I was so hesitant to write this post, but I just feel it needs to be said – so here it goes.
When I started Moms RUN This Town I had dreamed it would be huge one day but I had no clue the life it would take on, the reach it would make, the lives we would touch, the example we would set. I had no idea chapter leaders would step up to share my vision…. my passion…. my dream. I somehow became a role model to the chapter leaders – and the chapter leaders became a role model to the members – and the members became a role model to other women and their own children. We all became examples. Someone to look up to. Someone who led by example.
I’ll be 100% honest and say I haven’t always set the best example. I haven’t always been someone to look up to. I try my best – but we are human. I can say that despite my past, regardless of what I laugh at or joke about in daily life, I want the best for my running club and all those women who follow us and look up to us to set an example.
Last weekend one of my chapter leaders posted in our private group an ad by a company who we just recently started working with. I have always felt very passionately about only promoting and working with companies who align with my vision for MRTT. This was a new company who I didn’t know, but due to the demand from our members I gave them a shot. We placed a good sized custom order (that’s another story) but never had that “warm fuzzy” feeling I like to get when I work with people – but I brushed it off. When I saw their recent choice for marketing campaign it literally took words from my mouth – and if you know me that says a LOT. My first thought was “omg my members…. what will they think?? How can we make this right?” Had it been any other company I didn’t work with I probably would have laughed it off as marketing suicide, but this was indirectly linked back to my running ladies. We had to do something, but what?
The discussion rapidly started flowing in the group…. comments were being made on the company’s page. Our members were throwing their sunglasses in the trashcan to make a statement that this type of marketing is NOT something we wanted to promote. I know you are all curious… so here is what was posted by the company:
*Some* of the advertising was taken down by the company after comments were made and somewhat of an apology was made by the company… but it still was not sitting well with me. I decided to write the company and let them know that my members were not happy about their choices. I commented on their wall as well:
Last line…. “Hope something positive comes of this!” – that’s what was weighing on me. We all do dumb things, but there are always ways to make it RIGHT and use it to enforce something positive. I immediately thought of doing a fundraiser to raise money for an anti drug/women’s rehabilitation type organization. What better way to counteract negativity than with positivity right? But how??
Leave it to my chapter leaders to help with the brainstorming! One leader made me aware of a company named Tifosi Optics who turns out to be local to me here in Georgia! I immediately browsed their site, saw custom options, read about their quality and their product, saw their focus was on active individuals, and knew this company would be worth reaching out to.
I shot them a facebook message to which they immediately replied and set up a phone call for the following Monday. My brain was SPINNING in those two days as I watched the way the marketing and responses unfolded from this other company. I had the chance to speak with the CEO of Tifosi Optics and within minutes I had that feeling that I love to get. A family operated, health focused, fitness minded company who was very open to working with us to send a positive message, but again…. how? what? when? Before the words were out of my mouth they asked if since I was in state I could swing by… Yep! I love someone I can meet face to face. I love being able to experience a company, their product and their facility first hand. The date was set to Friday!!!
By Thursday I had sample products in my hand and the second I picked them up I could feel the quality and see the difference! Not all $25 sunglasses are created equal and this was proof! I immediately noticed the quality hinges, the overall feel, the clarity of the lenses, and a few other features.
Friday I made the drive to Watkinsville, GA. I got to meet Joe and his wife Elizabeth in person as well as the marketing director Jorge. We had a FANTASTIC meeting just sharing ideas, passions, visions, and thoughts on how we can work together. I was so impressed with all the products they had to offer and the quality that I asked Joe if he’d share it again for my chapter leaders which I then posted on facebook here:
Am I gushing enough about this company?? Because I seriously can’t stop – and THAT is what my running club deserves!!! So the big question is what are we going to do to send a POSITIVE message? I threw out the idea of “Run Clean” and as fate would have it – That’s the SAME campaign they just came up with!!! It was fate!! So we had to roll with it!
After talking through some of the details, Tifosi Optics and Moms RUN This Town has decided to run a short term campaign to give back to a women’s organization that focuses on anti-drug and rehabilitation. This has all happened super fast so we are still researching companies – we will update you when we find one, but here are the details:
Tifosi Optics is proud to be the official sunglass of MRTT. We are excited to extend an exclusive offer to MRTT members to kick off our partnership! MRTT members will get 10% off any purchase using the coupon code MRTT at check and Tifosi is going to donate $10 of every sunglass sold to charities that support drug prevention, treatment and education. The promotion starts Jan 17th and will end on February 4th, 2019. Each sunglass will get a custom MRTT cleaning bag.
Show your support here: https://www.tifosioptics.com/mrtt
Coupon Code: MRTT
Coupon Code details: 10% off Tifosi products with $10 of every purchase to be donated to a charities that support drug prevention, treatment and education. It is good for up to 4 pair per user.
Bonus!! Custom MRTT/SRTT “Run Clean” sunglass bag!
Duration:- January 17th to Monday, February 4th
Here’s were it can get REALLY cool. We placed a 3,000 pair order with the OTHER company… if we did that again that’s $30,000 that could be raised for a women’s facility to combat drug use and encourage rehabilitation….. think we can do it?? I’m ready to try!
In addition to this anti-drug / positive message campaign – we have a BUNCH of other awesome ideas in the works so please make sure you follow our facebook page to stay in the loop! We are SUPER excited about finding such a wonderful company to align ourselves with.
Backstory on when this really hit home… literally.
I had been stewing over this whole thing thinking ‘Am I being dramatic about this? Our members are upset, it definitely rubbed me the wrong way… but is it really that bad?’
Yes, it is. And here’s when it hit me.
I was sitting in the car with my 9 year old daughter waiting on her school bus. I looked down to see a box the OTHER company had sent me and asked her to hand them to me. I opened it up to a pair of baby pink girly sunglasses. She grabbed them from me and put them on and said “Can I keep them? My friends will all want them too.”
It made my stomach sink. What if SHE saw their marketing?? What if she started promoting this brand who is also making light of drug use. I asked for them back and promptly put them back in the box. I realized it was a problem. I was embarrassed to have that brand on her face. She deserves a better example. So I knew something had to be said.
Then today when I finally decided to sit down and dump my thoughts in a blog post, I had the marketing images from the OTHER company pulled up on my computer when my 5 year old son walks in, literally pointed to the computer screen of the image with the purple dragon and said “haha mommy look! Is that funny?” He had no clue what he was looking at – he just saw a purple dragon and sunglasses and it drew his attention. Exposure… and negative exposure at that. It made me sick and I had to get my thoughts out.
But with all of that – I’m SO happy that Tifosi Optics is so willing to partner with us on this. Their newest #runclean campaign promotes Positive Vibes – Negative Splits – and that’s the ONLY negativity we need as runners, role models, and health enthusiasts.
Here’s to POSITIVE things to come!! We hope you all will #runclean and spread this awesome message!