Susan supported the Birkie as Marketing / Media and Sponsorship Director since June 2011, then transitioned to taking over all Sponsorship in 2013. Originally from the East Coast, Susan came to the Birkie with decades of experience in marketing, branding, copywriting, and sponsorship from her own company, Write To Your Market, Inc, which serves clients across the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe.

Susan and her company were initially hired by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation in 2010 for branding work. She and her partner are the ones who developed the “BIRKIE – SKI . RUN . BIKE . LIVE!” identity and tagline, using just “BIRKIE” in the new logo. She added “BIKE” to the tagline in 2013 after the first annual Fat Bike Birkie.

“Doing all this for the Birkie has been fantastic!” says Susan. “It’s always great to combine what you do with something you love and to be lucky enough to do it with people you really like. That was one of my biggest reasons for coming on board—all the people behind the scenes here. ”

Susan has skied five Birkies. She also loves to run the Birkie Trail and all the singletrack she can find. She started mountain biking last year and has gotten a start fat biking. She also loves to travel. Early trips to Europe included several months on Yugoslavia’s Adriatic Coast, ghostwriting a book with an American author and his group. “I still like to combine marketing and writing projects, developing relationships, research, etc. with travel and look forward to visiting more of our sponsors,” she says.

Susan saw her first American Birkebeiner right after she moved to Hayward. “My son was little at the time. We were on Main Street near the finish line and ringing cow bells like crazy. It was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I was hooked and I didn’t even ski!”

“I went out and got my first pair of waxless classic skis. I didn’t know what the tracks were for at first, but dove in anyway. We live close to the Birkie Trail, and every year I still got Birkie Fever on Main Street, so I figured it out–along with my kids–started skate skiing, and finally did my first Birkie years later, the year my son did his first Kortelopet. My husband, son (after his race), and daughter were all on Main Street by the time I came in, standing there ringing their cow bells. It was incredible.

“I went on to do four more Birkies before starting work with the Birkie. That first Birkie and every one after that made a huge impression on me. It’s how you know that everyone who takes part in the Birkie, Kortelopet, or Prince Haakon–or any Birkie event–has a very special story they bring with them. That’s what the American Birkebeiner is all about, and that’s what makes it such a unique part of people’s lives. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.”

Interested in being at and covering the American Birkebeiner events or getting exposure to all the participants and markets we serve? Contact Susan at susan.kendrick@birkie.com.