How I, An Average Runner, Scored an Endorsement Deal from a Major Shoe Company

Yes, that is a faux-bronzed Brooks running shoe.

Just the other day, I ran a 5K race, the second in a biweekly summer series in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. I finished in 20:51, not a PR, but not bad for the Men’s 40–44 age group — I came in 12th. Now, though, less than 48 hours later, I’ve already picked up an endorsement deal from Brooks, the top-tier running-gear company. Yes, it’s true, I am an “officially endorsed” athlete who has signed a “Big Endorsement Contract” that will net me the whopping sum of $1.

To be fair, I am not the only person Brooks has signed since Global Running Day on June 7. In fact, as you can see from the lovely post-race image above, I am Brooks Athlete #25795. The truth is, anyone who can tap a touchpad can get a Brooks endorsement, simply by going to this link. By the time you’re reading this, I bet they’ll have hit 30,000.

Why is Brooks doing this? It’s an attention-getting promotion, obviously — hey, we’re writing about it! — but the company wants to keep the focus on celebrating runners “who put in the time, day in and day out. We support your morning miles, lunch-break runs, sunset sweat sessions, and every single celebratory post-run beer,” they say.

As endorsements go, this is one I, well, endorse, precisely because it’s cute, low-key, and has no strings attached. Will I ever tweet or Instagram the campaign’s #BrooksEndorsed hashtag? Highly unlikely. Have I ever run in a pair of Brooks shoes or worn a Brooks-branded singlet? Not yet. Will I tell you, my beloved readers, about Brooks’s new Global Run Happy Report for 2017, which looks at how regular runners would behave (and what they would buy) if they ever hit the big-time? No, I will not say a single word about it. Will I check out the nutrition info and training plans that Brooks offers the Serious Athletes it endorses (and everyone else, too)? Maybe!

Most important, will I cash the $1 check that Brooks is now contractually bound to send me? Indeed I will — and it’ll go right in the tip jar when I have that post-run beer. You should do likewise, too—and when I say “you,” I’m not just talking about Aloe Blacc, who I believe still needs a dollar. I mean all of you, serious athletes or otherwise.