SUN VALLEY, ID (BRAIN)—Twenty industry manufacturers gathered at Sun Valley Resort on Wednesday to showcase 2010 product in front of a select group of industry and non-endemic media during the inaugural Press Camp.
The two-dozen invited editors signed up for half-hour blocks of time to spend with each company, which transformed condominiums into product showrooms displaying their latest wares.
Manufacturers said they were pleased with the exposure provided by the event.
“This opportunity here is perfect for us as a small company with a new brand. Having international exposure, road and mountain, with publications outside the industry,” said Lester Muranaka, vice president of marketing and sales for Delta 7.
As a company with less than $5 million in annual sales, Delta 7 paid $7,500 to exhibit at Press Camp, a fraction of what it spent last year to attend two media events.
Delta 7 was at Press Camp to pitch editors on the newest version of its Arantix mountain bike and Ascend road bike using the Kevlar webbed tub design, which are 25 percent stronger than their predecessors. Delta 7 is also working in a time trial bike that Muranaka hopes to have a prototype for later this year.
The company recently added two U.S. dealers—Wrench Science and Bike Odyssey—but is aggressively pursuing the European market, which hasn’t been as impacted by the economic downturn.
Muranaka said he doesn’t plan to supplement Press Camp with additional events to gain more exposure.
“I hope this covers it,” he said.
Clif Bar also used Press Camp to simplify the travel schedule.
“It’s a lot of effort, expense and time out of the office to reach all these media,” said Chris Randall, brand manager for Clif Shot. At Press Camp, Randall had eight appointments in four hours, versus four at the most on a typical day on the road. Clif Bar showcased its new Clif Quench sport drink, its new Shot Blok Fast Pack and new flavors of its Mojo, Luna and Clif bars.
In many cases, the new product shown at Press Camp reflected recent shifts in the market with a greater focus on mid-priced commuter oriented bikes and value added products.
“Everybody’s looking for improved value and our very long distribution chain, the distributors, and retailers and consumers, we’re benefiting because people are reusing and keeping their bike going, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re throwing their full wallet at keeping it going,” said Chris Zigmont, chief executive officer of Pedro’s.
Pedro’s is introducing two new tools that will offer better value to consumers and bike shop mechanics, but has embargoed details on the product until next month.
On the bike side, Mongoose debuted the new Sabrosa Ocho, a 29er commuter with internal 8-speed shifting and City Sticks—handlebars that can be rotated from side to side. The bike retails for $1,099, and is aimed at young urban commuters who also ride dirt.
Cannondale is also coming to the U.S. market with a new commuter option. The Hooligan, which has already been in Europe since last year, is a one-size fits all frame with 20-inch wheels, a three speed internal hub and Lefty-inspired rigid fork.
To see pictures of the Hooligan and other new products from Press Camp, click on the link above to the BRAIN Blog.
PHOTO: Smith Optics' marketing guy Chopper Randolph shows editors the latest in eyewear.