stu

    "For Goodness Shakes" – Not sure if they have reached outside Britain. But it is a really nice recovery milkshake aimed at sports people.

  22. Cody Hanson

    FLUID! Oh wait, got that one covered. Then how about a nice bike manufacturer? Specialized, Orbea or Santa Cruz? Gotta save money on the daily commutes so I can pay for gas to make it to the races! Good cross training too:)

    Oh, and I agree with Trader Joe's. Mmmm, PB&J on sprouted bread!

  23. jcazz

    While I was out running today I thought how I could use some nice white (UV Blocking) compression arm sleeves with "I run Far" on the outside on one and inside on the other with "Mud, mountains and more" in blue lettering, of course. I guess I would even pay for them…

  24. icanseefar

    I think I have a good one! To be sponsored by a LASIK surgeon… then to take that good vision out onto the trails! To be able to have a great view of all those folks you pass, even hundreds of yards before you pass them…that would be sweet!

  25. JP

    my dream sponsors would be Scandanavian brand Haglofs, it is some of the best technical clothing i have ever used, and swear by it. also my dream trail would be the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal. run happy my friends

  26. Sock Runner

    Justin's Nut Butter would be awesome, yeah. LOL. Would wanna keep that energy going until the end of the race.

  27. ahmet abdulaziz

    i am not a competitive marathon or ultra marathon runner. I run/walk long distances, usually on roads from one city to another.

    I am looking for some sponsor.

    I do not know how to find some sponsor.

    Can someone give me some guidance.

Post Your Thoughts