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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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