Switchback interviews Ned Overend:
Next it starts to rain forty-five minutes into it, it turns to freezing rain, the mud is splashing up into my face, I’m still trying to stick with these guys that are chasing all the while my body temperature is dropping. Then I’m miserable, I start to get hypothermic and then I’m not thinking about racing anymore— I’m just trying to get to the finish line. It becomes survival. After two and half hours of riding in the rain, I hate mountain biking. Then the sun comes out and I start to feel better, I finished totally shattered. It’s just the whole thing—the suffering, the exhilaration.
[Everyone who does this writes about it the same way. Beautiful.]
The way I’ve always treated sponsorship is as a personal relationship. With Red Bull it was, ‘We’ll give you water bottles and a couple of cases of Red Bull.’ Great! That’s awesome and I was happy with that. Same with Specialized, we got a pro deal and that’s it. And they have grown into my main sponsors and it’s all been really slow. Giving them feedback, giving them photos, saying thank you. I mean all the stuff your grandmother teaches you! Write a thank you note. It’s really simple. I didn’t ask for money initially, and I felt like I gave them a good return on their investment and each year it slowly grew and now I’ve been with Red Bull now 10 years and Specialized eight. It’s just an honest working relationship, there is no magic to
it. You over deliver and then it usually works out in the end.
[It’s all about relationships.]