FIT File: The Real Life of a Sports Tech Reviewer

For those not subscribed to the FIT File (it’s free!) via your regular podcast app or on YouTube, here’s a quick post with the highlights from the most recent episode.

In this episode, we talk about what it’s actually like to be a sports tech reviewer, from the products we review, how we make money, our review process, as well as the darker side –  like getting blacklisted by companies. It’s a beast of an episode, but arguably one of the most comprehensive episodes (or videos in general), that we’ve ever done.

0:00 Intro
1:35 Accidentally becoming reviewers
5:40 DC Rainmaker’s First YouTube Videos
7:35 How early we get unreleased products
10:10 How much money we make per video
16:16 Why we don’t review certain products
19:30 Handling not-ready devices
22:30 Companies making house calls to fix issues
25:00 When we delay product launches
26:56 Giving up on a product review
30:31 Bad reviews can kill a company
32:36 The secret embargo shell game
39:40 Last-minute announcements
42:30 The busiest times of the year
45:15 Accidentally killing unreleased products
49:00 How long to create a review?
Why is Ray always late?
55:40 Des’s rule of YouTube production time
58:20 Getting blacklisted by companies
1:06:10 How many reviews never get finished?
1:14:00 Why we film each other
1:16:42 The infamous paper bag story
1:19:07 Product release trips
1:22:00 Aren’t we competitors?
1:25:00 Do-over time

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As a reminder, here’s where you can find the podcast:

And then for the audio-only version, you can find it here:

Thanks for listening!


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  1. Frank

    This was super interesting, thanks for sharing..

  2. Hi, this is my fav episode!! :) You guys did a fantastic and entertaining job describing all the work that goes into the things you publish. I spend a stupid amount of my life testing and analyzing the few devices I have and can only imagine the timesuck of x1000 devices! Also really enjoyed seeing the behind-scenes collaborative support shared between you (and others mentioned), proving yet again that everyone benefits from working together. Also some very astute commentary on companies(/people) that have productive attitudes/culture versus… the others. 😏 Cheers!

  3. R

    Great episode! Thanks. So, If I suffer through the ads during the YouTube videos instead of skipping, you all make a bit more money? Never thought of that. I know if we watch the video to the end it is better for you.

  4. Oskars

    I’m sorry if this seems inappropriate, but does it cost Des anything to be promoted in your channels? I’m pretty sure one of the reviewers once said if you see someone else being featured in one’s videos/articles, it’s never for free.

    • Haha, no, definitely not charging anything (nor for anyone else I feature). Des and I are friends, and the only thing he pays is bringing cinnamon breads from his local bakery to my daughters. :). They call it ‘DesBread’

      This video from Colin and Samir (they have a massive YT channel, and this is their secondary channel), covers it a bit, but I’ve never heard of YouTuber’s costing money to feature others in collabs – and it doesn’t sound like they have either (and they’ve interviewed the top of the top YouTubers): link to – though, they did note it can happen in some podcasts. But that doesn’t happen here.

    • Oskars

      Thanks for explanation. I’m not 100% sure but I think t5kr once wrote an article about not encouraging people to be reviewers and that these collaborations are never free for one side. But again – we can dismiss this here.

  5. Ryan

    Don’t know if this gets covered in the Shed episodes, but I’d be interested in one of these with Bobby.
    I know she gets pressed into review work and some editing work but I’d be curious with how much of the day to day involvement she has with running DC Rainmaker.

  6. miCoachFans

    great work, Ray
    sincere thanks.

  7. Dries O.

    Really nice to view, I skipped some parts though ☺️. I am wondering if Des ever considered to move to Europe / Netherlands as well? I should ask this at his site probably but I am logged in here and maybe you know the answer as well.

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