Marketing and Sport
The last couple of days I've tossed a lot of marketing posts your way in promoting the webinar and clinics this week. Sometimes it's necessary to tell people what's going on even if it's for personal gain. This can go too far, however.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a talk by a pro athlete who had a good season last year. She credited it to her new sports drink sponsor. She would have us believe that before the sports drink she was training poorly. But after using the new product she started training and racing better. Therefore it had to be the sports drink that made the difference and can take all of the credit for her turn around.
You need to be careful of what recognizable names in sport tell you. I'm afraid some don't. Many of these celebrities have a commitment to a brand which often involves free product, endorsement fees and exposure through media. They are being paid to tell you what a remarkable product the doohickey is and how they rely on it. I don't know of any product in sport that rises to that level of importance. Performance is 99.99% physical and mental preparation. Maybe more. There may be things that athletes like and find meets their unique needs in some small way, but no widget explains everything about their performances.
The same goes for research that is sponsored by a manufacturer. I am always highly skeptical right away. Researchers that don't at least say positive things about the product can never again expect to get funding for their research from that company. I'm skeptical of all the research of such 'scientists' forever after. And there are a lot of them out there.
Now I don't deny that everyone has to make a buck. We have bills to pay to maintain our lifestyles, and some may even believe that the product some how really did make a huge difference even though I may doubt it. There are products I endorse, although very few. I like these products so I support them. But I have always tried to be honest and open about their benefits and downsides. I wish athletes and scientists would do the same.