MADISON, WI (BRAIN)—While new products and retail services were the focus at this year’s Trek World, the close to 2,000 retail attendees also heard about the company’s ongoing advocacy program, One World Two Wheels.
“One World Two Wheels is not a flavor of the month,” said Trek president John Burke Thursday night at a special keynote. “The key point is we are making a big difference.”
Burke said so far Trek has distributed more than 500,000 One World Two Wheel pamphlets, ran two full-page ads in USA Today in the last six months and launched the Go By Bike Challenge. To date, it has gotten pledges from almost 23,000 people who will bike instead of drive for short trips.
To date it has also donated $327,143 to the League’s Bicycle Friendly Communities program—something it was able to do by donating $1 from each helmet sale. This funding has allowed the League to introduce two new initiatives—Bicycle Friendly Businesses and Bicycle Friendly States.
Burke also said Trek along with its dealers have donated over $210,700 to IMBA. This funding has been used as seed money for trail projects and to help IMBA expand and grow its internal trail building company, Trail Solutions, which was started three years ago.
“There’s huge demand for trailbuilding,” said Jenn Dice, government affairs director for IMBA, who talked about ways retailers could support IMBA. “We’ve had to turn away 50 percent of contracts. City and county recreation planners want parks.”
Other accomplishments Burke pointed to included signing up 653 dealers to participate in One World Two Wheels; gaining the commitment from 97 Trek retailers to “double down” or double the amount from the sale of each full-suspension bike or helmet that goes to advocacy.
If trips by bike go up the current .5 percent to 5 percent, the industry can balloon from $6.2 billion to $31 billion, Burke said.
For its part, Trek will continue to push forward. Goals for next year include continue to provide funding for the League and IMBA; get more retailers to attend Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.; double the number of dealers who double down; provide leadership and continue to encourage people to join the Go By Bike Challenge.
Trek hosted three consecutive shows, starting on Aug. 11 and wrapping up last Sunday, Aug. 17. For the first time this year, Trek held a “Backstage” event exclusively for shop employees, including sales staff and mechanics.
“Eighty-five percent who attended Backstage had never been to Trek World before, which is what we wanted,” said Derek Deubel, director of marketing for Trek, adding that it’s an element the company may continue to include in future dealer launches.