DEER VALLEY, UTAH (BRAIN)—Marketing and product managers from two-dozen brands spent Wednesday showing off new product to a steady stream of editors during the first day of PressCamp set at Deer Valley Resort’s Black Mountain Lodge.
The second-year event opened Tuesday evening with an outdoor reception and dinner held at 8,100 feet at the base of Deer Valley’s Sterling Express chairlift. Brand representatives mingled with journalists on the outdoor patio of the Silver Lake Lodge as the sun dipped below Bald Mountain before settling into business Wednesday morning.
Journalists representing 28 endemic and non-endemic magazines and Web sites visited private apartments decorated with company banners and new product samples and listened to 40-minute presentations, then spent the afternoon demoing equipment on Deer Valley’s vast trail on-mountain trail network.
Companies showcasing product included P & A brands like Cateye, Hutchinson and Rudy Project, while Specialized and Gore Bike Wear showed new apparel. A handful of bike and wheel companies are also at PressCamp.
The mood among manufacturers at PressCamp was positive, with some companies, like Lazer Helmets and Ridley forecasting double-digit growth in 2010 despite industry-wide challenges like lean inventory and container shortages in China.
Ridley’s USA sales manager Todd Schmidt, said the problems larger bike brands have had keeping bikes in stock this season has benefited the Belgian company, particularly since most dealers already have an established account with Quality Bicycle Products, Ridley’s exclusive U.S. distributor.
“We make it easy and have product available. Moving forward, it’s a compelling reason [for dealers] to look at our 2011 range and expand into that next year,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said calls have been coming in regularly from dealers asking about product availability and current fill rates, especially for road bikes in the popular $2,500 price bracket where other manufacturers may be sold out.
Many managers stressed the importance of reconnecting with dealers, particularly in difficult economic times.
WTB and its pavement brand Freedom, for instance, have built a force of 14 sales reps to focus on dealer relations in connection with the aftermarket launch of Freedom, which began shipping product four months ago, and WTB’s new tubeless compatible wheel system.
Among other initiatives, that team is introducing a new POP system to help dealers better display product in a more efficient, affordable way.
Dahon is embarking on a new North American marketing strategy after completing several months of consumer research and gathering input from its top dealers.
As part of that effort, the folding bike company has partnered with 3point5 to develop dealer training programs that will be in place by Interbike and worked with 3 Dots Design on a merchandise stand that can display a folded and unfolded bike, as well as accessories.
PressCamp continues today and Friday.
Photo: Lazer's new Oasiz mountain bike helmet which was designed in collaboration with Brian Lopes. The helmet, which will be available this fall, retails for $135.