In June 2015, as a nine month old company, Run Gum sponsored 20 elite track and field athletes looking for financial assistance during the 2015 USA Track and Field Championships. Through these sponsorships, our co-founders Nick Symmonds and Sam Lapray stuck to their commitment to partnering with athletes and their belief that performance matters.
The 2015 USATF Championships were a pivotal moment for us during our first year. At that event, athletes wore Run Gum singlets and Run Gum temporary tattoos and many of them made the finals and the podium. It truly seemed like we had athletes in every event with the white RUN Logo across their chests. The earned media and impressions that our athletes helped us receive were an important boost to sales and added value to our brand.
We found that partnering with athletes is great for them and great for our company!
Going into the 2016 season, an Olympic year, we are committed to doing the same. However, this time around, under current rules agreed upon by the USOC and USATF, athletes we wish to partner with are unable to wear our logo anywhere on their competition uniform during the 2016 US Olympic Trials for Track & Field.
No singlets. No headbands. No sponsor identification whatsoever.
As it stands, all athletes, whether they have a contract with a shoe company or not, are only permitted to display logos of USATF registered apparel and equipment manufacturers. The one exception is for universities or clubs that have been grandfathered in.
Brands like ours that want to be part of the sport, that want to put money in athletes’ pockets, are left outside of lane 8.
We love the sport of track and field and enjoy helping athletes maximize their performance. We want to see the sport grow. That is why we are taking a stand and demanding change. We are not asking that the sport become more commercial, but simply asking for a level playing field. Run Gum wants a chance to bid on the advertising exposure currently offered exclusively to apparel and equipment manufacturers.
If you would like to read more on this including a press release and a copy of the filed complaint, please visit getrungum.com/rglawsuit