NEWBURY PARK, CA (BRAIN)—Giant Bicycle has just made two members of its retail network—and one new Giant bike owner—very happy.
“I had the great privilege of notifying the winners of the Giant ‘Ride Like Rabo’ sweepstakes,” said Patrick VanHorn, Giant’s corporate communications manager. “I know now what the people who ride around in the Publisher’s Clearing House van must feel like.”
Giant is a sponsor of the Rabobank Pro Cycling Team, and from May 1 through June 14 participating Giant retailers who sold select Giant Advanced Composite Technology road bicycles were eligible to win a Grand Prize trip-for-two to the Rabobank Training Camp in Spain in January 2010.
VanHorn called Jeff Milbauer (pictured), owner of Valley Bike and Ski in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and told him he was the Grand Prize winner among all participating dealers. Milbauer’s initial reaction: “Awesome. Unbelievable. Fantastic.”
Participating Giant dealers and their employees could enter once for every select bicycle they sold. Millbauer’s winning entry came from a Giant Defy Advanced 2 that he sold to a consumer who attended a Giant bicycle demo event at Millbauer’s store. In a nice turn of luck, the man brought his wife to the demo as well.
“They bought some other brand bikes last year, but didn’t like them,” he said. “They came to the demo; he rode the Defy Advanced 2 and she rode the Avail Advanced 2, and they fell in love with them. So it was a two-person sale.”
Millbauer not only made two new customers—one of whom helped him win the Grand Prize—but he also may have found a new baby-sitter. “I told the couple I won the trip through the sale,” he said. “She right away offered to watch my kids while I’m in Spain. Am I lucky or what?”
Paul Lowe, an employee with KLM Bike & Fitness in Birmingham, Michigan, was the First Prize winner among Giant dealers taking part in the “Ride Like Rabo” Sweepstakes. He will receive any Giant bicycle or frame set with a maximum retail value of $4,000. Lowe sold a Giant TCR Advanced to a consumer in what he calls "probably the easiest sale I’ve ever done. The customer had done his research. He literally walked in and said ‘I want this bike.’” Asked what Giant bicycle he will get for his first prize, Lowe said, “It will probably be a road bike. I already own a Giant Trance, so I have a mountain bike covered.”
Consumers who purchased the select bikes from participating Giant retailers were themselves eligible to win a Grand Prize trip-for-two to the 2010 Tour de France. The winner of that fabulous prize is Dennis Champion of Bakersfield, California, who purchased a Giant Defy Advanced 3 at Finish Line of Bakersfield.
“Wow. That’s outstanding,” he said when Giant phoned him. “I have never won anything like this.” Champion, an environmental engineer, said, “I’ve been spinning for quite a long time, and my son is doing triathlons. He bought a bike and I wanted to get one. I really liked the people at Finish Line and the Defy Advanced 3 is a beautiful machine, so I bought it. They handed me an entry form, and I thought ‘the odds might be pretty good….’ But you never really think you’ll actually win.”
Champion will spend four days and three nights in Paris at the end of the Tour de France, and will receive airfare, lodging and a meal allowance for two. The prize has a retail value of $3,000.
Asked if he plans to use his new bicycle to train and compete in triathlons with his son, Champion said no, describing himself as a new cycling enthusiast. In true engineer-speak, he said, “My Defy Advanced 3 will keep the fat from gaining the upper hand—and lowering my center of gravity.”
In addition to the one Grand Prize winner, there are 20 First Prize winners among consumers in the “Ride Like Rabo” Sweepstakes. They will each receive a Rabobank Team jersey, Rabobank Team socks, and a Rabobank Team hat.