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Bianchi Dama Program Summit Year 2 – Building Communities with Retailers to get more people on bikes

Published August 14, 2019

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The 2019 Bianchi Dama Summit was held this past weekend in conjunction with the Wrenegade Sports Farm to Fork Fondo series; Finger Lakes event in Burdett, NY. This is the second year for Bianchi Bicycles USA's Dama Ambassador program, which is focused on building relationships within retailer's communities in an effort to introduce more riders to the brand Bianchi. The program offers opportunities to connect with the brand ambassadors at retail locations and events.

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Bianchi USA hosted 12 ambassadors and retailers from throughout the USA. Dama Ambassador Deedee Dyer Karanian of Virginia reflected, "I love that a group of woman came together from many different backgrounds and cycling disciplines and abilities, to enjoy one common love, the joy of riding their bikes, and their enjoyment of sharing the love of their Bianchi bikes together! It was such a successful Summit, brainstorming and coming up with fresh ideas to broaden the positive influence that the Dama program will have."

Les Eisenberg owner of Bianchi Authorized Retailer Tryon Bike (Rochester, NY) was in attendance for the second year, and spent time with the Damas over the weekend. From a retailers point of view Eisenberg gave this feedback "Bianchi is doing a great job helping to make cycling more accessible to women, and the Dama program really gives them a "home". The encouragement and support they are providing is unique in the industry, and is really raising the bar for female cyclists."

The event was centered around Wrenegade Sports Finger Lakes based Farm to Fork Fondo. "Bianchi's support of the Farm to Fork Fondo series is really helping to raise awareness of just how accessible the Bianchi bikes are. Many riders do not realize they can get such a nice Italian bike (from a daily commuter to a pro race bike) for the same price as those from the big generic conglomerates." said Eisenberg.

Wrenegade Sports founder Tyler Wren was a big supporter of the Dama activities centered around the Fondo event; "At Wrenegade Sports, we look for partners who share our values. Highlighting the Bianchi Dama Program at Farm to Fork Fondo strengthens our efforts to get more people on bikes and to empower more everyday athletes to achieve personal challenges. The energy of the friendly, approachable celeste-clad riders was infectious throughout the event. From them leading the mass start, their light-hearted pickle party at the Bianchi tent, their photos with participants at the aid stations, to their stories of balancing fitness goals with everyday life and everything in between, the Damas set the tone for our Finger Lakes event and inspired others to continue their fitness journeys."

Bianchi USA Dama program coordinator, Heather Mason worked with Bianchi USA to give legs to the Dama program in 2018. The program was founded to give attention to the issues of the industry; how can we reach more riders and ultimately keep them in the local bike shop? How do we educate new riders to the products available to help them achieve their cycling goals? How do we make entry into the sport approachable?
How can we build a safe and fun cycling community around our retail partners connected back to the Bianchi brand?

The Damas not only led out the 500 rider deep Fondo, but spent the weekend in focus groups discussing ways to increase program reach, via working with retail partners, social media and events.

Bianchi USA is the title Bicycle Sponsor of the Wrenegade Sports Farm to Fork Fondo Series. For the past 2 years the partnership has provided opportunity for consumers who purchase a select Bianchi to gain free entry into the Farm to Fork event of their choice. "We had several consumers at this event, who purchased a Bianchi and were eager to connect and ride with the Damas" said Mason. "It showcases the reach that the program is having, and that we are making an impact. It feels good".

Dama Debbie Ayers from Katy Texas wrote this about the summit "This weekend at the Bianchi Dama Summit I was blessed to be surrounding by strong women who are united not just in their passion for cycling but also for encouraging other women to excel in the sport. I returned home with a renewed enthusiasm and a plethora of ideas to introduce more women to the sport or to encourage them to return to their bikes. Finding people these days that are brave enough to be vulnerable and authentic is rare, but the Damas that I met were all of those things. Our conversations were more than who rode what bicycle or did what ride. We shared our stories, struggles, accomplishments, and beliefs in a way that was accepted and supported. This weekend went beyond cycling. It brought humanity and a sense of community back to the forefront, something that I believe our society is sorely missing these days."

The Bianchi Dama Ambassador Program was founded to give resource to those individuals who have contagious cycling passion, outstanding advocacy, and an encouraging attitude. Dama team members focus on encouraging new riders of multiple ages and backgrounds to the sport, via group recreational riding, athletic competition, family outings and transportation in partnership with their authorized Bianchi retail partner.

Information for retail partners and potential ambassadors about the 2020 program will be available in November.

 

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