Well, it’s the end of an era. This was my 11th season of sponsorship by Salomon in various forms. For the first 5 years, I was a member of the national Salomon Flight Crew, back when they wanted a mix of elites and runners “connected within their community”. We got some product training and helped at local events. I got a big box of free stuff each spring and supplemented it with purchases of additional Salomon gear. After all, a brand ambassador had to be loyal from head to toe in all weather.
After the national team became an elites-only group, the Toronto Salomon store manager gave me 40% off and continued to involve me in occasional store events. Last year he left the store, and all the staff members I knew had also moved on. Unsure of what to do with me, the new store manager generously continued to extend the discount since it was in their computer system. When I offered to come in to give an ultrarunning presentation that I’d planned with the previous store manager, it didn’t sound like she was all that interested. It’s been 2+ years since I’ve been asked to do anything in exchange for my discount.
Today the manager told me that they’ll be making a fresh start with new store ambassadors in 2020. I thanked her and said it’s been a really good run. I’m so grateful for Salomon’s longtime support. I honestly like a lot of their clothing, shoes and gear very much, and I’ll still be buying it. It’s not the worst thing that I will no longer feel like I need to represent the brand in public photos, etc. If I prefer shorts from another company, I can wear them in a major race without guilt. I’ll have more choices now.
So it’s all good. Big thanks to Phatty (Pete Cameron) for getting me into this. As a very average runner, it’s been way more than I ever could have expected.