BETHEL, CT (BRAIN)—Dorel Industries is spending $5 million on a new national marketing campaign to pump new life into the Schwinn brand and attract dealers in the specialty channel.
The campaign, which launches this week, includes ads in non-endemic magazines, national cable TV and through social media channels. A new Web site, www.rideschwinn.com (click on link), offers consumer tips on bike safety and fitness.
In line with the marketing push, sales reps from Cycling Sports Group, Dorel’s specialty bike division, will be pursuing new specialty shops in the coming months to carry the brand. They will look to existing Cannondale dealers where it makes sense to add Schwinn to the sales floor, as well as outside the CSG family, said Hillary Benjamin, general manager of Schwinn.
New and existing Schwinn dealers will be supported with a consumer promotion to drive store traffic, point-of-sale materials and subsidized co-op advertising.
“We’re sort of banking on the fact that every dealer has a soft spot in their heart for Schwinn. Everyone wants to see Schwinn succeed. Now we’re giving them tools to do that,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin declined to give the number of current Schwinn dealers in the IBD channel, but said it’s a number the company is looking to increase. The brand is also sold in mass-market stores, and Benjamin said it would remain there, but that she believes it can succeed in both channels.
“This is our way of showing our commitment and recommitment to the IBD channel. We haven’t been as strong there as we can be. We believe we can be a leader and we’re taking the steps we need to get back there. We believe they can co-exist and they should co-exist,” she said.
Ron Kozy, of Kozy’s Cyclery in Chicago, has been a Schwinn dealer since the 1940s, said he’s pleased that Schwinn is upping its presence in the specialty channel.
“It can only help the whole bike industry to have Schwinn as a recognizable leader. I look forward to Schwinn's exciting new marketing campaign and the sales I will realize from it,” he said.
Schwinn has developed new product for 2011 in conjunction with the campaign, including new frame designs and improved colors and graphics that reference Schwinn’s heritage.
The company held a sales show in Taichung last month for key U.S. dealers and international distributors that earned positive reviews on the new line, Benjamin said.
“Now we’re starting to work on 2012. That is when we will have bigger opportunity to show sign improvement in the line advancement,” she added.