After 35 years as a public-relations professional working in the outdoors industry, Jeff Blumenfeld knows a thing or two about procuring corporate sponsors and promoting expeditions. In his new book from Skyhorse Publishing — “You Want To Go Where?: How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams” — Blumenfeld dissects the industry he dubs “adventure marketing,” where big companies pay big bucks to get products tested and brand logos slapped on the sidewalls of tents.
With no mixing of words, Blumenfeld describes in 244 pages how burgeoning Will Steger types can connect with corporate sponsors. Want to convince a major pharmaceutical company that your planned trek across Nunavut is worth their $40,000? Pitch the marketing department that it will generate more media attention than an annual golf tournament, Blumenfeld suggests.
The book, broken into 10 quick-reading chapters, is full of similar straight advice. From insights into specific companies that sponsor expeditions, to funding options, to do’s and do-not’s for naming your expedition, Blumenfeld divulges what took him years to learn the hard way.
He even discusses where to affix corporate logo patches on a parka. A small but key detail, Blumenfeld writes, to appease sponsors when the photography comes home.
A former journalist, Blumenfeld can write. His stories are personal, detailed, informative, funny, and sometimes tragic. He writes about deaths on corporate sponsored trips. He writes about great successes, like Colonel Norman Vaughan, who traveled, at age 88, on an expedition to a mountain in Antarctica long ago named after him by polar explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd.
There is a communist defection in the midst of media spree on another polar trip. In one episode, a crewmember is impregnated on an ocean voyage aboard a sponsored sailing vessel. (She was dropped off in Australia weeks later to have the baby.)
Overall, “You Want To Go Where?” is as entertaining as it is informative. The book is a great read for up-and-coming adventurers as well as anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at what makes the outdoors industry and the world of sponsored expeditions spin around.
—Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.