“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just to finish. It’s up to you.”
– Dave Scott | Six-Time Ironman World Champion
IRONMAN® store is a LinkConnector exclusive merchant providing official gear for what has come to be known as the world’s most challenging endurance races.
The IRONMAN originated in 1978 when U.S. Naval Commander, John Collins and his wife combined three of the world’s longest races into one monstrous challenge; a 1.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile marathon. Today, these races are performed around the globe with over 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IronKids®.
LinkConnector’s Manager of Merchant Operations, David Todd recently conducted an interview with IRONMAN’s Director of eCommerce, Joe Nardolilli to learn more about the IRONMAN brand and to get a sneak peek at what IRONMAN has in-store for the summer season.
David: What is it about IRONMAN products that people love the most? What makes it stand out from your competitors?
Joe: Our brand. The iconic IRONMAN Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races.
David: Do you have any upcoming exciting news that your affiliates and customers should be on the lookout for?
Joe: We are launching our Father’s Day Campaign starting June 2nd. We have several exclusive promotions and a wide variety of gear and gifts for all of our IRONMAN Dads.
David: What seem to be the most effective affiliate promotional methods for IRONMAN products?
Joe: We’ve set up a Sale landing page that lists all of our current promotions. This makes it easy for affiliates to link to one page for special offers.
David: What two or three traits stand out to you the most when selecting and working with an affiliate partner? For example, responsiveness, innovation, ethics, industry knowledge, ability to turn volume, etc.?
Joe: We prefer to work with affiliates who are responsive and communicate with us about their needs and opportunities to grow the business. We are open to working with our affiliate partners in many different ways.
David: How did you get your start in affiliate marketing?
Joe: I’ve been in eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing since 1999. I’ve worked with all of the major affiliate networks and know many affiliates in the industry. It’s been great to see how Affiliate Marketing has grown, changed and matured over the years.
David: Where do you go to continue growing your affiliate marketing knowledge base?
David: What are some lessons learned from mistakes that you or an affiliate partner have made?
Joe: That affiliates are just as busy as we are as merchants, and it’s important to provide advance notice of upcoming promotions and special events.
David: What bonuses, rewards, or other techniques have you tried to increase affiliate productivity?
Joe: We prefer to work directly with individual affiliates and tailor programs around their needs and capabilities.
David: What is your favorite affiliate marketing activity you regularly perform?
Joe: Meeting with affiliates at ASW or if they are local, at our offices in Tampa Bay.
David: What are the top seasons for IRONMAN products?
Joe: The IRONMAN Race season in the US started in March and runs through October, with our World Championship in Kona. We also have a very strong holiday season that runs from November through January.
David: How do you take maximum advantage of the seasonality of your product?
Joe: For our race season, we have race specific pages set up for the athletes who compete in each race. Affiliates can link to the race specific pages. For those interested, we can supply the race schedule and landing page URLs.
David: Beyond your Peak Season, do you make an effort to creatively promote during other major holidays such as Mother’s Day, Halloween, or the winter holiday season? How do you do this?
Joe: Like most other retailers, we plan sales and promotions around all holidays. We are open to exclusive offers with affiliates as well. Affiliates can contact me to discuss further.
David: Is there any special meaning or a story behind your company logo?
Joe: IRONMAN represents, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races.
David: Do you or any members of your company attend any affiliate marketing conferences? If so, ones and which are your favorites?
Joe: I usually attend Affiliate Summit West.