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Rock racing, good or bad? (non-D)

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Mar 11, 2009
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A lot depends on your marketing goals.....it is well-documented that companies such as Motorola and Polti had their brand recognition skyrocket once they sponsored teams in Europe. For many companies, that is enough....not looking to generate actual sales, but raise their brand awareness to enter into the consideration set of the consumer. For that, cycling is an excellent investment in the right markets. With that in mind, I give Ball huge ROI becasue I had never heard of R&R jeans....

If you goal is to actually sell product, it can be very good for the right company. QS had substantial sales increases as a result of their sponsorship and Trek's marketshare grew dramatically, especially in Europe.

So if Ball's goal was brand awareness, he was probably "successful." However, I don't believe that the demographic of the "standard" cycling fan fits the demographic of his target audience, so I serioulsy question whether he has seen any noticeable bump in sales as a result of his sponsorhsip. Indeed, if he had seen an increase, I don't think Rock would be in the situation it is right now.....
 
A

Anonymous

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I used to like Rock Racing because of the outcast/badboy image. I thought it was good for US cycling, although with their current roster of "suspected" dopers Ball's quest to get an invite to the TdF is all a pipe dream.

But this past off-season Ball really showed his unprofessionalism and inexperience by his treatment of his riders. Just ask Baden Cooke or Bahati.

He was a lot of hype and promises in 2008, which was expected and welcomed in our sometimes drab sport. He was probably able to bring in traditionally non-cycling fans into the sport. But now, he realizes he can't payroll a full team out of his own pocket like he bellowed and is floundering for support. So instead of being a loud mouth bad boy he's learning he has to play the game if he wants to find a viable sponsor to partner up with his "Raiders" of cycling!

And with the prospect of having to fold the team due to worldwide economic issues and lack of big time sponsorship I wouldn't be surprised if the riders begin to seek employment elsewhere.

I hate to see them go but even well established teams (in terms of racing success) have had to fold due to the economy.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Power13 said:
A lot depends on your marketing goals.....it is well-documented that companies such as Motorola and Polti had their brand recognition skyrocket once they sponsored teams in Europe. For many companies, that is enough....not looking to generate actual sales, but raise their brand awareness to enter into the consideration set of the consumer. For that, cycling is an excellent investment in the right markets. With that in mind, I give Ball huge ROI becasue I had never heard of R&R jeans....

If you goal is to actually sell product, it can be very good for the right company. QS had substantial sales increases as a result of their sponsorship and Trek's marketshare grew dramatically, especially in Europe.

So if Ball's goal was brand awareness, he was probably "successful." However, I don't believe that the demographic of the "standard" cycling fan fits the demographic of his target audience, so I serioulsy question whether he has seen any noticeable bump in sales as a result of his sponsorhsip. Indeed, if he had seen an increase, I don't think Rock would be in the situation it is right now.....

All great points, but specially the brand awareness and recognition.
The Trek story probably true as they likely had a little market share prior to the LA years. However, their case is the exception to the rule. Their story does not get any better or lucky than that.
In terms of RR, I think the ride Kestrel and at the ToC they spray painted their frames with some stupid graffiti. Would you buy a Kestrel because Mancebo is riding it?
 
Dr. Wattini said:
Would you buy a Kestrel because Mancebo is riding it?


No but I spray painted my Trek flat primer black, slapped a "cars are coffins" sticker on it along with a couple EVIL stickers too to represent my home boys of EVIL Cycling!

check out my interview with Evil Dave on missingsaddle.com another posse I like to chatter on with!
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Dr. Wattini said:
All great points, but specially the brand awareness and recognition.
The Trek story probably true as they likely had a little market share prior to the LA years. However, their case is the exception to the rule. Their story does not get any better or lucky than that.
In terms of RR, I think the ride Kestrel and at the ToC they spray painted their frames with some stupid graffiti. Would you buy a Kestrel because Mancebo is riding it?

Actually, more than a few bike companies have dramtically increased their sales of hihg-end bikes by sponsoring teams....Cannondale took off in Europe after they began sponsoring Saeco. Trek, Specialized, Giant all had big increases as a result of their sponsorships.

But you raise a good point re: Rock....IMO, the difference is in sponsoring a domestic vs. European team. I kinda doubt Kestrel will get any substantial increase in sales as a result of sponsoring Rock, but that is also 'cuz nobody really gives a whit about US domestic racing....at least not to the point where they are gonna buy a sled that is the sponsored brand.