Donavan Brazier, Boris Berian and pro contracts.
So this is something we all like to talk about, analyze, and we often wonder what the top pros are really making. I think it's fair to say for the most part track athletes are severely under compensated especially when you get outside the top 5 in the world. Now, I'm a firm believer in negotiating your worth, testing the market and being confident enough to walk away if you aren't getting what you think you should command. (After all, we are worth what we can negotiate).
Seeing the Nike vs. Boris lawsuit play out has given us a glimpse into what someone at that level can expect to make. And with people in the know saying Brazier is now floating at his highest market value of about 400-500k/year base salary before bonuses through 2021 we have some things to go on and we can sort of figure out what the contract literature looks like.
There's so many things we could get into here, like why aren't the athletes making big time dollars? Well in my mind they aren't getting paid big money because they aren't household names. Bolt gets paid, and rightly so, he's an icon and is know the world over as the fastest man alive. You can't expect to get paid if you don't bring anything to the table. Mo Farah is likely making between 3-5 million a year through his endorsements/contracts, appearance fees and prize money. But there's plenty of athletes that are very close to his ability yet they may only be making 50K a year, why? In my mind it's because they aren't thinking about their career in terms of a business, they look at it only in terms of sport and competition. Farah knows, he's a brand onto himself, and he has a team of people constantly generating content for him on social media, and working his PR so he's always doing appearances and building his name.
Other examples of people maximizing their earning potential are guys like Meb and Ryan Hall. Even when Hall wasn't running well, he was doing commercials for Nissan, teamed with Cytomax (the company that makes muscle milk), Oakley, he still works daily with Asics....he understood that you don't make money just training and racing there's more to it.
Now, if track and field was structured differently, and the athletes themselves weren't independent contractors, things could work much differently, they could collectively negotiate and form a union or an athletes association. They need to realize that alone they have no power to go up against the governing bodies or shoe companies, but together they have strength and could exercise their negotiating power. I'm just rambling here obviously, but these facts could certainly be looked into. The sport isn't really in a good place right now, with all the doping allegations and busts happening, and how they use their TV slots and broadcast the events, it's just not super appealing to the average sports fan.
I don't have any answers, but I've got some ideas. I feel like if the leaders in the sport and top athletes all sit down and really put their heads together and start thinking about track and field as a business then we can see great things come in the future, both in terms of the athletes getting paid and the sport growing. But until we get past the secretive contracts, shady doping scandals, companies dictating governing bodies and athletes having no say or power then we are doomed to stay right where we are.
My week in training,
Monday - 60' easy + strides
Tuesday - 60' easy + strides
Wednesday -60' easy + stides
Thursday - 8X800m off 2'. Did this at the track, just ran it relaxed and controlled, Coach wanted 2:22-24 smoothly and that's how it went down. (went a little fast on the first one by accident in 2:17 but settled after) 75'
Friday - OFF (Did a spin class with my girl)
Saturday - 122' Long Run
Sunday - 60' easy
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
So as promised I'm continuing to review/talk about the new shoes Saucony just released or will be releasing soon. The Zealot ISO was released for the first time in Early 2015. I believe I got a pair in January and they released Feb 1st, this second iteration dropped June 1 and it's an excellent update.
So the Zealot for those of you who haven't run in it is a neutral lightweight daily trainer. It uses the ISO technology which forms great to the foot and provides a great lock down. Go back and read my review of the first model which you'll find in a late January 2015 post.
The biggest change with this update comes with the addition of an Everun topsole that really wakes up the ride and gives that snappy feel. They swapped this in to replace the PowerGrid+ that was used in the last model. The other big change comes in the outsole where they use the Tri-Flex technology instead of the IBR+ pattern they used last year.
The shoe itself is great for long runs as it's pretty light for a shoe with so much cushioning and midsole under foot. I find I can put this on when I want to feel a little lighter/quicker where I'd normally rock a triumph. I've even seen people race marathons in them so rest assured it can go far and fast.
It fits very much true to size and I'm the same size in it as with all the other saucony shoes including the previous model. One thing I did notice was that when I put it on the toe box seems a little smaller which I was really happy about as he last one I found it a little big. The shoe feels more nimble then the last model in my experience and it's for sure going to be a staple in my rotation from here on out.
If you guys want to know anything else about the shoe please leave a comment below and I'll answer it as best I can or put you in touch with a rep who can tell you anything about it that I may not know. Here's the link to the shoe with all the spec - http://www.saucony.com/en/zealot-iso-2/24976M.html?icid=SAUC_home_1_ZealotISO2m_SHOP&dwvar_24976M_color=S20314-1
Zealot ISO left and the ISO 2 on the right
The new Zealot ISO 2 on the left, and the first generation on the right.
Next week we will look at the new XODUS with Everun for those trail runners out there.
A faithful pair of Triumph ISO 2's had to be retired today....they served me well.
DF - Out