By: Carlos Fernandes II
Picture yourself in this situation. You’ve just completed the long and arduous marathon build. You’re feeling confident going into the Marathon Project. The gun goes off and you feel really good, too good. Well that is until the last few miles, but you push and give it all you got. You cross the line in second and between the momentary spurts of vomit flowing from your lips, you see you just ran 2:09.09 for the marathon. This ranks you as one of the 15 best American marathoners of all time.
Most people would say they wish this was them because they envision that such high accolades must bring in hefty paychecks and large fame. Well, the large fame yes, but absolutely no money. I’m talking about Noah Droddy of the ROOTS Running Project.
Droddy had a contract with Saucony prior to the Marathon Project, however, once he ran this remarkable time, they offered him less money. Naturally Droddy declined their offer and is now at the mercy of Ryan Root, a teammate who works at Runner’s Roost (a local shoe store in Boulder, CO), to give him the occasional free pair of running shoes.
Reasons Why this was a Poor Move on Saucony’s part
The first and most obvious reason why this was a bad decision is that Saucony lost one of America’s fastest of all time and current marathoners. Isn’t the goal of shoe companies to sponsor the best of the best? If Noah Droddy isn’t the best of the best, then I don’t know who is.
Second, Droddy is known for his style a.k.a. Droddy Drip. From his collection of colorful Ciele hats with his long stallion like mane and unparalleled beard, he’s dripping. Not to mention he’s part of a pop punk band hailed by the name of Bury M.I.A. I thought shoe companies wanted suave men and women to market their shoes to consumers. Whatever shoes I saw on Droddy’s feet I would rock, even if they were Newton’s...
Third, the man is a comedic genius. All a shoe company needs to do to sell shoes is put Droddy in front of a camera and have him talk about anything. Maybe even have Willie Milam, another member of the ROOTS Running Project, as an occasional guest appearance. With those two on camera, cracking jokes, anyone watching won’t be able to stop laughing and are sure to buy any article of clothing and shoe the two are wearing.
How the Public is Responding
Recently in the ever growing famous weekly email magazine, The Lap Count, Kyle Merber advertised a petition to get Droddy a sponsorship. He gave it the spotlight during this past issue by making the subject line of the email, “Take the Pledge!”
The stipulation of the petition is that whoever signs it is giving their word that the day Droddy is sponsored, they will buy a pair of shoes from whatever company sponsors him.
Droddy latter tweeted "can athletes move the needle for a brand?" Or, stated another way, are pro runners capable driving impactful shoe and apparel sales for a company? At the end of the day, pro runners are employees of the brands that sponsors them and companies must have employees who are increasing their value--including driving revenue for the brand. At a time when money is lacking in the sport, the petition is a unique way to see how impactful a professional runner can be in driving sales for a shoe company.
We’re all Droddy fans, are you?
Sign the petition:
Follow the athletes mentioned in this article on Instagram:
Noah Droddy: @noah_droddy
Ryan Root: @run_root_run
Willie Milam: @dubmilam
Check out the band Bury MIA here: https://www.burymia.com/