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Feb. 26, 2015, 11:36 a.m. -  NatBrown

#!markdown 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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