Thursday, June 28, 2012
A Jinx or a Career Opportunity?
Earlier this week I received a comment on the blog from Chris at AquaCast, the company that is marketing a waterproof cast material to replace the now-discontinued Gore Pro-Cel. On Tuesday, as I was driving Sk8terdude to camp, Chris posted a response to my reply.
Sk8terdude read the comment aloud from my iPhone:
Hopefully you won't need any casts soon and/or exhaust your supply of Gore Procel. However, I would like to send you a few rolls of AquaCast to see what you think. We can do all the testing in the world, but what really matters is the opinion of the patients and families who have the practical and extreme experience with water proof casts.
My immediate reaction was twofold - first, I wondered if it would be tempting fate to accept free casting material (although the fact that I pre-ordered the case of Pro-cel before they stopped selling it probably already jinxed us) and, second, I wondered how I could form an opinion about the casting material without actually having Sk8terdude break another bone.
But before I could say anything, Sk8terdude piped up with his own opinion.
"Mom, I have a great idea," an enthusiastic Sk8terdude exclaimed. "I could ask Aquacast to sponsor me!"
Ah....sponsorship: the elusive goal of all young skaters everywhere!
For those of you not in the know, many skate-related companies offer sponsorships to young skaters. In exchange for free product (wheels, trucks, decks, shoes, even grip tape), skaters are supposed to promote the brands wherever they go. Some companies send branded tee-shirts, stickers, and promotional material for their sponsored skaters to distribute. Others just bargain that younger skaters will want to copy the sponsored skaters by buying the same products, etc.
I have to admit that my wallet loves the concept of Sk8terdude getting sponsored. And I have often joked that our orthopedist's office ought to sponsor him (after all, we're practically building a college fund for the orthopedist's kids at the rate we're seeing him).
But I'm not sure how Sk8terdude thinks a sponsorship from a waterproof cast company would work... Would he go from skatepark to skatepark, hoping someone would get hurt so he could whip out an ad for AquaCast and say something about the value of waterproof casts during recovery? Would AquaCast design a line of skateboards advertising their products - complete with images of xrays?
Or maybe AquaCast could create a sponsorship group for all sports: one skateboarder, one BMX biker, one lacrosse player, etc. They could have an ad campaign with each of the athletes saying something like, "I work hard for my sport - but when I'm sidelined with an injury, I want a casting material that will work hard for me... AquaCast lets me continue my active lifestyle even while I'm recuperating." Picture the person with cast doing some type of exercise to work a different muscle group than whatever is broken, followed by person drying off while getting out of the shower. The voiceover says something about how sweat and showers don't ruin the cast, etc.
It's a funny image. Or maybe it's really smart. If skateboarding doesn't pan out for Sk8terdude, maybe he has a future career in advertising... For now he just needs to enjoy summer camp - and not break anything while he's there!