We try to make out to the Whitewater Center whenever we get the chance. So we were thrilled when they asked Recover in 2014 to become the official merchandise provider for the Whitewater Race Series! Like we said, 32 different races in 2015 alone! I.e. plenty of opportunities for us to take advantage of everything the Center offers. And to hang with the great staff there! Speaking of which, we caught up with Adam Bratton recently to chat about all they’ve got on the skillet these days. Take a minute to read the interview and be sure to peruse the Whitewater Center’s calendar!
First of all, you work at a bonafide adult playground. How do you manage to get anything done?
Ha! It is extremely difficult to balance work and play at an organization like this. It’s not uncommon for someone to literally jump out of the office chair in the middle of the day and hit the trails for a run or jump in a kayak for a quick paddle session. We all eat, sleep and breath the active outdoor lifestyle and clearly try to take in as much as possible whenever we can. At the end of the day, however, we all understand that it is our responsibility to constantly work towards promoting and getting others involved in this lifestyle. It’s easy to “work” for organization that we all believe in. Check out our Explore initiative for another side of the USNWC and the lifestyle we are continually promoting.
The Whitewater race series features events like the Dirty Dozen Obstacle Trail Race, the SUP Stream Catawba River Race, and the Quadzilla Relay Race. How do you come up with these formats? And who is in charge of these names?
We have simply tried to develop and position the Whitewater Race Series as a collection of races and events that are attainable across all genders, ages and ability levels. This can be something as simple as a 5K trail race or beginner friendly bouldering competition all the way up to a 50mi Ultra Trail Marathon and 2016 Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom. With 30+ races a year we also try to include enough variation so that each race is different. In a nutshell, we try to maximize the resources that we have at our disposal to get people outside and active in whichever format that the market responds the greatest.
The (in-house) marketing team is responsible for conceptualization, branding, promotion, management and execution of all events with a big help from other USNWC staff members (trail team, guest services, etc).
Why did the Whitewater Center decide to partner with Recover for your race series shirts?
As mentioned above, we all eat, sleep and breath the active outdoor lifestyle and strive to align ourselves with authentic, local and like-minded organizations. We love the high quality product that recover produces and feel strongly about reducing the impact on the environment through our races and events. The Recover story really fits well within the USNWC’s mission statement and the customer service that we’ve received over the last 2 years has been great.
How have your customers responded to the shirts?
Thinking back to 2014 (when we first started working with Recover), I can’t think of a race that has gone by where we haven’t gotten some sort of positive feedback about the race shirts. Race participants seem to really enjoy, appreciate and relate with the Recover story. It really is a win, win, win for everyone involved.
Any particular upcoming races you’re excited about?
I feel like we say this for almost every race, but we have a couple of our favorite races coming up in A Shot in the Dark, Rumble in the Concrete Jungle and Time Laps: 24Hr Relay Race and a new race in 2016 that we are really excited about with The New South Trail Marathon. Of course the elephant in the room is Tuck Fest which is a full on outdoor sports festival that rivals the best of them.