Model or Rider? or Model/Rider?

Words Seb Kemp
Date Feb 24, 2015

Recently I came across an interesting think piece on Evening Sends which questioned whether a sponsored athlete was in fact a climber or a model. The climber-model in question is Sierra Blair-Coyle, who has 30,500 followers on Instagram, 202,000 people who like her Facebook page and who the writer describes her as “totally hot.”

The author goes on to declare that the era of the Athlete Model has arrived, where the value of some outdoor athletes is based more on appearance and image than it is on the substance of their achievements as athletes. While they must meet an aesthetic standard,( i.e. be hot) ‘relatability is also an essential part of the formula.

“Based on how she presents herself online, SBC appears to be genetically devoid of any physical imperfections and incapable of writing anything provocative or negative. The captions to her selfies seem to follow a tried-and-true formula of banal affirmation + sponsor plugs + sponsor hashtags + (of course) lots of happy emojis.”

“Based on how she presents herself online, SBC appears to be genetically devoid of any physical imperfections and incapable of writing anything provocative or negative. The captions to her selfies seem to follow a tried-and-true formula of banal affirmation + sponsor plugs + sponsor hashtags + (of course) lots of happy emojis.”

The rise of the Athlete Model has been made possible by brands and sponsors who clamber to align themselves with these striking individuals… and their legions of followers. For these participants, turning pro merely requires looking good while doing something which vaguely resembles their chosen sport – as long as they possess pro-level skills with their smartphone. And that’s the point – this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for social media, because we created their popularity by following and liking their feeds.

“The Athlete Model, then, is the avatar for this happy lifestyle. They are an idol who we like, literally, because they can consistently generate a compelling visual story of themselves leading a fun, active, healthy, carefree lifestyle. All of which is only relevant to us because that lifestyle is vaguely related to that sport that we share with our Athlete Model idols.”

“The Athlete Model, then, is the avatar for this happy lifestyle. They are an idol who we like, literally, because they can consistently generate a compelling visual story of themselves leading a fun, active, healthy, carefree lifestyle. All of which is only relevant to us because that lifestyle is vaguely related to that sport that we share with our Athlete Model idols.”

The article, which I urge you to read before you finish reading this (that’s it, off you go. Now. Go read that other thing and remember to click Back or return to this tab if you really have nothing better to do or your boss is out of the office), is very balanced and asks as many questions of ourselves and modernity as it does about the value of someone like Sierra Blair-Coyle. But the whole time I was reading it I felt like I knew exactly what the author was talking about, even though I’d never heard of this particular Athlete-Model.

“I can only assume that when it comes to choosing representatives/ambassadors, all companies look beyond a climber’s resume and/or skin-deep beauty. I assume companies ultimately seek out individuals who are very talented, very likable, very good-looking and, on top of all that, have a large following on social media.”

“I can only assume that when it comes to choosing representatives/ambassadors, all companies look beyond a climber’s resume and/or skin-deep beauty. I assume companies ultimately seek out individuals who are very talented, very likable, very good-looking and, on top of all that, have a large following on social media.”

Being lovely and willing to post pictures of your own tight buns on Instagram isn’t just a climbing phenomenon. Surfers regularly question whether the to-paid female athletes earn their cash because of the scores they get at competition or their ability to look bloody fantastic in a bikini. And in mountain biking… well, perhaps you know of one or two Athlete-Models. Perhaps you Follow and Like them already. Perhaps you like seeing the pictures of them looking cute or handsome in photos posted from all the riding destinations you’ve always wanted to visit yourself.

There have always been some pro riders who were famous and successful because of their ability to look good in mountain bike clothes, or draped over a mountain bike, or occasionally while riding around a corner with elbows and hips stuck out just right… -ish. These riders weren’t the fastest or the best, but they looked the part and they played the game because we ate up the idea of an attractive person who is able to ride a bike competently.

This siphoning of sponsorship persists, often at the expense of more-skilled riders. Generally speaking, the women that really are good at riding are less likely to project an image of themselves as objects of desire. Instead they present an image of womanhood that transcends their visual charms and the clichés of femininity.

When there’s only so much money to go around, who is more valuable? The smiling girl in the bikini posting selfies or the racer who was placing fifth? That’s not my place to decide but the metrics clearly are in favour of the former: 500 Likes is better than a fifth.

niki-gudex

Niki Gudex was once mountain biking’s most well-known athlete/model, but she has disappeared from the scene in recent years. According to her somewhat out of date wikipedia entry; Niki Gudex is an Australian professional mountain biker from Sydney. She competes in both downhill and cross country disciplines. In addition to being a professional mountainbiker, Gudex is also a model and a graphic designer.

And please don’t just think I’m being a misogynistic bastard who is berating women for flashing skin while I simultaneously feed my male libido on the same images. I simply wish to pause and question the thin and disposable feed of #selfies and #sponsorshoutouts. There’s a number of male athletes who have also successfully harassed social media to accelerate or perpetuate their career trajectory. But that’s the nature of the modern condition, to be able to present an image of ourselves to the world as bigger, better, smarter, funnier, bolder and more beautiful than we are. There’s some skill in doing it well so perhaps it’s best to hate the game and not the player.

Distressingly, some riders have utilized programs and bots to bolster the number of Likes and Followers on their feeds, making them appear more popular and more valuable in the eyes of sponsors and supporters. Such actions surely devalue the worth of such metrics? Well, to the wise and careful it does. 500 Likes from 500 teenage girls in Bulgaria isn’t worth that much to a North American boutique bike brand so any ‘reach’ or ‘engagement’ that is being claimed is about as honest as a nine dollar bill. It’s obvious that the digital realm is a necessary means for athletes to provide value for their sponsors but the ROI isn’t always A-OK IMO.

Cyclepassion-Calendar_1600

The Cycle Passion Calendar, in its 10th year,  features accomplished athletes of both road and mountain disciplines. This year’s edition features mountain bikers Tahnée Seagrave, Anneke Beerten and Manon Carpenter.

Clearly some Athlete-Models simply produce what the people want, because most of the people in mountain biking, being male, are programmed to respond to tight buns, low tops and well-tanned legs. Being hot and talented aren’t mutually exclusive assets to a mountain biker but when the former is used to mask the deficiencies of the latter then perhaps there is a problem.

There aren’t many Athlete-Models in mountain biking and I’m not suggesting there’s a tidal wave of good looking, social media automatons heading for shore. But the extent to which we allow this damp to creep into the joints now will determine the rot of the future. We’ll need to determine the true value of a Like. Riders like Wade Simmons refuse to become social media caricatures but has that devalued him?  Or does it bolster his status as someone whose (few) words are worth listening to and whose actions are worth following?


What do you think about the Athlete-Model in mountain biking and other sports? Do you aspire to be one?

Trending on NSMB

Comments

TehLlama42_
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Dan A - NM USA  - March 4, 2015, 3:16 p.m.

Curiously auto racing has been dealing with this for a while, especially in the disciplines where women athletes compete on parity with their male counterparts, and in the case of some more equipment dominated tiers of the sport it's not uncommon to see a 'good' woman driver end up posting better results than far more skilled but less photogenic counterparts (for a case study, just see how immensely skilled a driver Sarah Fisher is, and realize that Danica Patrick is the name everybody knows, and it has more to do with her willingness to show up for a cover shoot as comfortably as a centerfold).
Since being able to 'go professional' in most of the extreme sport categories isn't actually directly related to success in feeder series, this is a very real instance where aspiring athletes who don't have the resources or genetics to create funds are effectively losing the opportunity to become professional athletes because the sponsorship money and hardware needed to actually take that shot at the big time are being diverted to high profile athletes that are functionally lifestyle models by occupation.
Athletes already competing at the top level aren't the ones who are getting pushed out by this trend - it's the really talented semi-pro athletes scratching by to make it to support series events that are seeing the funding dry up, because that's the sort of money companies are looking to spend on the rest of the 'family of supported athletes' after their title athletes, and the unfortunate result, as seen in the top levels of motorsport, is that once the financial support from sponsors for the support series and ladder up to the professional level starts to wither, only athletes from well-to-do families, or well-connected within the industry are ever presented with the opportunity to participate at the elite level from a resources standpoint, which absolutely is the wrong direction for a sport built around grassroots support and weekend warriors as the financial base.

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powderturns
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Mike  - Feb. 28, 2015, 12:17 p.m.

I'd be curious to know how all these social likes (in the case of the models) and good if not great results (for the athletes) translate to sales. I'm betting that neither has any impact on the purchases of male riders. I'm not sure which impacts the decisions of female consumers more, but maybe that's what companies should base their decisions on, regarding whom to sponsor.

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michael
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Michael  - Feb. 26, 2015, 7:02 p.m.

Photochop has totally killed the vibe man!

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shirtan-pantz
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Shirtan Pantz  - Feb. 26, 2015, 11:44 a.m.

You don't have to win it all or be the best athlete to be sponsored (but it certainly doesn't hurt). There are many athletes who stand out for various reasons, for example overcoming adversity, displaying uncommon generosity/unselfishness, showing exceptional leadership, haveing other remarkable skills/pastimes - or just have a hot bod or face. Advertising wants to be noticed … people who are outside the norm make for good advertising, whether they are known for winning or something else. Whatever ends up catching the public's attention or imagination will sell product.

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nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Feb. 26, 2015, 11:36 a.m.

Interesting article. Marketing is very rarely directed at a general audience. So, if a company decides it's marketing approach is to use athlete-model/brand ambassadors who get attention by being really really really ridiculously good looking, they are seeking a market that places appearance ahead of substance. Individuals who make up such markets are generally not very thoughtful, and tend to make decisions based on 'emotions' rather than a rational understanding of the product they purchase. There are obviously numerous companies that use this approach, and choosing this approach contributes to their branding. Although consumers aren't always conscious of it, they obviously do get to decide which companies they support. Therefore, if the sort of marketing described in this article is increasing in prevalence, it's really an indictment of the market as much as the companies that make these decisions. I'll go my own way thanks.

The mtb industry does a pretty good job of selecting who-to-sponsor/brand ambassadors from my perspective as a consumer. And, I don't think the article here was suggesting otherwise. Ignoring the impact of talent and results in my analysis here, I think for every one dimensional head-on-a-stick athlete/model there are at least 2 who represent numerous key attributes of good people in an obvious way. Of course not every sponsored person does, but sportsmanship seems very prevalent in the DH scene, as is a free-spirited fun loving nature, and good humour. At least as it's presented in the media. This is a big part of why I follow the world cups. So my point is that things accessory to talent and results have factored in to who is supported for some time, and that these things aren't limited to those that stimulate our base desires. I think one reason for this is because there isn't much money to be made in mtb- I don't think there are too many people doing it for anything other than the love of riding and/or competition.

As for the role of social media in all this, it's just a new form of communication that differs in some ways from previous paradigms. It's not a problem in and of itself. I imagine there were naysayers with each transition to prevalence for all forms of communication.

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stewart-spooner
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Stewart Spooner  - Feb. 25, 2015, 4:15 p.m.

Companies don't owe people shit because they're a ripping rider/skier whatever. Those who can and want to sell an image of themselves for whatever cash, attention and swag they get, deserve it, but media recognition is only a measure of one's ability at obtaining media recognition. Doing will always be its own reward.

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dominic-blissett
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Dominic Blissett  - Feb. 25, 2015, 4:03 p.m.

I believe the Athlete-Model is perhaps more of a brand ambassador. Remember the lovely Marzocchi Girls? Men of the right age most certainly will. Don't remember if they rode bikes. Not at all. But I remember them and the brand.

A brand ambassador should represent your brand in a favourable light, be approachable and likeable.

The product being marketed is also a driver.

I would for instance be more interested in a DH bike that has won a WC race, regardless of the pilots lack of facial symmetry. Whereas I wouldn't buy sun glasses that were worn by an athlete that I did not admire aesthetically.

Some people will always need to represent the brands of any competitive sports product with results. If consumers wish to get faster, they buy the perceived faster kit.

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Tom  - Feb. 25, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

I think you need to think about the individual in two ways rather than label them as one athlete/model.
Judge them on how good they are as an athlete if that's what they claim they are. Then on their popularity as a model. I think the average person with a bit of common sense will be able to brake it down like this and decide why that individual is marketing a product.
That is the key thing about social marketing, it's for the consumer to decide if what is being advertised fits into their lifestyle and if they want to be a part of it. We don't have to be exposed to it if we don't want to.
If you are looking at the modle side of it and a female is getting a lot of attention due to her looks and athletic body, that can only be a plus. Good looking female models are role models for a lot of people and if a model can become popular due to there chosen sport surely that is a better than some fake reality female model?
I think if a female athlete is really that good then there skill will shine through before anything else. Let's be honest if you are not constantly in the top 5 in a female DH World Cup race. You are going to struggle to get any proper financial support even if you are just out of that top 5. I would imagine the leval of sponsorship would be comparable to a male WC racer that finishes in the 40/60's.
So if you are a female rider and can use abit of extra charm to do what you love why not. Let's face it some people are just more popular than others.

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NoahColorado
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Noah Sears  - Feb. 25, 2015, 1:32 p.m.

What about people like me that are SO good looking we'll never be appreciated for our skills? We're the victim….

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tallboy77
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Tallboy  - Feb. 25, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

In 2017, a bike company has 70k sponsorship budget for a female mtbr. Do they go with a rider who has dedicated her life to her chosen discipline, a rider who has competed against the best and won, a rider who has sacrificed on a level we will never know or understand?

Or do they go for an athlete model who is younger, more beautiful and who doesn't race on the circuit, train like a Spartan and instead treats her role as a full time social media person constantly pumping out content and building her own brand awareness and sending bucketloads of referral traffic to her sponsors website.

Tracey Mosely or Hannah Barnes - pick one - the econometrics will determine which rider provides the greatest uplift.

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mikekoot
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mike kootnikoff  - Feb. 25, 2015, 2:04 p.m.

I'd rather support and follow someone on top of their game and has progressed and pushed the sport like tara llanes, acc, tmo, etc. than a kardashian-eque attention w-hore. sorry, but for me real wins every time. It definetly goes for the less fairer sex as well.

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dan
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Dan  - Feb. 25, 2015, 7:55 p.m.

There is space for both. Thats why both are sponsored. Same goes for the men. Its not just the winners or top 3-5 riders that are sponsored. you don't have to be a racer or winning freerider to promote a brand. Just someone positive that others identify with. People like hannah do more than just race, her videos with Scottish tourism reached more people than EWS race videos from Peebles i bet. She also works a real nursing (i think) job to fund her traveling. Cant blame the Barnes' Matt Hunters' and Hopkins etc of the world for being sponsored doing what they love.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:21 p.m.

Those are completely different issues Dan - once you add Barnes, Hunter and Hopkins into the mix. No one is suggesting they are sponsored for their looks, or that they lack athletic ability. I'm not sure what Tallboy's point is either though so maybe I'm just confused.

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tallboy77
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Tallboy  - Feb. 26, 2015, 12:37 a.m.

Hey Dan,

I think the point of this debate is that there is not space for both real athletes and so called athlete models to live in some harmonious coexistence - each of these groups is vying for resource and that's why this debate is taking place.

Look a lot of World Cup champions and racers are either studying or working in the off season (coaching is a common one ) I'm not hating on Hannah Barnes for a second, but to lump her in with Matt Hunter is a dreadful analogy. One rider is world class in what he does and has a wide background in the filming process, while the other rider is not a world class racer; she's admitted this herself - she's not a top 20 EWS rider, maybe one day she will be, I hope she can be - however the rider who performs better than her on the enduro circuit is entitled to rightfully ask what they need to do to get a deal with Specialized etc.

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dj
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DJ  - Feb. 25, 2015, 12:55 p.m.

the main problem i see with these women athlete models is quite simply- they have no ass. without a bubble butt, i'm simply not impressed.

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mike
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mike  - Feb. 25, 2015, 12:16 p.m.

I don't give a shit about pro women athletes. Zero shits given

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mikes-mother
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mike's mother  - Feb. 25, 2015, 12:42 p.m.

That's funny, because nobody gives a shit what you think.

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mark-karlstrand
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Mark Karlstrand  - Feb. 25, 2015, 12:12 p.m.

Seb, you raise a number of interesting questions. I know you are not passing judgement on these talented professional ladies but your examples could result in unfair judgment by some. Self promotion is a key part of being/becoming a sports celebrity and sex sells. It's not fair but it has been a part of the game long before social media. I don't know if it's realistic or useful to think of MTB as anything different/special in this regard.

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seb
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Seb Kemp  - Feb. 25, 2015, 2:39 p.m.

Captions and photos were provided for by NSMB.com. I did not want to make any reference to anyone specifically except SBC, and that's because she was in the original article that sparked this piece. And this piece isn't really about MTB, it's more of a general (sociological, perhaps) look at the present. It could be about anything but sport, really. It's just as much of a critique of us guys still applauding this type of thing and expecting women to sexualize themselves for us, as it is a critique of the women who pander to the old fashioned, base, cliched, misogynistic paradigm. The message that we send out, and which some of these girls also put out, is that women have to play up their sexuality if they want to get ahead. It's not true and I hope more people follow the example of the ones who don't.

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mark-karlstrand
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Mark Karlstrand  - Feb. 25, 2015, 8:41 p.m.

Fair enough, as a reader I should have addressed my comment to NSMB as a whole not you as a writer. I apologize for my conclusion jumping. Also, I fully agree with your thesis. Adding "sex sells" to my comment was me being overly jaded and callus. I do stand by the position that self promotion is a necessary (evil?) part of being a public figure (athlete or otherwise). Sexualization of that self promotion is I think your main point, correct? In that, getting 500+ likes on your Instagram post isn't necessarily the negative part, it's what content you present to get those likes. BTW thanks for the thought provoking material.

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seb-kemp
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Seb Kemp  - Feb. 26, 2015, 7:45 a.m.

Exactly. Thanks for reading Mark.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 25, 2015, 11:40 a.m.

From Seb "This siphoning of sponsorship persists, often at the expense of more-skilled riders."

If a rider doesn't realize that skill alone, in and of itself, is just the bare minimum they need to keep being a paid professional then that rider has a problem.

A pro athlete in niche sports like climbing, skiing, biking must be able not just to ride acceptably well. They must be able to generate ideas, implement those ideas. Getting the results or the shots is the bare minimum. A long term future as a pro athlete is assured to those who get more control over content generation, content placement.

Seb, you as a person who are extraordinarily effective not just at generating ideas, but also at making them happen then placing the content would know this better than anyone

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sail
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Sail  - Feb. 25, 2015, 3:23 p.m.

I'm not sure who you are arguing with, but the article doesn't suggest that skill alone is enough. It seems you have added phantom statements to dispute.

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seb
0
Seb Kemp  - Feb. 26, 2015, 8:04 a.m.

Yup, sorry Lee but that's not what I was saying. I wasn't bashing social media, per se, but more how it can be (mis)used to perpetrate the idea that a women's only true worth is to simply play the role of eye candy.

Lee, you are an Athlete Model with a vigorously maintained social media presence so you should know what this feels like. You have a legion of followers who just care about seeing pictures of your big toe. But don't you ever wake up in the middle of the night and think 'I'm more than my big toe, I have skills and talent beyond that one physical asset and I wish people could see that. Maybe I should stop sexing up my brand by flashing it in people's faces.' I know I do.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 26, 2015, 9:51 a.m.

Fair play Seb. More trailwork selfies then

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jamie-hamilton
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Jamie Hamilton  - Feb. 25, 2015, 10:51 a.m.

Just sayin, but at the end of the day in relation to an athlete. It's about results, commitment to given sport, ambassadorship and being genuine. I think a lot of social media is like photoshop retouching. Pretty to look at but lacks real substance. I know I'd rather have a healthy meal vs a Big Mac , if you get my drift.

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dirtcrab
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DirtCrab  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:31 a.m.

Thanks Seb, this is a good read, but it's funny that this is presented as being a (mostly) female phenomenon. We all know someone who rides at a pro level, and is completely unsupported. However, calling the situation unfair is seriously childish. If you can't figure out how to win everything or create valuable content, you don't deserve squat. Being sponsored is about way more than just being a good rider, and plenty of those "models" are way gnarlier than people realize.

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mikekoot
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mike kootnikoff  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:39 a.m.

I agree with that for sure. I think he's just stating the differential in exposure and show vs. prove. there truly are quite a few people out there who are the masters of both.

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Amanda  - Feb. 26, 2015, 8:02 a.m.

There are also a few of those 'models' who have projected a false sense of skill through carefully edited photo shoots and videos. It's all about perception and, when looking at the amount of credence given to model/athletes, there is a far higher concentration of women versus men. These same model/athletes haven't had the competitive results they'd like, so instead, they play on their looks to get what they want and, as Seb said in the article, siphon off valuable resources from programs that could go to other athletes who prioritize their ability over aesthetics. And not to say that the skilled and accomplished athletes aren't attractive, either.. They've just chosen to show what the human body can do instead of simply display what it can look like. Call is marketing or exploitation, it's still cashing in on a genetic lottery, and it won't last.

Using these model/athletes also creates a grossly inaccurate perception of what athletes actually look like, and it caters not to people passionate about the sport, but people looking for popularity points, thus creating an economic (and unsustainable) bubble inside of the sport because of false growth patterns. It's not just damaging for the future participants' mind sets, but also to the sport itself. There are far more factors at play that just 'sex sells' here.

However, there are athletes who have both talent and marketable looks -- those athletes are usually rocketing to the top. But it's not always easy to differentiate between them and the model/athlete because of the presentation of said athletes.

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inga
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inga  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:21 a.m.

I would argue that social media posts by a model-athlete can drive up ROI if the model-athlete presents the product in a way consumers/viewers can relate to. It's micro-blogging at its best if done well. I found a lot of success from it - but I am also a blogger with a marketing background so I have a strong understanding of how the "game" works. If you ever question whether someone is an honest user, view their comments. If really comes down to whether or not the model-athlete engages with their audience. Meaning, if the viewers are asking questions about the product then those are the people worth sponsoring. My two cents.

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mikekoot
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mike kootnikoff  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

well that's a plug and a half… I've seen your ig account and really can't relate in any way (no offense). Theres alot of "lifetyle" and pose pics on it. with/without a bike… some bikini t/a pics, some average riding shots of yourself too. Nothing screams out, wow that's cool! i want to see that or do that. I really think theres too much social media abuse going on these days with everyone and their dog thinking they are marketable, and if they are, they already have over 100k followers.

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kain0m
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kain0m  - Feb. 25, 2015, 11:38 a.m.

This kind of "pluging" is becoming more frequent recently. Drop some irrelevant link at the bottom of every single post… also, the people you will hear talking about their success the most are in truth usually the opposite. Those who are "good" don't do advertisement.

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nick
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nick  - Feb. 25, 2015, 7:59 a.m.

it's a business, you must sell your product. it's that simple.

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seb
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Seb Kemp  - Feb. 25, 2015, 8:56 a.m.

Absolutely, but what is the product? The product or the produce on display?

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nick
0
nick  - Feb. 25, 2015, 10:27 a.m.

yourself

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0
t.odd  - Feb. 25, 2015, 7:16 a.m.

The bigger question/issue that Seb dances around here, but that we've chatted about, is the idea that there is any value in 'likes' of this nature, at all, or that is there really any true 'engagement', other than what the media/pr hacks want to portray there is. So many 'athletes' or 'models', take a random unrelated pictures and feel the need to list off multitudes of @sponsors and

sponsorrelatedhashtags, but does anyone actually notice and digest that info?

and, does it really drive marketing to those brands? I'd argue, no, personally, that most 'likes' are pervy people looking for tight buns, or just people liking a cool shot, it has very little actual value to sponsors, but then again, maybe that's just my opinion, man.

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mikekoot
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mike kootnikoff  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:27 a.m.

most of the likes are from spammers looking for exposure for sure. It's a vicous circle. The engangment hasnt changed though just transitioned. it's an engangment through repetition game now on sites like twitter and on instagram. the same tags over and over from the same people if you follow their account. does it actually work though? I'm sure it does to a degree when you are in the market to buy the specific products. thats as far as it goes i'd imagine.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 25, 2015, 11:36 a.m.

You're wrong in this Todd and I speak from experience working with dead trees and digital marketing companies. I know you're deliberately simplifying but social isn't just about the rough metrics of "likes" you mentioned. Sophisticated companies sponsoring athletes know how to parse and analyze social reach. One could argue that biking largely doesn't involve sophisticated companies.

An athlete or a personality who can attract a number of followers and thereby brand their own personality not only adds value to the companies with which her/he works with. They also then achieve more independence apart from the companies (not everyone is associated with one company for life).

And one very powerful way to attract followers and build one's own brand is through quality social feeds.

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yvr
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YVR  - Feb. 25, 2015, 3:27 p.m.

'Followers' don't necessarily translate into 'buyers'. This is the gap that social media metrics are unable to resolve. There are plenty of consumers of Red Bull content that never buy Red Bull product.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 25, 2015, 3:47 p.m.

You're right. Social media analytics lags behind social media platforms right now. There's a lot of money being put into trying to make sense of the social numbers. But marketing/branding companies like Red Bull rely heavily on raw numbers to gauge engagement and they pay based on those raw numbers. Like it or not that's the way it is currently

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reformed-roadie
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reformed roadie  - Feb. 25, 2015, 6:51 a.m.

Were there any words in this post?

Seriously, Anna Kournikova was doing this ages ago…

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stumpy2
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Stumpy2  - Feb. 25, 2015, 1:46 a.m.

Wade Simmons doesn't need any likes from facebook,Twitter etc,etc.

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adam
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Adam  - Feb. 25, 2015, 5:57 a.m.

but he did get instagram recently

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bill-eey
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Bill Eey  - Feb. 25, 2015, 10 a.m.

I gave him two likes and a smiling monkey emojicon

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joshua-fultz-veinotte
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Joshua Fultz-veinotte  - Feb. 25, 2015, 7:29 a.m.

wade simmons is formerly known and im guessing pretty damn grounded with the companys he has, who would have the nerve to drop the goddfather ? he does put out edits anyway..

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 25, 2015, 7:48 a.m.

He's no longer riding Marzocchi JFV.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Feb. 25, 2015, 9:24 a.m.

Really?

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seb
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Seb Kemp  - Feb. 25, 2015, 8:55 a.m.

That's the point.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Feb. 25, 2015, 11:42 a.m.

Wade's a first mover. But his attitude on social is that of a dinosaur. Social is just one tool of many and it's up to one to learn how to use that tool. Good that he's finally changing on that

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anon
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anon  - Feb. 25, 2015, 6:47 p.m.

Need moar wade toes!

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