Saturday, September 19, 2009


I am all packed up and ready for my final day at work prior to the show. Lyd's guitar is set, as are the press kits and SIGMA ROX computers. The Amino Vital Endurance formula, the team kits...everything is ready to rock. Of course, Lyd hasn't started packing yet, but I'm sure she'll get that going about the time we should have been at the airport. Girls. This is always a very nervous and exciting time for me. The year(s) ahead always revolve around the pe-show preparation for the team, and I am not sure if everyone understands how important it is to come to Interbike with a plan of action. Having one's hand out all year for free stuff can get pretty damn annoying if you are the company providing it. Couple that with the fact that sports marketing is damn near impossible to quantify into actual retail sales (unless you are Jordan), and the battle is clearly set out in front of you.

The trick that too many of us forget is that we have the power to actually say "Thanks!" That can be done by being at trade shows to rep the product for the company that has been doling it out to you al year long. By actually showing up early, building their booths, staying ALL DAY, then tearing them down for them makes you more valuable to that company than a gold medal at your regional XC race. The face time is invaluable.

It certainly helps to call them or e-mail them when you DON'T need anything, just to say hi and talk to them as though they are your friends. They should be your friends, they took a chance on you because they feel you have some common ground from which to work together!

I love the fact that year after year, the same team members come to Interbike to represent. Most shop guys go and hang out. They ride stuff, they sleep in, get to bed late, and have a good time. That's awesome, but for many the show is filled with twenty hour days. Blackberry's blowing up, Teamsters fleecing your marketing budget by the golf-cart load, frequent trips to the airport to gather people who can't speak your language, hotels that botch your room reservations, shipping that goes awry or doesn't show up at name it. The best laid plans run amok here in an instant as a vendor. Pull it off though, and you can come out Golden.

The show has always been pivotal for us as a team. We go and provide support for the sponsors, while others (like Kenda sponsored rider Timari Pruis) are FAMOUS in the industry for their offerings.
Timari bakes TRAYS of delicious and fudgey brownies for all of her benefactors, delivering them by hand with a hearty THANKS at each Interbike. They are lusted after, and often are enough in their own right to get her what she asking for. It's all in the details! Well, this year is going to be a banner show for us. I am more excited than a puppy with two peckers for next week. SO much going on!

We have been handed a sweet ODD booth by team bike sponsor and all around hard-working individual Joel Smith of Tomac Bikes. He has welcomed the booth to all of our team sponsors, who have GLADLY taken the opportunity to hang out and talk shop for two days in Boulder City. For us, it's a very rare opportunity to get all the sponsors in one place and talk. So much is already happening and the show hasn't even started yet. I just found out yesterday that we have already secured a new sponsor for 2010 that we desperately needed! Not a bad start. Lydia has busted her ass to get the Press Kit done, as well as new business cards and a new website laid out (she had so many shows booked for herself, we didn't get to transfer the new site over..sorry guys!). BY THE WAY..if any industry teams or companies need a website built, business cards designed, or advertising pages/Press Kits/web banner ads her via can help! It takes a village, that's fo sure. From Roger and Jim keeping everyone on task, to the riders sticking to their training laid out by Coach Garreth, to the sponsors keeping their end of the deals we's a "reach-around-rodeo" most people couldn't dream of. The funny thing is.. I LOVE IT!

Hard to explain how one would come to OWN a mountain bike team? Yeah, sure..but the reasons WHY are easy to explain. Great people, and exciting and evolving sport, constantly changing equipment and technology, beautiful venues to race all over the's all sweet. Hell, as I speak Jeff Williams is just an hour north of me preparing for his noon start time at the 24 Hrs Of Mohican! I think he's just doing the 12, but that's still cool. Everyone else is getting ready for both Interbike AND the Kenda Kup Series Final at Bonelli park in San Dimas tomorrow. I'll be at work until late tonight..then off to Vegas.

The trip will be fun in many ways. It will be Lydia and I's five month anniversary next Friday! It will also be the "anniversary" of the first time we ever met! We met at Interbike in 2005 when the team was brand new. Jim Roff, Fuzzy, and vegas Bob were there with me to help out KENDA. Fun all around. This year, we will have Randy Rush, Roger, Vanessa, newbie Cheyne McKeever, The Benge Boys, Vegas Bob, and maybe even Ming Tai! Well..gotta get to work. I hope everyone has a great week, and if your at the show..stop by the TOMAC booth and have a beer with us. Don't forget that Lydia will be closing out the SIGMA beer party Thursday night around 4pm with that guitar of hers!


Post a Comment

<< Home