This month’s blog is written by Paul Newson (Club Secretary) and John McCay (Chairman of Beeston CC), with an insight into the marketing push for Beeston CC Sportive.
Since we set the date of this year’s sportive on 29 June, we started the marketing of the event from day one. It is important to have a marketing activity plan covering the whole build up. Two key things were considered:
1. What are the key messages for this year’s event?
2. What are the key marketing materials, channels and critical dates?
Every year we are improving the event experience both on and off the bike, with the aim of getting the ride known as one of the best club run sportives in the UK cycling calendar. After studying feedback from riders and helpers we identified certain areas that could be improved – including registration, signing and food stops.
We will be reviewing our arrangements for these key factors and making it known to future entrants. The most notable addition that we wanted to communicate is the capping of numbers to 400 entrants. This delivers two messages; don’t miss out, book early and we are determined to put on a quality event without over stretching our resources and risking poor rider experience.
What are the key marketing material, channels and critical dates?
We identified all the key channels such as:
- Social media
- Our club website, featuring a new sportive section
- British Cycling
- Cycling blogs and forums – to get the dates listed in their calendars
- Local cycling clubs – which we emailed with all the new information
- Local cycling shops – to display posters and hand out leaflets
- Cycling publications – to get the dates listed in their calendars
- Our own members – via email and at social events
We then devised a schedule for circulation of promotional information. Our marketing flyer was designed in November so that it would be the main source of information to be used by all our marketing efforts. This was printed in small numbers, but mainly distributed as a PDF by email or sent to websites for people to download.
We targeted cycling print publications such as Cycling Weekly and Cycling Plus well before Christmas as the January issues are important for readers to plan their cycling year. We soon started targeting cycling websites such as British Cycling (and other forums) as the deadlines are easier to work with and you can edit the information if the event details change, as they often do.
On-going from day one we are using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, our club website and various business networks to get the messages out. The types of messages develop from event information to various news worthy updates (including riding the routes to test out various aspects and changes) as the months progress. This keeps the BCC sportive constantly out there and our members and friends of the club are major contributors to spreading the word.
In the final couple of months we crank up the news updates in social media and we distribute printed flyers to local and regional cycling shops and leisure centres. Over the years we have reduced the numbers of printed flyers as social media has become more effective, however printed flyers do still have an important place in our marketing.For example, a well placed printed flyer in a cycling shop will get noticed many times by its customers, and people can take them away them for reference to hand out to other people.
Finally, our marketing materials always point back to the Sportive section of our website so people can find out more information about the event and the club in general – over the years this has been a good source of new members, and repeat customers!
More information can be found on the club’s website here.
Limited number of free entries for journalists
If you write for a nationally recognised magazine, website or blog, we may be able to offer you a free entry on the day in return for a review. Contact Club Secretary Paul Newson for details via our club contact form: http://www.beeston.cc/contact/