Whether you run an event, an advocacy group or are a publisher, the chances are that it has taken years to establish, and was have grown out of love, passion and enthusiasm also needs solid financial supporters to make ends meet.
Have a look at the number of big events, or advocacy groups or publishers which have truly been able to retain “bike only” sponsors alone, even bike brand sponsored pro-cycling teams have a limited lifespan and tend to turn to the lucrative ‘non bike’ businesses who want to capture the hearts and minds of cyclists; Red Bull, Skoda, IAM, Sky, Saxo, Orica.
In big business there are big brands, but the more local, the harder it is, and the less likely that you can rely on Giant, Trek, Specialized, BMC or Shimano. These are big brands in cycling, but bike brands are tiny on a global scale and their marketing “vision” much shorter.
International online retailers are a new opportunity, they run big sales numbers and any event or organisation or outlet is a conduit directly towards their customers. They are still careful with their investments, but the larger your audience, the bigger the potential.
However the competition between the bricks and mortar retailers and the online retailers creates the perfect ALL OR NOTHING scenario…
Where support from locally based brands wanes, getting Wiggle or Chain Reaction Cycles onboard as a key sponsor or financial support can help you reach new heights… and it is ‘bike’ and it is compatible with the ‘non-bike’ sponsors.
However getting Wiggle or Chain Reaction Cycles onboard can also sever all ties with local brands and also leave you open for criticism for not being a patriot, for not supporting local jobs and business.
While sponsorship from local brands may have been tough to acquire (or non-existent), once you turn to the Dark Side, you may never again have a chance with the local industry again.
So the question is, what do you stand to lose and will this make a difference?
Will it really affect the ability of your event, your organisation or your ‘channel’ to grow… will you be able to retain enough of your participants, members, readers or following… and grow these numbers.
Whatever the decision, don’t forget that the world and the marketplace is changing so consider the future of retail use this to help make a decision today on your sponsorship and support allegiance.
photo © KevPBur