I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of things. But I have never seen an event that does as good a job with schwag as the Amgen Tour of California. I showed up today to pick up my credential, and this is what was presented to me:
A ball cap, 4 button-down Columbia dress shirts, 5 short-sleeve Columbia golf shirts made out of wicking material, 3 long-sleeve t-shirts, a fuzzy Columbia fleece, and meal vouchers for $15 off in many restaurants in most of the stage-finish cities.
Wow. I don’t want to know what AEG’s schwag budget is, but there are over 400 paid people working for the race and probably 1000 volunteers per day, so do the math. A million bucks maybe?
That’s a fuck-load of schwag. But we’ll all look sharp.
Also issued were two loose-leaf books, one just for hotels and logistics, and the other showing aerial maps and diagrams of all the stage finishes, starts, hospitality areas, course profiles, and so forth.
This whole event is an example of brute-force engineering.
I saw EricH and TracyM, the PSSI Satellite guys, at reception. They are really cool guys and smart as hell, they are competent as hell, and we’ve got some wild schitt planned for this 9 days. AllanP, the mapping wizard from Adobe, will be here tomorrow. And of course I went on the obligatory shopping spree at FRY’S with The Fred, stocking up on all sorts of odds & ends. As a result, I am a bit excited and a bit less filled with dread about the sheer magnitude of work that is pressing down on my noggin for the next two weeks. Working with really smart, really happening, really progressive colleagues is definitely one of the major jollies I get out of this business. We bust ass, we raise the bar, we break ground with new technologies, and we have as much fun as possible doing it. The ultimate guys are the ones for whom doing a flawless job is the ultimate fun, which is why I like my ski racing guys so much. They are “that kind” of guys.