Tough enough for Warrior Dash? Startup Gameface Media offers free photographic proof

gameface media

If I ever suspend my sanity long enough to enter a Warrior Dash, there’s one thing I will absolutely need: a photo of my mud-caked self in action, to show everyone I know just how badass I am.

Now, I can get one for free — a professional one, not a smartphone one — thanks to a Boston startup called Gameface Media, which just signed a deal with the obstacle course series.

Gameface is out to change the business model of sporting event photography. Instead of selling photos to participants, the 2-year-old company sells advertising space to corporate sponsors.

So that picture of me scaling a wall, if it ever happens, will have an Under Armour logo on it, or perhaps Merrell or Vibram.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from the vast majority of participants is they actually like the photo better with a logo on it,” said Gameface chief executive David Lavallee. “It’s almost like, ‘I’m a sponsored athlete,’ or at the very least, ‘The event I participated in is legit.’ ”

The idea is that when I share the photo on every social media channel under the sun, I’ll also give the sponsor dozens or maybe even hundreds of ad impressions. Companies will pay for that kind of exposure.

“Digital marketing is a big part of our brand,” said Jessi Cox, promotions manager for Harpoon Brewery, which organized a road race last year and hired Gameface to photograph runners and slap its logo on every picture. “The more we can engage with people beyond just a beer in their hand, the better.”

Event participants, on the other hand, are more tight-fisted. While everyone wants bragging rights, less than 10 percent of athletes actually open their wallets when asked to buy photos of themselves, according to Gameface research.

But with revenue coming in from sponsors, Gameface can give away its photos for free. That’s good news for all you crazy Warrior Dashers, and you won’t have to wait long to get that sweet action shot. The next Warrior Dash event in Massachusetts is May 31.

Cal Borchers is a business reporter for the Boston Globe. Reach him at
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