If you were offered sponsorship...

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Richpips
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Richpips » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:47 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:27 pm
Isn't richpips a sponsored Alpkit rider? Perhaps he can enlighten everyone!?
Rich is an employee as far as I know.
I'll reply (at length) when I get back about my thoughts on sponsorship. I work for Alpkit now, but was sponsored by them before I worked for them. We have a number of other sponsors too.

The short reply, you don't get owt for nowt.
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Richpips
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Richpips » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:46 am

As promised I'm back. Some random thoughts on the matter.

My first sponsorship was when Tom was still wearing nappies. I went on a bike ride in Tod and met Brant. I was riding a Dialled Bikes Love Hate which was set up as a fixed gear mtb. Something I did a lot back then. Brant said ey up, or something like and a few weeks later I had an On-One bike. I had a presence on STW back then too. He asked for nothing, but I did a fair amount of blogging and picture taking. Indeed they posted a picture of me from way back just the other day. Do something quirky and tell people about it.

Fast forward to 7ish years ago. Tom rode his first #raphafestive500 . We got an invite to the Manchester store's opening and met their marketing team and CEO. A cheeky ask for some kit met with a positive response.

We first got involved with Alpkit via a chance meeting with their newly appointed CEO at a party. A few beers later and a brief resume of our exploits, Dave had decided AK would build us a Tour Divide ready tandem. It is easier to get sponsorship if you have a record of achievements already.

I worked for British Cycling for awhile covering events. It went something like, drive to Devon on Friday, take pictures and , interview riders Saturday and Sunday, drive home and then submit edited pictures and a race report on Monday morning. I got paid for that of course, but sponsors require the same level of commitment. Being tired because you rode your bike isn't a substitute for not providing content. You need to be good with a camera and be able to write and to deliver on time.

Social media, you need to have a following. If you have 63 followers and last posted 2 months ago you have work to do.

We've been offered a number of deals that would have either clashed with our existing sponsors or have no relevance to what we do. Integrity is important.

Pressure - It's no longer just riding a bike, there are expectations after the initial press release. Can you hack that? Can you finish?

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Sounds ace though a year bikepacking
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Thisisnotaspoon
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Thisisnotaspoon » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:11 am

Sounds like a decent balance between work and sponsorship there. I suppose by working full time at alpkit it's in a way easy for them to justify the time off and expenses of a race/tour as what they lose in productivity they gain in marketing.

Work pays our entry fees if more than a certain number of employees are racing as part of it's 'social club'. Not sure that would extend to visible sponsorship given the protests against ineos!

Would I take free kit in return for joining twitter and instagram? Probably. If there was a salary as well, absofuckinglutely. The company would have to have some seriously questionable morals for me to turn down a paycheck not just alpkit/planet-x jones bar copying, they'd have to be stuffing their sleeping bags with the fur of clubbed baby seals and waterproofed with the tears of child refugees.

A few friends have done the brand ambassador thing, a couple of sets of free riding kit and race entries in return for 12 months of hashtaging.

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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by ChrisS » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:50 am

Not quite the same as a sponsored rider, but I did run an outdoorsy podcast that was sponsored for a couple of years by Alpkit. It meant I didn't need to run the podcast at a loss (travel, hosting costs, etc) and could invest a bit in audio gear or other specific kit needed for an episode.

In return I created a minute-long ad that would play before each episode that highlighted one of the Alpkit Foundation projects. It worked for me because I thought the brand was a good fit for the audience and Alpkit were very soft touch. They didn't ask me to do anything that felt 'icky and never, ever tried to influence or intefere with the editorial side. As a journalist/producer looking to fund a project like this, I couldn't ask for more than that. The funding level was also fair in relation to the size of audience. I enjoyed the relationship.

I was constantly being approached by brands like Harry's and HealthIQ to sponsor the podcast and running two or three of those at the top would definitely have pulled in more cash, but I don't think I would ever have felt as comfortable doing that. Also the podcast was a side-project and I didn't want to spend heaps of time managing sponsors so having one brand involved was just easier.

pistonbroke
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by pistonbroke » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:37 am

Rich,
Firstly, congratulations on your TD achievements. My feeling is that there's been a big shift in how support and sponsorship is treated, both by the givers and receivers. In cycling, unless you're at the very highest echelon of the pro road or CX ranks, making a living is nigh on impossible. The most important aspect in the world of bikepacking, gravel racing and mountainbiking is one's "story" or what used to be called usp. Yours is obviously the lad and dad thing which is appealing. While you were away there was a thread about a woman called Juliette Elliott who is a prolific you tuber and gets backing for her trying virtually every type of cycling due to her thousands of followers on social media. Although her style is a bit marmite, she certainly gets funding for her activities and demonstrates how things work these days. From my part, I've contacted Alpkit every year that I've run my Spanish C2C trip to see whether they would be interested to use it for some product testing/placement I know the guys there very well Kenny, Nick,David H, and Neil, who I worked with at Planet X for 2 years. Despite their gravel bike actually being branded the Camino, their response has been luke warm at best. My suggestion was for them to come on the ride and use the very photogenic route as a story but it seems they prefer to rely on contributions from customers to do their marketing for them, either that or they just don't like me!

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:49 am

I've contacted Alpkit every year that I've run my Spanish C2C trip to see whether they would be interested to use it for some product testing/placement I know the guys there very well Kenny, Nick,David H, and Neil, who I worked with at Planet X for 2 years. Despite their gravel bike actually being branded the Camino, their response has been luke warm at best. My suggestion was for them to come on the ride and use the very photogenic route as a story but it seems they prefer to rely on contributions from customers to do their marketing for them, either that or they just don't like me!
I wouldn't take it personally Duncan. Just consider how many similar requests they get - same goes for most companies, not just AK.
#corporate shill

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Richpips
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Richpips » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:39 pm

Duncan, we get loads of requests for sponsorship. One thing I didn’t mention above is if you are after something, be very specific. Saying please can I have the loan of a bike for xyz is much more likely to get a yay over I am doing a trip and would like some equipment.
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pistonbroke
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by pistonbroke » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:56 pm

The last thing I wanted was sponsorship, in fact I don't want anything other than to help Alpkit promote the brand via facilitating a trip through some of the best bikepacking countryside in Europe. To have received a reply acknowledging my offer even if it was a "thanks but no thanks" would have been nice. Perhaps I don't fit the trendy image they're after despite having been a customer of and supplier to them for many years and spent many hundreds of pounds with them.
Last edited by pistonbroke on Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

pistonbroke
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by pistonbroke » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:09 pm

Redacted :-bd
Last edited by pistonbroke on Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lazarus
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Lazarus » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:42 pm

the fact Mr pips [who will have had nothing to do with this ] will now be expected to diplomatically reply

The downside of sponsorship I guess

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:55 pm

I was just going to say, the ability to bite your tongue is another attribute that comes in handy.
#corporate shill

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Richpips
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Richpips » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:06 pm

This specific enough for you?
I don't understand what you were looking for. I guess we could have sent a rider some kit and a photographer, but that stuff costs money and we'd only do that if we were launching something new.

The bike events we sponsor tend to be big, strathpuffer, dirty reiver etc.
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pistonbroke
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by pistonbroke » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:36 pm

Maybe the confusion stems from me posting on a thread about sponsorship. To reiterate, I wasn't looking for anything, I like the guys at Alpkit, I built the first batch of Sonder demo bikes as a favour to them in 2015.(yes I was paid to do it ) I recommended Neil to them as I couldn't take the role as I was moving to Spain. When I visited en route to seeing family in Sheffield at Christmas 2017 both Kenny and Nick were interested in using the C2C as a way of promoting the brand. I put together some ideas and gave them plenty of time to work out what to make of it. It was the lack of response that irked me.
Apologies if the first line above the pasted email was a bit aggressive, it wasn't meant to be.

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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:48 pm

Sounds a little like mountains and mole hills to me.

Shame no one got back to you but hey, if you know them keep reaching out (gawd I hate that phrase 🙄).

😎

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summittoppler
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Re: If you were offered sponsorship...

Post by summittoppler » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:32 pm

Thing is, whatever 'we' have in our heads, it has to match with those we try to connect with.
If it doesn't then confusion, questions, self doubt and whatever else insures....

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