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A new type of sponsorship... (3 posts)

A new type of sponsorship... <long>tube_ee
Dec 23, 2003 9:22 PM
I had an idea the other day at the shop. What if bicycling companies could use commuters for advertising?

Here's one way it could work. A company, let's just say Trek, but it could be anyone, would pick some daily commuters who ride to work along heavily trafficed routes. They would be supplied with bicycles, luggage, and clothes. The clothes, and maybe the luggage, would have
some sort of "everyday bicycle commuter - Sponsored by Trek" graphics. I'm sure that the marketroids would be able to come up with a slogan that gets the point across, has flash, and fits on a jersey or the side of a pannier.

The inspiration for this came from the companies who provide high-mileage drivers with cars, painted with some company's logos. You have to drive a certain amount of miles per month, and they pay for everything but gas and insurance. This model could be adapted to the
bicycle industry. Bike companies spend millions to sponsor racing teams, because it increases sales. But sponsoring a bike team only gets you exposure to people who are interested in bike racing. This is preaching to the choir.

Most of us who have commuted by bicycle see the same cars and people every day. The vast majority of these people don't own a bicycle. Ask yourself this question:

What is better for the industry, 20,000 people buying $500 bicycles, or 2000 people buying $5000 bicycles?

The money works out the same either way, but one is clearly a higher growth model than the other.

The idea is to promote the bicycle as a vehicle, rather than as a toy. Cycling-as-recreation is fine, but that well is pretty much dry. The only way to grow the industry is to get more people on bicycles. Utility cycling is one way to do that, and the other benefits (tocommunities, the environment, etc) are well-known to us.

Not only would this type of sponsorship expose bicycling companies to new customers, it would be much cheaper than sponsoring a racing team.

I will be drafting a proposal for my employer (Performance) along these lines. I am hoping that you folks can help me to refine my rough idea into something that will work.

Thank you,
--Shannon
See San Francisco's mayoral runoff campaign.PseuZQ
Dec 23, 2003 11:48 PM
The Gonzalez camp was handing out signs to put over the top tubes of bikes. (Didn't hurt that he was endorsed by the SF Bike Coalition.) The result was that lots of couriers and commuters became mobilecampaign billboards.
See San Francisco's mayoral runoff campaign.tube_ee
Dec 24, 2003 12:57 AM
Although Gonzales lost, so I probably won't be citing this as an example in my proposal to the bosses.

This does suggest maybe special paint jobs for the sposored bikes, but the bike is pretty hard to see when there is a rider aboard.

Thanks for the feedback,
--Shannon