I am often asked by many runners on how to benefit from being associated with a brand and enjoy the free goodies. So here is my take:
A lot of the posts these days on social media is brand inspired. This takes the form of mentioning brand names, wearing brand t-shirts, using brand hashtags etc.
It is believed by many brands that if one has many followers / likes / fans etc on different social media then such person is very influential and is thus called an ‘influencer’ or ‘brand ambassador’
Brands employ a brand manager / social media manager etc agency to shortlist such ‘influencers’ These agencies know very little of the sport and often get into popular FB groups and see who are the admins / frequent posters etc.
If you maintain a blog and you keep regularly cross posting it across all the running forums in the regular stream, who cares if what you have written is correct or not. Or debatable or highly biassed or motivated by retribution. As long as it makes for some interesting reading, and often peppered with interesting graphs etc, the social media manager of the brand, who knows very little, is lulled into thinking that he has a good ‘influencer’ in his hands.
Soon the goodies start flowing. And you get bragging rights amongst those who aspire for the external benefits of rank and fortune.