Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why Do My Feet Hurt So Much When I Run?

If you are a seasoned runner you know the importance of a good running shoe. It can make the difference between a great running experience, or potential injury.

The problem is not being informed. Most people do not know that there is a proper shoe for your foot type. Knowing your foot type before you hit the stores can make a world of difference whether you want to do brisk walking, jogging or marathons.

How do you determine your foot type? It’s really quite simple. Get a piece of dark paper and then soak your feet and step on the paper. Look closely at the imprint. There are generally three types of feet.

1) If your imprint covers most of the feet (not much arch at all) then you have flat feet. You are among the 60% of the population in America with flat feet.

2) If you show a wide arch and narrow line of your outer foot then you have high arches. You are among the 30% of the population of in America.

3) If your imprint has a medium arch then congratulations. You are among the 10% of the population in America with the ideal foot.

Regardless of what foot type you have, there are running shoes that are right for you. As many as 56% of the 30 million runners in America, have injuries from improper shoe selection. So you can see that you do have to do your homework to protect yourself.

With all the pressure one gets from TV adds or what is popular to wear now, you really need to put the health aspect first. Most likely you will be able to find a shoe that is right for your foot type and still have style.

To determine the shoe to buy, here are some guidelines:

1) For the flat-footed person, you will want to buy a shoe that is rigid and stable. This will prevent your ankles from bending inward or outward and it will protect you.

2) If you have high arches, you will want to look for a very cushioned shoe. High arched feet don’t absorb shock very well so you’ll want that cushion to help in absorbing the shock for you.

3) For the medium arch or ideal foot, you want the combination of both stability and cushioning for your feet.

When you try on a shoe it should be snug but not tight and there should be approximately a 1/2-inch between your longest toe and the front of your running shoe. Tip: Shop for your shoes late afternoon when your feet are a little more spread. If it is not comfortable when you are in the store, imagine what it will be like when you are out on a run. So test them well while you’re there.

In summary, those shoes you bought that were such a bargain may be cause for concern in the future, so pick wisely and may your running experience be smooth and wonderful. Your feet will be most grateful.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Popularity of Sports Sponsorship

Sports sponsorship can be observed and dated back to Rome and Ancient Greece where prominent society members supported the arts festival as well as the sports played. By support, it didn’t mean the proper sponsorship or patronage that was considered as a marketing tool. It rather meant continuation of such festivals and athletic events for entertainment.

Today, however, sponsorship through sports has become one of the most popular kinds of sponsorship due to the amount of exposure it can get for both sponsor and sponsee. Sponsoring an athlete or sport means that the sponsor is exchanging products or money for the right to link and associate the company name with the sporting event or athlete.

Why do organizations sponsor sports?

Aside from the popularity tag sports sponsorship gives, a number of other benefits also appeal to the company’s interest. Some of the most common benefits are given below:

Added value to brand

Companies that sponsor sports want their product or range of products to have added value when attached to a sports event or group. By value, this points to product quality, price and/or content. Companies use sports as a leverage to stand out among other competitors, and in turn create for themselves a top position where consumers can remember the name, and possibly have permanent brand recognition.

So what exactly do sports have that other types of sponsorships don’t necessarily offer? To view in terms of goals – sporting events have always had one definite output, and that is there is always a winner in the end. There is always competition; a test of which team or athlete will overcome the other, proving who is superior.

Gold medals, trophies, world records, global awareness are involved in sports and are the symbol of status of teams or athletes in a particular sport. Winners become popular enough to become household names, and this is what appeals to corporations who want to give out sponsorships. They want their name attached to that household name – which will in turn become a household name.

Major corporations such as Gatorade have applied this kind of sponsorship and come out as one of the most popular brands for beverage products. They attach themselves with major sporting events and give relevance by pointing out the benefit of the product to the athlete. This then sticks to the minds of consumers and sports enthusiast about which sports drink is the one to stick to.

Sports sponsorship does not only apply to major companies, but also to small businesses as well. The general idea of brand awareness is still applied and the only difference is the level or scale it covers.

All in all, organizations support sporting events with specific objectives, each of which is addressed below:

• Brand Awareness – this objective seeks to let consumers become aware of the product name.

• Brand Image – this objective attempts to create a specific style and/or personality that distinguishes a brand from its other competitors, and in turn may give premium pricing

• Consumer relations – corporations support sporting events to directly involve themselves with consumers and potential clients, proving that their company is capable of providing proper services and/or products

• Community relations – A more altruistic approach is for this objective wherein the company is concerned about the welfare of a community; and so supporting a sports event can make themselves know to the community

• Employee relations – this objective for a corporation is to promote employee loyalty that will in the long term be very beneficial to the business