Meet New Spartan Race Director of Social Marketing, A. Yepez

Spartan Race has many moving parts that from our view are equally important in keeping the machine moving smoothly, from their support staff to the racers overcoming each obstacle put in front of them. Spartan Race has used their social media spaces to tell the story of their brand by highlighting the advancements in the sport of OCR, and the achievements of everyone who signs up for a chance to cross the finish line. Behind it all, is Anthony Yepez, a "normal guy" from New Jersey, and the recently appointed Spartan Race Director of Social Marketing. Using his marketing expertise, experience as a Spartan racer, and established Instagram community @ToughSpartans, Yepez has unique plans to engage, encourage, and unite Spartan Racers across the world. We interviewed the man behind the helm managing your, likes, retweets, shares, and mentions of Spartan Race.

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So, congrats on your position as the new Spartan Race Director of Social Marketing!  What do you plan to achieve by the end of 2017?

Thanks my man! It’s been an awesome experience so far and im blessed to have the opportunity to apply my marketing skills to a brand I’m so closely connected to. In terms of my plan, a huge focus is connecting the Spartan brand & community. There are millions of Spartans out there, some that don’t know they are yet, and we want to help everyone realize that. Another major goal is to help build Spartan as a lifestyle brand. Spartan is more than a race, we have training and nutritional programs, merchandise site, podcast, a charitable foundation and more.
How did you become involved with Obstacle Course Racing? Why Spartan Race?
 
My friends talked me into it after years of not being as active as I used to be. As a former college athlete I got lazy and was living a party filled lifestyle. I knew i needed a change and my friends kicked me back into gear.
 
After about a year or so of blowing it off, I signed up for a Spartan Race and haven’t looked back since then. This was early 2014, Spartan Race gave me the best challenge and I appreciated how there was as much as a mental aspect to it as there was a physical.
To be honest, what really brought me in was the community and lifestyle. I saw that SR wasnt just a race, it was a fitness movement that was changing lives. I wanted to be a part of that.
As a the Director of Social Marketing, you are also managing @Toughspartans. Name a time when you’ve had to balance both social media activities and personal life. Is the work/life balance difficult?
@Toughspartans is what got me here, its what caught the eye of SR (Spartan Race). I’ll continue to manage that account and showcase racers from around the world but now with a lot more to offer back.
Social media is ongoing, meaning you have to be in the moment at all times. I do my best to balance that between family and work. When you’re a part of a large brand doing great things around the world, it is not the easiest task but my fiance is super supportive and we’re in this together.
The Spartan Race Ambassador program- how does one become selected?
You have to be living the spartan lifestyle daily, we have a team that looks out for these spartans to recruit them into our program daily. I cant release all the incentives yet, but its a tight group of like minded spartans who all want to help others better themselves.
What I can say is that Brand Ambassadors get the inside scoop & first access to major SR announcements.
As we all know, the sport of OCR has declined enrollment throughout the past decade. How do you think Spartans, and Spartan Race can increase enrollment and spread an active lifestyle?
If that’s the case, it’s not stopping our growth. Spartan Race now has more than one million competitors world-wide, we’re in more than 30 countries and have more than 200 races – compared to 25 countries and 170 races in 2016.
 
With everything we offer, from the fitness programs to the online community groups, we’re constantly doing things to educate the public on an active lifestyle through Spartan. Our hope is that through continuing to offer a great product all around and educating consumers at the same time, the buzz will continue to grow and more people will get involved. At the end of the day we want to help build better lives and have fun in the process.
Name something that People don’t know about Anthony Yepez.
 
I’m a really good bowler.
Yeah, sure.
My dude, I average is like 205… I’m no joke.
Prove it.
When me and my fiancé first started dating we went out bowling and I didn’t hold back. I beat her by 175 points.
Savage.You probably scared her off , and now I wonder if you were ever afraid to do a Spartan Race obstacle?
 
Honestly the only obstacles that scare me are the swims, where my feet aren’t touching the ground. Long story short, me and water do not get along. Eventually I’ll Spartan Up and backstroke through obstacles, lol.
Which one? Lake Tahoe??
Nah, New Jersey Beast/Super, back when there was a swim.
Yeah, I remember that one. That was my first Spartan Race. I guess you are a swimmer…
I don’t swim (lol). However, there’s been times I thought I couldn’t complete an obstacle.
Another one was the New Jersey Beast 2015, where I literally did not think I could take another step.
Towards the end there’s always one more bucket brigade up hill. After mile 12 or so, and your legs are done. You’re cramping, questioning life, saying your last wishes. But then you remember why you signed up, all the hard work you put in and realize that it’s mind over matter. Pain is temporary but the glory of fighting through will make you a stronger person. That’s what it’s all about.
Who are your inspirations and role models?
Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock aka The People’s champion … I was a huge wrestling fan growing up.
We Just became best friends…

Well he’s incredibly talented in terms of utilizing social media to build his brand and also reaching people for purposes that are not about him. He is more about helping other people. Dwayne went from a football player to wrestler to world entertainer and social media star. His work ethic is unmatched.

Spartan Race has been like a fraternity for many. Are you a part of a fraternity? How has that helped with your leadership aspects and involvement.
Yes I am. I’m a brother of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity at Hofstra University. That’s one of the greatest things about Spartan Race, even if you show up alone you’ll never race or finish alone. It’s one big family on and off the course, the comradery is unbelievable and why a lot of people have been a part of the brand for years.
Any words you can give to a First time Spartan?
 
Don’t be scared! Everyone finishes the race, so find someone who’s a spartan, train with them, listen to their advice and have fun in the process. Only good can come out of challenging yourself! Lastly, follow our training guides, join our community groups on facebook, go to our workout tours and get involved as much as possible before you do a race.
AROO!