This week we debuted brand messaging highlighting our core belief that young athletes should strive for podiums, not participation.
In this campaign we celebrate the accomplishments of elite young athletes, national champions, and world record holders. Surprising to us, we’ve received quite a bit of push back, so let me explain exactly what we stand for.
(I will be publishing this as a blog post and will include some of the campaign imagery below).
Being involved in the youth sports industry in some manner my whole life, I’ve witnessed a troubling trend that threatens the very purpose youth sports plays in our kids’ development.
Parents and administrators have “nurfed” youth sports to the point where it’s now completely unacceptable for kids to experience discomfort, adversity, or hurt feelings.
We cannot be afraid to let some kids win and to let some kids lose. Physical and mental adversity are the sharp-edged tools that sculpt our kids. If we continue to avoid this uncomfortable fact, we’ll be left with empty celebrations where everyone wins and participation is the only goal.
Sports shouldn’t always be fun. Sports are supposed to represent life and since when is life invariably fun and participation good enough? If we fail to let kids experience the crushing of defeat, the inspiration to improve, and the exhilaration of victory, how will they react when real adversity strikes in life?
We are setting our kids up to fail in the arena of life. Competition is not bad and winning isn’t evil.
At Herofuel, we’ve always received some sideways looks for making a performance sports bar for kids. But we stand by the thousands of kids we’ve fueled to chase their dreams and are unapologetic about encouraging competition and athletic achievement in youth sports.
We’re doing this not because we think everyone will agree with us, but because we are confident that this is what’s best for our kids.