Marketing beyond your bubble
The world of cycling, since June this year I have caught the cycling bug and been in the saddle as much as I can.. with that comes the interest in the pro world of cycling and following races on the TV.
I was fortunate to go to France in September and saw the start of the delayed Tour de France which started in Nice, teams of riders travel thousands of kilometres around France before finally finishing in Paris three weeks later. I won't offend anyone in cycling if I mention that watching the sport on tv or even live in person can be quite boring and the sport itself is quite old fashioned and has hundreds of minor rules that riders and teams are penalised for; like taken a water bottle from your team too close to the finish line???
That said there are some brands and teams out there that try and stir things up and grab the attention of those outside the cycling bubble.One of those brands is Rapha, and they are a sponsor of the team EF Education. Their eye catching pink team jerseys and helmets help them stand out in most races but at the Giro d'Italia this month (where the leader wears pink as per tradition of the event) the team went for something different... very different!!
Rapha and EF teamed up with skateboard brand Palace to really make a noise in the peloton, the kit designs speak for themselves, look past the duck, and the kit was that out there that the governing body for cycling the UCI fined the team for it.
Many questioned the kit choice, saying that the team were not expecting to do well at the Giro and so wanted to make a noise in other ways. Sadly for the doubters team EF went on to win a number of stages as well as turning heads and grabbing newspaper headlines for their kit.
A perfect marketing storm, coverage on and off the bike as well as an exclusive kit launch on sale to the general public, one of our favourite stories of 2020.
From the Rapha press release..
In this strangest of cycling seasons, nothing is as it seems. With the calendar turned on its head and the youngest riders winning the oldest races; it’s time for more twists and turns at this October’s Giro d’Italia.
Since returning to the men’s pro peloton two years ago, Rapha has designed to disrupt. In a sport renowned for its lengthy rule book and chaotic calendar, we’ve shone a light on new faces, and unorthodox races. But for a truly fresh perspective on the sport, we’ve teamed up with a company that is alien to cycling’s aesthetic, oblivious to its origins, and untrained in its traditions.
In collaboration with Palace Skateboards, we’ve created a limited edition switch-out kit for EF Pro Cycling. Instead of mirroring the pink of the race’s maglia rosa, the team’s riders will wear something altogether different. And it’s not just the team’s kit that has undergone an overhaul.
Everything from their casualwear and helmets to the bus and the bikes have been redesigned for the Italian grand tour. Combining influences from early noughties club culture and video games with a flamboyant colour palette, Palace’s designs are sure to raise eyebrows in the peloton and far beyond.