The site is Shimano’s portal for retailer education on new products, technology, and service. Sakai will produce the technology and product training videos for the site.
Sakai started as a bicycle retailer in 1985, and worked as a race mechanic on the professional road and mountain bike circuits until 1995. During the late 1990’s, he was the marketing director for Spin Composite Wheels. He left the industry to work in the dotcom and IT industries. Throughout his career, he has worked in bike shops as varied as a family-oriented store, a high-end only pro shop, and most recently, at one of REI’s biggest locations, in Tustin, California.
“I’ve been hired out of the retail trenches, so I bring a very fresh IBD perspective to this position. I aim to be the bike shop’s way to interact with our product managers and answer the questions retailers want to hear about most,“ he said.
The site also acts as the portal for bike shop employee to buy Shimano products. Shop staff that complete more video training modules earn special pricing on Shimano’s brands, and monthly raffles reward free swag like Ultegra Di2 drivetrains to shop employees who actively return to the site on a regular basis, Sakai said.