Runner's World Editors Brainstorm Ways to Add Affiliate Links to Article on Salazar Doping Ban

As they scrambled to cover a still-breaking story, editors at Runner’s World magazine this morning brainstormed ways to add revenue-generating affiliate links to an article on Alberto Salazar’s doping ban.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Monday suspended Salazar, a former elite marathoner and longtime coach of the Nike Oregon Project, for four years. USADA said Salazar “trafficked testosterone, infused a prohibited amount of L-carnitine and tried to tamper with doping controls.”

Meeting in a glass-enclosed room at the magazine’s New York City headquarters, a team of editors pored over a draft version of their article, wondering aloud how, and where, they could use certain keywords or brand names to their financial advantage.

Affiliate marketing programs team publishers up with retail websites. When readers follow an affiliate link and make a purchase, the publisher earns a commission.

“Well, the Nike mentions are no-brainers,” said one editor. “Obviously.”

“How about Oregon?” offered another. “Like, the phrase ‘Oregon Project’ going to the Oregon Department of Tourism website or something?”

“Do they even have an affiliate program?” asked an intern. “I’ll look into it.”

Others suggested adding affiliate links to everything from “Doha” to “Chicago Marathon.” Suddenly a senior editor slammed his palm on the table.

“Testosterone!” he shouted. “Duh! Does AndroGel have an affiliate program?”

“That’s a good one,” the intern said. “I’ll look into that, too.”

The room fell silent as the editors wracked their brains.

“Did someone already say Nike?” asked one.