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July 14, 2022

Robert Muecke | How Adidas Terrex Is Building Their Trail Running Team

Robert Muecke | How Adidas Terrex Is Building Their Trail Running Team
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Robert Muecke is the Global Sports Marketing Director for Adidas Terrex and, until recently, also served as the their Trail Running Team Manager.

In this conversation we talk about why Terrex  decided to invest so substantially in the trail running space over the last 5-6 years, the trail running team model they are building, how they define value in the athlete-sponsor relationship, what it's like to be a Terrex athlete and more.


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(4:00) - introductions
(7:23) - background in trail running and at Adidas Terrex
(9:40) - changes in the athlete sponsorship landscape over the last 5-6 years
(13:47) - thoughts on team environment in trail running
(16:33) - recruiting athletes to the Adidas Terrex trail running team
(19:44) - emphasizing obligation to the athletes and long-term relationships
(26:57) - expectations of Adidas Terrex athletes
(31:01) - talking about increase in full-time trail runners
(36:27) - whether most professional trail runners will be full-time by the end of the decade
(41:39) - evolution, increasing sophistication of running teams in the last decade
(44:29) - intentionally investing in the dispersed team model instead of the co-located model
(50:35) - key objectives for when the team does hold training camps
(57:27) - how to define value in the relationship between athlete and brand
(63:02) - whether athletes shortchange themselves in the negotiation process
(67:27) - closing the gender pay gap among sponsored trail runners
(70:07) - why Adidas Terrex put such a strategic focus on trail running over the last few years
(72:41) - whether the trend of brand take over of event series will lead to less inter-brand competition between athletes in the future
(80:40) - whether there will be a world in the future where race winnings are substantial at a majority of the major trail running events
(83:00) - helping athletes transition out of their athletic careers to other roles in the brand
(87:04) - in-house, branded content for trail runners
(90:21) - closing thoughts


Additional Episodes You May Enjoy:

  • #98 - Steff Gardner | How Salomon Builds Their North American Trail Running Team
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