Wesfly has made quite an interesting introduction into the running world. In my opinion, most runners are quite introverted, nice, and friendly people. However Wesfly's approach has obviously been quite the opposite. Being extroverted, aggressive, and cocky. This has caused many runners skeptical of the group. However this video posted yesterday by Trackstaa sees many big running personalities speak on "their" future of running. In the video you get a bit more info into Wesfly's approach, as well as many other interesting points:
Running often doesn't bring in much money. High School and College programs both cancel programs because they don't feel the need to fun something that doesn't benefit the school. Pro Runners (unless the absolute elite) often barely make enough to live, and many still have other jobs. While in other sports, pros are among the highest paid professions on the planet. However, we are seeing that there are many ways to make money from running. One recent thing is a large group of running oriented youtubers who make money while running. Taking a vlog style approach and making money though videos and merch. The Athlete Special, Ben Crawford, Zach Levet. Even at a less than elite level, they make enough to make running their life, and Spencer Brown of The Athlete Special recently became a Brooks Beast, and Zach Levet is rumored to partner with Hoka soon. With Spencer Brown a part of the team the community gets to see into the Brooks Beasts and the Brooks Beasts gets more attention. Even looking at Tinman elite, and entire team powered by their YouTube. Another fresh attempt at this is the Wesfly.
They speak at one point about how Matthew Centrowitz should be a household name as other athletes are, but no one knows much about him outside of running. While Craig Engels has actually made a brand and a character out of himself allowing him to make money off of his "brand" and gain attention from it. More runners need to do this. Mo Farah recently joined the TV show "I'm A Celebrity" which was great for his brand.
Another part I found really interesting was branding opportunities. Majority of running teams are shoe brands (Brooks Beasts), running brands (Rabbit), and the few like Tinman (still sponsored by Adidas). However, why not be sponsored by Kellogg's, Monster, etc. Running is a relatively cheap team to maintain that yield some decent advertisement opportunities. But again, runners need to broadcasts themselves, brands don't want to represent someone talked about the two times out the year they win something. The want someone who has their own personality. Plus, if many brands began making teams like this, there could be more competitions and advertising opportunities. Tri-Meets, rivalries, press conferences: many great ideas that all grow the communities.
I think running has many great opportunities to grow and become something bigger, however it won't happen by itself. I encourage you to watch the video even if you don't know or like any of the featured speakers. Some of the talk is just banter and whatnot, but I feel like a lot of what they say is truly very very interesting.