this was on BMXonline.com
Diamondback Talks Grassroots
by BMX Business News
Diamondback's Trevor Knesal understands the value of growing a grassroots following-so much so that he's helped launch a program enabling Diamondback shops and reps to play key roles in the process. How has Diamondback structured its grassroots efforts? We asked Knesal to explain...
"I couldn't be happier with the way our Grassroots program has worked so quickly and effectively to increase the sales of Diamondback bicycles, frames, parts and accessories. There are three main things that I credit the program's success to: it's strategic, it's simple and it's effective.
The program essentially puts the sponsorship duties (at the grassroots level) in the hands of our dealers and sales reps in the field. This dramatically increases the odds that our resources are being put to good use and that the individual(s) selected to represent the brand are individuals we want to represent the brand. While there are many obvious warning signs/red flags included in paper résumés and proposals that are sent here to the office, it is very rare that we receive enough information on a would-be grassroots rider to make an informed decision from here. A rider may rip, and send in a video that looks like a highlight reel from the X Games, but the guy may be a complete kook, or a jerk who would do the brand more harm than good. Or you may hear from a guy who completely rips but doesn't have a way to get you any footage. Whatever the case; I've always found that guys who really are good at something don't really need to tell anyone. Honestly, the kind of riders we want representing our brand are the ones who don't ask for anything and don't spend much time campaigning for "sponsorship." They are humble and friendly individuals who are also talented bike riders. Their attitudes don't affect their riding, and their riding doesn't affect their attitude. Those are the kinds of individuals who not only make great ambassadors, but are also riders who make it easy for you to want to spend your limited resources on them. Our Grassroots program is set up so our dealers can hand-pick influential riders in their markets who they believe can help them sell bikes.
Get a rider hooked on your brand early and you've got a great shot at having a customer for life. credit: Diamondback
We were one of the first BMX companies, but we know we're now one among many riding on this BMX bandwagon. It serves us well and it serves our dealers well to have influential riders in their markets on our bicycles. So we make accomplishing this as easy as possible for them. Here's how it works:
1. Dealer becomes aware of local rider who he/she believes is an influential rider and is also someone who the dealer would feel good about partnering with.
2. Dealer talks with our rep about the individual.
3. If rep is in agreement with dealer about said rider, then an application is filled out and faxed to me.
4. If I'm in agreement with rep/dealer, I'll send the dealer the DB frame of the rider's choice.
(Side note: this program is not limited to racing. It is meant to make ALL riders (street, park, dirt...) aware of our great products and for them to make others aware of them. Every frame that we sell is available through the program).
5. Rider then builds up bike and becomes a believer in our product(s) and a faithful ambassador. He (or she) agrees to provide us with feedback and/or input on the product, but that is really all that we ask of them. I don't need to know what their grades look like, nor what their other hobbies are. I just want them to enjoy their Diamondback and tell others about it. We rely on our dealers to weed out those who they don't believe can help them in a positive way.
The program is effective in part because it is so strategic and simple, but the point I wanted to touch on here is the fact that it allows the dealer to make use of the same type of program that we make use of, but on a smaller scale of course. We sell bicycles throughout the whole country, so we employ a team of riders who we believe have national appeal and influence. Our dealers sell bikes in their communities, so they're able to partner with influential riders in their communities that will help them sell bikes. Whether they know it, believe it or admit to it, riders are influenced by other riders who ride better than they do. It makes sense, but it is still pretty crazy in a lot of ways. When I worked at a shop, I would have guys come in with all of the money they had saved up to buy a complete, and spend that money (all of it) on a frame because it was the one that I rode. And I was doing nac-nac's! Anyway, it's word of mouth advertising and it is the most effective. If it weren't, Jesus would have used another method. It's a lot easier to trust people's opinions about things who aren't being paid to say them."
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Thread: Diamondback Grass Roots Program