There’s gold in them thar hills! Yosemite Sam
Well, hopefully the last post gave you a little hope that sponsors may still want to enter the sport. Given my limited knowledge of various companies Marketing strategies, I’ll press on undaunted. To start off, I am picking companies/brands that have a global exposure. My research consists of the brands I saw in the airports in Belgium and Moscow. The brands must also have a big presencee in the US. This probably should include China but I know little or nothing about the Chinese market. My match up with the demographics are based on where they currently choose to advertise and the message within the ads themselves. Feel free to ad your own in the comments.
You’ll see a common theme here of newly launched brands since these tend to have big budgets and a desire to blanket the market in order to quickly build awareness and equity. The move in Marketing today is to launch globally instead of regionally. This actually works well for cycling since it is a global sport so one investment can pay off in multiple countries.
Gillette Fusion. The recently launched Fusion razor is a natural tie in with cyclists who I think must be one of their biggest customers. Also, Gillette has cultivated a “rugged” image. While I know that a professional cyclist laying on the beach weighing 150 pounds sporting that oh-so-sexy tan may not conjure up a rugged image. You have to admit that when riding through the Alps (sporting the Fusion colors), these men certainly fit the brand image.
Microsoft Vista. Another great global launch. Trying to establish it’s new Operating System as the center of the household entertainment, Microsoft could do a lot with cycling. Just think of the free advertisement Team Vista could do while warming up for a time trial listening to their Zunes instead of the other brand with the white earbuds. Audio/viseo rider diaries, photos, screen savers of the team would highlight Vistas enhanced capabilities as an entertainment hub, not just a computer Operating System.
Sony Blu-Ray. Having lost one format war and watching their PS3 stagnate, Sony can not afford to lose this one. Since Blu-Ray players are still a bit on the high end, the demographics of cycling are perfect. Spill over may help the PS3 and like Microsoft, having cyclists playing the PS3 on the road and plugging it in interviews and diaries as a game/movie studio would be good. Tie ins could include releasing WCP videos in regular and exclusive Blu-Ray. Who wouldn’t want to watch the colorful peloton riding through the Dolomites or sunflowers in HD?
Tylenol. This in my only health care product because there may be some regulations against advertising medicines in some countries. We don’t want another Unibet. Acetaminophen (paracetamol in Europe) has been losing market share steadily over the years to ibuprofen in the area of muscle and body pain. Ibuprofen is seen as the pain reliever of choice for young active adults who over do it a bit. Who other than cyclists know pain? Being associated with a sport such as cycling would help that image.
Neutrogena Men. Staying with Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena has been trying to establish a men’s line of skin care products. A natural tie in here. Plus the brand Neutrogena should resonate with the female fans. That’s it for J&J. If you want to add Band-Aids, go for it. I mean, the company did coin the term “First Aid.”
Hyatt. While watching cyclists ride through some of the most beautiful vistas on earth, can you be in a better frame of mind to think of travel?
Hershey’s. Strong US brand still swimming upstream against Nestle in Europe. No kits that make the riders look like kisses please.
FedEx. I always thought they were a better fit than USPS. Plus their employees already wear shorts!
That’s enough for today. We need to head to my parent’s Memorial Day party. My wife is taking the car, I get to ride the 50 miles. Enjoy!