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July 13, 2022

Steff Gardner | How Salomon Builds Their North American Trail Running Team

Steff Gardner | How Salomon Builds Their North American Trail Running Team
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Steff Gardner serves as the Trail Marketing Manager for Salomon North America based in Ogden, UT. Part of her role involves working with Salomon’s North American athlete team and thats where we focus the majority of this conversation.

We talk about what’s involved in the day to day managing the team, how Salomon thinks about signing athletes and creating a virtual and in-person team environment, we talk generally about how the athlete sponsorship landscape has changed over the last decade, social media obligations, and Salomon’s short term and long term strategies in the trail running space among many more things.


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News From Salomon: The WMN Trail Half Marathon!

"We’re hosting our own Women’s only Half Marathon in the Marin Headlands right outside San Francisco on Sept. 24th and it’s going to be so sick! We’ll have a bunch of our athletes there, including Jessie Diggins from the Nordic Team and possibly Courtney Dauwalter. We’re partnering with San Francisco Running Company, Athletic Brewing and &Mother. &Mother will provide freechildcare for any women running the race. We’re also making super cool SWAG, there’s a pretty sizeable prize purse, and a few premium/VIP parties. We’re really focused on removing the barriers to trail running and racing for women." - Steff Gardner


  • (4:35) - recapping Mount Marathon experience, remainder of summer event schedule
  • (12:53) - Steff’s background, career at Salomon
  • (18:29) - what’s involved managing the Salomon trail running team
  • (19:57) - what Salomon does to create a team environment for it’s athletes
  • (22:52) - what Steff looks for in athletes when recruiting them to the Salomon team
  • (27:25) - moving away, to some extent, from athlete social media obligations
  • (35:45) - how Salomon thinks about athlete contracts 
  • (45:44) - How Salomon pitches their trail running brand
  • (49:20) - talking about the Salomon “Inspiration Team”
  • (54:10) - differences in the athlete-sponsor relationship over the last decade
  • (59:50) - when the athlete-sponsor relationship changes in terms of payments
  • (64:10) - Salomon’s short and long-term strategy and investments in trail running in North America
  • (68:11) - final thoughts


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