MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN)—It’s not everyday retailers get to rub elbows on the bike with Pro Tour superstars such as Mark Cavendish.
But that’s exactly what a handful of Specialized retailers got to experience recently when the company officially unveiled the HTC-Highroad team for 2011—a new team sponsorship for the Northern California-based company.
“It was quite the event. It went really well,” said Rainer Zaechelein, owner of Northern California’s Menlo Velo. “You just get some energy. It brings people together. You get to re-meet some of the inside people at Specialized that you talk to on the phone all the time. It just fires you up a little bit.”
Specialized wouldn’t divulge how much this new team sponsorship is costing, but the company did say the deal includes product support in the form of frames, forks and helmets.
Dealers not only got to experience the infamous Morgan Hill lunch ride (pictured) with team members, but some even got to assist in each athlete’s BG FIT.
“The BG Certified fitters who attended the camp will now get the personal satisfaction and professional credibility that comes with knowing that every time one of these rider’s wins, or even crosses the finish line, that their BG FIT played a huge role in that ride,” the company said.
Specialized added that the intention behind this type of event is “to help [dealers] truly appreciate how the excitement for this partnership can translate into increased traffic and sales in their stores.”
Calmar Bicycles president James Lucas definitely feels more fired up having attended. “It definitely adds a level of excitement to the off-season that isn’t always there,” said Lucas, whose shop is located in Santa Clara, California.
“All in all, dealers were super-excited to visit with the riders and HTC-Highroad support staff, and, as much as you’d think we’d get used to it, pretty much everyone here at Specialized was equally excited and star struck for the whole week,” said Richard Belson, Specialized USA marketing communication specialist.