Inspired by the success of the “Got Milk?” campaign, a group of independent bicycle dealers (IBDs) are banding together to launch an advocacy campaign to encourage people to bike.
The campaign (which is not using the phrase “Got Cycling?) would be designed to arrest the sharp decline in cycling in recent years.
The group, called the 20 Collective, features 20 local cycling shops representing five percent of IBD sales and is looking to create an “industry advancement fund” to support the initiative. But the collective is looking for support from bike vendors and larger bike sellers such as REI and Walmart in a broader effort to bring non-bikers to the sport. The group said the efforts of many cycling advocacy groups largely reach only frequent cyclists.
“Brick-and-mortar retailers, online retailers, distributors, big-box stores and cycling brands alike all have the same problem. The general population is riding bicycles less,” 20collective said on its website.
The goal of the effort is to establish “one cohesive marketing effort for the ENTIRE cycling industry focused on increasing participation. Much like the dairy, beef, R.V., and fishing industries do for their own. They have each launched campaigns like ‘Go RVing,’ and ‘Beef, its what’s for dinner,’ investing in growing participation and awareness of their industry. We must do the same.”
To fund the campaign, the group is exploring establishing an excise tax on sales of bicycle products. A 0.5 percent tax would bring in about $30 million per year.
The tax is designed to avoid hurting any funding targeted for existing cycling advocacy efforts and also eliminates the “free rider” effect, or companies or retailers benefiting that don’t participate in the program.
Scott Helvie, 20 Collective’s treasurer and COO of Bicycle Garage Indy in Indiana, told Bicycle Retailer, “Our end goal is to put more people on bicycles and to talk to 99 percent of the population that doesn’t buy a bike at specialty retail.”
- 20 Collective
- US bike-shop group lobbies for Got Milk-style advertising campaign – Bike Biz
- Retailer group looks to launch industry-funded marketing campaign for cycling – Bicycle Retailer
- Retailer group proposes new tax to fund marketing campaign, other advocacy – Bicycle Retailer
Discussion Questions: Do “Got Milk?”-like advocacy campaigns make sense for niche retail sectors? Do you see a more effective way for independent like-minded shops to collaborate to expand their collective businesses?