BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Catalyst Communication is preparing to launch a new marketing promotion. BikeLife Cities will consist of a full-color magazine that will mail to a city's residents, a website, social media outreach and email marketing campaign. The program will help cities promote local cycling information to a broader audience, including people who are just starting to bike or would like to ride more often. The first cities to sign on are Boulder, Colo., Tucson, Ariz., and Kansas City, Mo.
"Our goal is to reach a new audience with safe ways to enjoy cycling," said Lynn Guissinger, president of Catalyst, who's leading the company her late husband Leslie Bohm founded in 1985. "Both cities and the industry have been asking how to market cycling to people who could ride bikes more, buy more and support cycling more if they had more information on safe ways to ride. No other program works to get local information to residents and cyclists who wouldn't otherwise seek it out."
Guissinger presented the concept and mockup of the magazine — at the time called JoyRide — to several companies at Interbike, where it was well received. Since then she's been fine-tuning the idea, assembling a staff, and approaching cities, which would share in the cost. Guissinger said cities can tap federal funding and grants to help pay for the promotion. The magazine also will sell display advertising to bike companies and local non-endemic businesses.
The magazine, anticipated to be anywhere from 40 to 48 pages, would include both local and national content. It will offer features on women, families and other groups showing increasing interest in riding, stories on travel and rides, and also local maps, events and places to shop for gear and services. Becca Heaton is heading it up as editor. Heaton was the former editor in chief of Women's Adventure magazine and also a former editor at Competitor Group. Former Interbike show director Andy Tompkins and Jason Gibb, most recently with Paved magazine, are also helping get the program off the ground.
Each BikeLife Cities magazine — called Boulder BikeLife, Tucson BikeLife and Kansas City BikeLife — will mail to city households and also be distributed at key events or locations. The first issues will launch in May with an expected 250,000 copies over two print runs. Guissinger expects other cities to come on board for 2015, including Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, and Indianapolis. The website and social media outreach will also launch in May.
Deb Ridgway, bike/ped coordinator for Kansas City, said, "We need to provide more information on safe places and ways to ride to help get more people on bikes. Both the bike industry and the cities are investing in better bike infrastructure. BikeLife Kansas City is an excellent opportunity to market those facilities to get more people riding."
Catalyst Communication has produced marketing guides that combine editorial and advertising for bicycle retailers and suppliers for 30 years.