As the 2011 Tour De France gets under way in France, bike brand Giant Australia launches a campaign that diverts the company’s sponsorship budget away from professional bikers to everyday cyclists.
At the core of Giant’s Real Riders initiative is the bike manufacturer’s sponsorship of 30 everyday cyclists. Each will be kitted out with a new bike, cycling equipment, clothes and a sponsorship contract. This group of 30 will become the ambassadors and faces of the brand.
Those wishing to enter for a chance to win a sponsorship are driven to the campaign site where they create a profile for themselves. Each rider will be matched to five different kinds of package, suited to the kind of cycling they’re into.
This Leo Burnett Melbourne created campaign comes after the agency won the Giant account earlier in the year and it was launched was a TV spot first aired during SBS’ Australian Tour De France coverage and also running on Giant’s YouTube channel. The ad is also supported by digital executions across the Cycling Central site as well as on social media.
Giant Australia national sales manager Darren Rutherford says: ‘We’ve always sponsored the top athletes, but we realised that it’s actually real people who make the biggest contribution to the sport. They’ve given up their cars, done something great for their health and they genuinely love cycling. Who’s better for us to support?’
Leo Burnett Melbourne general manager Patrick Rowe said: ‘Giant makes such a huge range of bikes for all types of riders – from bikes with training wheels to the most advanced carbon fibre racers. We wanted to celebrate this diversity and recognise the people who ride every day just for the love of it.’
The new scheme also integrates with existing Giant brand demo days and cycling events around Australia.
This cycling sponsorship approach certainly breaks with convention. Giant’s decision to focus on everyday amateur cyclists – from commuters to fun riders – is perhaps a response to some of the negative drug problems of the professional cycling world. Or maybe its just tapping in to the everyday celebrity trend brought on by the rise of reality TV.
Either way, it does cut through and connects with a national audience.