Wednesday, December 3, 2014

5 Things I Loved About Flotracks Beer Mile World Championship

2014 Beer Mile World Champion Results
Tonight Austin Texas played host for Flotrack's 2014 Beer Mile World Championships. For those
that are unaware, a beer mile is a race that consists of drinking a beer, running a quarter mile, and then repeating it three more times. In the end you drink four beers and run one mile. Tonight, Corey Gallagher chugged his final beer in 8 seconds and then ran a closing 61 second final quarter mile for a total time 5:00:23 earning him title as 2014 Beer Mile World Champion and put $2,500 into his pocket. It was rather impressive and I felt compelled to write about it so here are some brief thoughts.

First, I will say that truthfully I love everything about the event and there were so many different lessons to learn in some many different disparate areas of life. I won't touch on all of them but here are a couple.

1) Putting an event on the map - Put $10,000 up for grabs, call it a World Championship, and livestream it with acceptable quality and you have a chance to get off the ground. It helps to have an exciting and unique event but this should be a lesson for all race directors out there or anyone in marketing/sales. The stakes DON'T need to be high, but adding some stakes generates more interest. Advertise the stakes, talk about them during the race, present a big check, acknowledge the performances and you will make it bigger deal than it was without doing those things.

2014 Kona Beer Mile Champion AJ Baucco
2) Takings Chances. I love that Under Armour took a chance. Most people never really give thought to how challenging it can be to be public figure/brand/organization, but it is hard. You are never going to make everyone happy so when it comes to throwing money at something you have to be sure it doesn't backfire. I'm not sure if Nike just doesn't want to get involved at this point or maybe the stakes are just too small, but Under Armour took a chance and it looks like they signed a last minute deal. I loved that the company was nimble enough to recognize and bet on Corey Gallagher. As an athlete I know how important every supporter is no matter how big or small. I would like to thank my own apparel sponsor 2XU for taking a chance on me and I'm sure they would have been more than happy to have me represent the brand at this event.

3) Supporting the love of the game - It gives us yet another sport outside of the four big sports. Personally, I gave up on big sports over a decade ago and I prefer to support smaller sports - sports where athletes don't sign $200,000,000 deals. Athletes don't get started in sports for the money, they get involved for the love of the game, but somewhere along that journey many athletes get corrupted and lose sight of why they are really competing. I still want to support athletes, just not the athletes making $200,000,000 and that care more about money then the love of the game.

4) Cut the cord - Truthfully I thought the major cable operators would have been dead by now, but some how they still subsist. Most people cite their reason for not axing the subscription because of the lack of alternatives to live sports. The more options we have to watch live sports online the more opportunities people have to cut the cord.

5) Introducing new people to goals and sports. Maybe there is someone who is just a beer drinker, maybe even an alcoholic, and tonight they were captivated by the event. Maybe it converts one non-exercising beer drinker, into a beer-drinking exerciser and that is a good thing. If the beer mile gets even one person off the couch who otherwise wouldn't have then it is a success in my eyes. People need to be motivated, people need to be challenged. I don't really care what people are trying to accomplish as long they work hard at it, set goals, and have plan for achieving them.

Predictions: Assuming there are no legal hurdles, the beer mile will continue to grow in popularity. My guess is it will explode exponentially in the next couple of years. Although I said I would never do one, my tune is changing. After watching the beer mile in person at Kona for the Ironman World Championships, I can say with 100% confidence that there is another beer mile spectation in my future.

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