Bro or Pro?

  The much quested for and highly coveted “Bro Deal” is what makes this sport go ’round.  Anyone who is worth their salt on facebook or instagram, and can toss a half-hearted whip off a trail undulation is rocking the semi-sponsored affirmation of their skills via a hearty discount on all things “bike”.  I’ll be honest, I’ve tapped the Bro Deal tree to reap the benefits of rad equipment at a considerable mark down, and I am pleased with that, as I couldn’t afford the cost otherwise.  However, there is comes a time when one has to decide whether or not the deal is in ones favor.  What do I mean?  Just because you pay for stuff, doesn’t mean you’re not Pro.  So, w

No Bro Deals in this picture.

hat I’m asking is:  what’s the ROI of this relationship?  Sure, discounted goods are much appreciated, but you are providing all sorts of free marketing and PR work for your bro, on your time, at the your own cost.  Sure, it feels nice to be a part of something you believe in, and if you are sporting a brand with killer branding, then you by proxy seem pretty badass too.  But again, is this worth it?
  I say, unless you are a weekend warrior or someone who has the ability to pay for things without triple-checking your bank account, then you are probably in the chump boat.  You are deemed worthy enough by your bro to represent his brand, and do it well enough that he (or she, but this is the bike world and “she” isn’t as common) is willing to not make full-margin on Product X because he knows that his investment will pay back immeasurably thanks to your stoke-factor on Product X.  You will go ejaculate all over any available social media surfaces you can log into or any quasi-relevant forum thread that decides to not kick you off based on your borderline obsessive need to espouse praise, opinions, and your feelings about Product X…at no cost to your bro, and he is fired up about that because broad-stroke advertising on that kind of level is fucking expensive.

  Now, I know as well as anyone that without the bro deal, many of us would not have been able to make our way into this sport, especially us racers who always seem to be in the red.  Being bros is cool, but being appreciated and recognized for your work ethic, dedication, and sweat equity is wayyyy more legitimate (and cooler).  High fives and hell yeahs might help with your self-esteem, but establishing meaningful and professional relationships in the industry is a much more effective way of step-stoning your way up and onto bigger things (if that’s your M.O.).  While you may feel like you get preferential treatment, just measure your “Bro Worth” with this simple comparison: do you get the same stock stickers with your purchases, or do you get nifty custom bits with a personal touch? 

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