M Dots….the M is for Marketing the Dot is for the “O” in Opportunity….

One thing that there is no shortage of here in Kona at the Ironman World Champs is shameless marketing.  Triathletes eat that shit up, so why not try every possible marketing scheme to get people to like your product?

M Dot

Here are my top three favorite marketing schemes so far:

1.  Underwater billboards.  Yup.  On the Ironman Swim Course, which pretty much every tri geek and their “ironmate” (sorry, I almost puked in my mouth a little just typing that) swims each morning (except for the Pros–who swim at the local pool), some serious marketing geniuses put together the thought of underwater signage to direct you towards the expresso barge.  There are also signs to tell you about a newest greatest energy product that you can probably get for free on the beach, and other signs.  GENIUS!  I mean, this might be better than highway billboards.  You are already looking down, why not have something other than the beautiful nature under you to peak your interest in swimming in these beautiful waters?

Billboards!!!

2.  Chocolate milk.  With the help of some elite triathletes, a milk company has decided to reinvent the wheel but rebranding chocolate milk as THE BEST way to recover EVER.  They have taken it so far that they have a tent set up with free chocolate milk giveaways for your post swim recovery and information on the benefits of their chocolate milk.  I was so blown away by the new round wheel they were selling I actually had to commend them for their marketing genius–as I took my free chocolate milk, of course.

Not gonna lie here, I stocked up on some of the goodness….

3.  Priceless giveaways.  It makes you wonder what it costs to make some of these products that just get thrown at anyone sporting an Mdot wristband or at those who look like maybe they are racing (for instance, me).  There are several aggressive attempts to gain market share by an INSANE amount of free-shit handouts.  I mean, I have already racked up the following: a rather nice running shirt (would be really nice but it is red and a size large), a water bottle, a swim cap, new Louis Garneau branded gels, and, of course, enough chocolate milk for the next two years.   Ironman Danish has racked up the same AND THEN SOME including TYR “Special Ops” goggles and the other free stuff that came in the race packet (granted, this stuff is not really free, in fact, each race really paid $650 dollars for the “free” stuff in their registration bags). In fact, had Ironman Danish read the “official program” earlier, he would have seen the full page ad on the back of it in which Rudy Project offered FREE Wingspan helmets to anyone who afreed to wear their neon aero helmets in all races for a year (including the IMWC.  Of course, he still wouldnt have gone to get the helmet as Ironman Danish is practically allergic to aero helmets, and, if you may recall last year, the penalty tents were overwhelmingly populated by triathetes in the neon dome pieces.

Free!!!!!!

Now, I do love getting free shit as much as the next person, but even I have to say it is a little out of hand.  You know what should have been free–a lei for me/Fergie.  My race bike, Fergie, made by a Rose Bandit Team Sponsor Boom Bikes, needed to get her taste of Hawaii and get laid today, but her lei cost $7!!!  I mean, could it be that the wingspan cost less to make than the lei?  Urgh….

But damn that lei looks good on her….

Sorry for the venting, my real post about the days events are coming soon…..

Tighty whiteys and expresso barges? Where am I?

Yeah, so, day 3…woke up at 6:05am (really I woke up at 3:45am, my time is all still wacky, I forced myself back to bed) with the plan of and early morning swim “workout” with the Ironmen Danish, BDubbs, his GF who flew in last night, a few other Oahu buds of theirs, and our very own Nelson.  Rumor had it, if we got to the pier early, TYR was giving out their new “Special Ops” polarized swim goggles.

view from the pier

Things were not happening that fast, so Nelson and I (not Ironmen) decided we would get a head start on the swim to the coffee barge….along the way, we stopped and treaded a few times to take some pics…

the barge...

So, again, I was surprised at the not-easy nature of another portion of the Ironman course…the swim:

the coffee barge is located about .5 from shore...

while the water is SUPER buoyant there was a good bit of current due to a rather large swell (waves are rolling through with about head high faces)…even holding on to the coffee barge was aggressive…once we had arrived at the barge for a bit, we were joined by the rest of the gang…

we all enjoyed our coffee and stopped and posed for some underwater shots (much like those Ironman Danish and BDubbs took yesterday)….

thats me flailing in the upper left of photo...

We swam back amongst all the other lemmings and realized it was time to get our butts into gear if we wanted to make the underwear run…we made it and even had time to take some awesome team pics:

the guys...

the ladies....

Danish and Nelson doing some lunges to warm up

EVERYONE who is ANYONE gets into it...

what can i say really....

I kinda wonder how the discussion with the kids went this morning....

TONS of people in tighty whiteys