Leap Day Sports - The Triathlife of Jesse Thomas

Sponsorship, Working, and NO Training – Off Season Update #1

Heyo Crazy like that dude you kind of knew in high school who writes six page political conspiracy rants on his Facebook status updates Ass Fans!! Hope everyone’s rested up, fattened up, and lathered up (what?!?) for Off Season Update Numero Uno! Andale, Andale!

Ok, it’s obvious by that all over the place intro that I’m a little off my game. Let it go, it’s off-season. It’s been a little over two weeks now, and I figured my CA fans would be hungry for Jesse, so even though I’ve done almost nothing triathlon related, I thought I’d give you a quick update. Enjoy!

Sponsorship – Doing Deals All Day Long

Like many industries, Oct/Nov/Dec is the core part of the sponsorship season for triathlon. Most of next year’s “deals” are done, or at least the general terms are outlined, during this time. Since Pearl Izumi and Rolf Prima are my only sponsorships that extend through 2013 and I don’t have my own Jerry Maguire, I’m back at the negotiating table with all of my other sponsors.

This is how I would talk to my agent if I had one.

So anyway, the past 2 weeks has been sponsorship craziness, just doing deals left and right, up and down, around, sideways, you name it. Obviously, I am kidding. As much as my CA fans would like to believe, I don’t have Coke on one line, Pepsi on the other, Kentucky Fried Chicken is NOT looking for an up and coming American triathlete, and I’m NOT in negotiations with Victoria Secret to be the face of their new men’s intimate wear line. Sorry guys.

Click image to see Dave Chappelle talk about Coke AND Pepsi – **Warning, this is Dave Chappelle, the language is naughty (and funny).

All joking aside, it is a fairly stressful time for me and others trying to make a living in this sport. In 2012, around 60% of my income came from sponsors, roughly 80% of that in the form of performance bonuses – extra money for a top 3 finish. Even with a great year, prize money alone isn’t enough to live on, unless you win a major race like Abu Dhabi, HyVee or a World Championship. So it makes this part of the season extremely important in understanding how well I’ll be able to sustain this career next year and beyond.

I am in talks with all of the sponsors I had this year, and in general, things look pretty good. But in addition, I’m hoping to add one or two more sponsors, ideally from outside the sport. In fact, if I could ask one favor of my CA fans…if you know anyone or any company that may be interested in teaming up with a really nice, sometimes fast, and always fashion challenged American triathlete for next year or longer, don’t hesitate to send me an email at jesse@leapdaysports.com. I’m open to any and all ideas. There are many more ways I could provide value beyond a logo on a jersey – speaking, writing, social media, babysit your kids, you never know what could happen until you start a conversation. And anything that can provide me with the financial, equipment (Toys ‘R Us?), or service support I need during the year would be a huge help. Thanks, you crazy kids.

Imagine the possibilities…

The end of my hardest workout in 2 weeks.

Training, Except Not Really

I have done NO training. For the last two weeks, I did absolutely nothing. My most active day was Frisbee golf and many beers with my brother and cousin. I got absolutely owned by both of them (my family and the beers), and got really tired and sore. I’m not joking. It’s amazing how off-season can really take a bite out of your confidence. Here I am, this “professional athlete” and my arm gets sore from throwing a stupid frisbee. Seriously? Even more depressing was starting purplepatch’s strength program this week where I literally struggled to finish 3×10 pushups. I think I reached my lifetime pushup peak at age seven when my dad and stepmom imposed a family rule – 20 pushups for every fart in the car. It happened lots.

I wasn’t joking.

Other Shenanigans

Outside of sponsorship and not training, I’ve been doing a TON of Picky Bars stuff – everything from evaluating potential sales channels to donating to local aspiring Olympians (Team Run Eugene) to dressing up as Picky Bar Super Heroes for Halloween.

From right to left that’s – All in Almond, Need for Seed, Lauren’s Mega Nuts, Smooth Caffienator, and of course, Freaking Science Dude.

Lauren always brings her A Game to the Picky Bars staff meeting.

Honestly, I’ve been working at my desk all day, eating like a pig, doing a fair amount of mild boozing, and watching lots of TV and movies. Holy crap! I’m like a normal person! Honestly, I give myself these few weeks to be a normal dude that works at Picky Bars and goes out with his friends and to the beach with his family without having to think about his next workout. As our friend Jessica exclaimed a couple of days ago, “I like Off-Season Jesse!” And yes, I took it as a compliment that everyone really likes the version of me that exists only 2 weeks a year.

So that’s basically it folks. Hopefully I’ll will have some cool announcements to make about next year in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to email me a jesse@leapdaysports.com if you think you know someone who might be interested in sponsorship/me baby sitting their kids.. Until then, enjoy the off-season!

Family vacation time. My brother is definitely stealing some of my mojo with that incredibly creepy ‘stache.


11 comments to Sponsorship, Working, and NO Training – Off Season Update #1

  • Brent

    This isn’t necessarily a sponsorship idea, but it is an idea to make money off of what you do.

    After reading your blog and other race coverage I was sold as a CA fan. Totally inspired by you (and admittedly other awesome pros) to get into triathlon. As a new triathlete I needed gear, particularly tri kit. Having seen tons of pictures if you racing I thought “JT wears Pearl Izumi, looks good, I be that would work”. It was freaking impossible to find out what you were wearing. Even worse, I couldn’t find one that looked just like what you were wearing. Just weird generic colour schemes. I was disappointed.

    I have been a fan of lots of sports and in all those I can buy a jersey of my favourite team, or even my favourite player. Why can’t I buy thee replica kit of my favourite triathletes? I know there might be some licensing issues on the other sponsors, but if European soccer has fans with sponsor logos on their jerseys, there must be a way to make this work. As triathlon gets more popular, I think there is an opportunity there.

    If it happens, I will be one of the first to get a JT kit, promise.

    • Jesse Thomas

      A Jesse Thomas replica kit! What!?! Oh man, the Bieber ego will just explode on that one. Anyway, I love it. I’ll ask the guys at Pearl to see what they can do, haha. Thanks Brent!

  • Derek W

    I think it’s fairly well-recognized that the zombie apocalypse is a ‘not-if-but-when’ type of scenario. Surely the hordes of prepubescent girls surrounding Justin Beiber will be instant zombie fodder for the undead masses when the time comes, and will immediately turn -and feed- upon their beloved idol. My point following that undeniable truth is this-

    patent Zombie Jessie Beiber. When JBieb gets the virus you’ll be able to sue in whatever post-apocalyptic judicial court remains for copyright infringement (pending you managed to survive by walling off the Hayward Field Track after loading it with nutritionally complete PickyBars to last through the early waves of invasion).

    • Jesse Thomas

      Hilarious. Your Beiber Zombie scenario reminded me of a movie trailer I just saw. Kind of disappointed now that they chose Brad Pitt over me.

  • Just out of curiosity do you drink milk? I dont think you are vegan but had to check. I have an excellent idea for sponsorship! And I think you could totally sell yourself to them.

    • Jesse Thomas

      I’m not vegan, but lactose plays some pretty potent havoc on my stomach, if you know what I mean. A big part of the reason behind Picky Bars actually. Open to talk to whoever, but that one could be a long shot, haha!

  • MBS


    You should get sponsored by a PB company (you could definitely replace the planters peanut or maybe just dress up as one..or justin’s peanut butter could become the justin jesse bieber peanut butter) and a health care company or something that would help cover your health insurance costs (rather than paying $$$$$$$$$$$ to buy your own).

    Or sell a part of your arm like Nick Symmonds…

    I just figured out that CA did not, in fact, stand for California (and I was wondering why you were giving so many shout outs to your california friends). Somehow they let me into medical school…

    [I also just figured out what POTUS stands for the other day]

    • Jesse Thomas

      Agreed. Justin’s Nut Butter sponsorship alone would probably save me $3-4k a year, haha. Health care is a GREAT idea, will look around.

      I still need to make a definition of terms. Yes, CA = Crazy Ass.

  • Amos

    Joel’s stache is killing it! I wanna shake that guys hand! ..and then i want to wash it.

  • Trevor

    I am going to think you tried this already but Ray-Ban, Smith, or any other sunglass company

  • Tracie

    DZ Nuts Chamois creme?

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