Below is a quick overview of our partnership benefits and why you should partner with The ChainStay. If you would like to know more, just keep reading as we go into more detail about what makes The ChainStay and excellent partner.
What is The ChainStay? – The ChainStay is a cycling house, developmental program and team based in Oudenaarde, Belgium. We are specialists in all things Belgian and cycling.
- 90% of our guests are young ambitious cyclists between 14 and 24 looking to learn and develop into professional cyclists
- 10% of our guests are hard core cycling fans coming to experience the mystic and passion of Belgium and the Spring Classics.
Why Partner with The ChainStay?
- Provide hands-on experience of your products to over 125+ guests each year, give your company a positive association with our guests experiences in Belgium
- Media and Journalist exposure to your products while in Belgium, with demo opportunities and press junkets
- Association with the leading authority on Belgian Bicycle racing, our website is the reference for all things Belgium
- Association with our large and growing social media following
- A long-term partnership focused on highlighting your company and it’s products
- A low buy-in cost as we are looking for product only sponsorship for The ChainStay
- Association with our Development Team
- Year-round exposure as Belgium provides year round racing with road, track and cyclocross providing at least on cycling discipline race EVERY weekend of the year.
- Viral-Marketing and promotion of our brand through events like the Koppenberg 24
- Hosting of VIP’s and guests at The ChainStay can be arranged negotiated. We can cater reciprocal benefits to your needs.
The details of what makes The ChainStay a great partner
The ChainStay is the leading specialist in cycling in Belgium and our house provides the base for over 125+ cyclists each year looking to come to Belgium. Our guests can be broken up into two parts:
- Young aspiring cyclist looking to use Belgium as one of the building blocks in their career. We have had riders from all over the world come through the house (US, Canada, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Israel, and more). This makes up about 90% of the guests that come through The ChainStay.
- Extremely passionate cycling fans: Mainly joining us during the two-weeks of the Spring Classics to come and enjoy the excitement of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. We are able to charge more during the two weeks of the Spring Classics and this helps to keep the rate we have to charge the young racing guests lower. Cycling fans make up about 10% of our total guests.
By partnering with The ChainStay we can give your company exposure to a key demographic of cycling while using their positive experience of Belgium to be associated with your product.
For example, one area we are looking for partnership is wheels (but the concept is applicable to all product areas). We would like to partner with a company to provide The ChainStay with 16 pairs of standard, bomb-proof wheels (and if they are feeling particularly generous, 10 pairs of carbon clincher race wheels). We would loan these wheels out to the guests of the house, either our racing guests or fans.
Our racing guests would benefit from the ability to fly without taking along wheels (possibly saving them hundreds of dollars in airline fees from flying with a bike and making them very grateful to the wheel company). It would also allow us to guarantee the quality of the equipment our racers are using, saving from losing valuable race experience from using wheels that break easily on the tough Belgian roads. We would also establish a low-cost crash replacement program, so in the event of crash we ask only a small fee to be able to replace the wheel (or parts broken). Less cost to the young rider than replacing his own equipment, but also covering the costs of replacement from the sponsor.
For our cycling fans they will be using your wheels on the famous roads of Belgium, enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience made just that much better through your companies support. It’s all the benefits of a demo-program that isn’t billed as a demo-program. Our cycling-fan guests are by definition well off (they can afford trip to Belgium), passionate about cycling (came all the way to Belgium to watch races and ride the roads) and almost always highly active social-media users (one of our main ways of connecting to new guests). Our active use of photos, Facebook and tagging will put your brand out there to their now very jealous friends (one of our most effective sales building techniques).
Because of our location in Oudenaarde (central to all things cycling and being only 800m away from the finish line of the Tour of Flanders) we often see various people within the cycling industry pass through The ChainStay. Just this past year we had Bill Strickland (Bicycling Magazine), Lyne Lamoureux (Podium Insight), Jeff Lockwood (Dirt Rag), Jered and Ashley Gruber (Pez Cycling News), Kristof Ramon (Pave and others), Karen Rakestraw (Pedal Dancer), Veeral Patel (CyclingTips.au) and Neal Rogers (Velonews, who borrowed Gregg’s bike) all pass through/and or stay at The ChainStay.
We are working to host a media-junket from the 19th to 25th of March, allowing journalists and cycling media to stay free of charge at The ChainStay (the idea is to tag on trip before Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix week). We will provide guided rides plus race day viewings of Dwaars door Vlaanderen, E3 Prijs and Gent Wevelgem. During this event we plan to make partner equipment available for the media to use and also arrange for free usage photographs from the rides to the journalists to use. We plan to also offer them free place on our Paris-Roubaix ride on the Friday before Roubaix and provide them partner equipment.
Building beyond the hands-on benefits we are highly active in the use of our website and social media.
Our website is the highest ranked website for search terms involving cycling and Belgium. Go ahead and search “bicycle racing Belgium” – “kermis racing Belgium” – “kermesse racing Belgium” – “cycling housing Belgium” – “finding bike races Belgium” and we will be in the top rankings. Our Racing Guide to Belgium is the most referenced guide to Belgian racing and has become the definitive resource for riders looking to come to Belgium (Wikipedia on Kermis Racing uses The ChainStay as their main reference). We actively blog about Belgium and racing in Europe, giving our website optimized SEO to be highly ranked in web searches relating to Belgium and cycling. We also cross-promote The ChainStay by guest blogging on other websites or providing photos to different websites from time to time. These efforts help build our web traffic and solidify our relationship with cycling industry press.
The ChainStay is highly active in social media to engage people with our brand. We mainly focus on Facebook and the use of photos to engage people through the use of tagging. We have found this technique is highly useful to bring in new likes, virally engage users and provide a steady stream of hits to our Facebook page. On Twitter we like to use the direct, one-on-one interaction of the format to converse and reach out to people. We also use Flicker, YouTube/Vimeo (new The ChainStay named channels coming soon) and Strava to further our social media reach.
After the hands-on demo and social media benefits we have the house team. The ChainStay team will allow our riders to race bigger and better events, come together under a single team for races and give our sponsors another valuable exposure source. All of the teams activities will be done under the branding of The ChainStay and utilize our current website, Facebook and Twitter.
By running our team under the umbrella of The ChainStay, regardless of the sponsor changes, we solve one of the biggest problems of cycling, longevity. We can build off our already established fan-base and continue to increase the numbers each year without having to start from scratch. This means our team will already have 850+ facebook fans and any new fans over the season will continue to be fans the following year. We are building our program towards long-term longevity.
This is why we are looking to give our sponsors more than one-year of exposure for product support. We know that product for the most part is not something that is usually time-sensitive. That a large quiver of wheels will give us value and use for more than a year and as such we would like to extend the length of our partnerships to reflect the product investment your company puts into The ChainStay.
One final bit of publicity and exposure you will be interested in knowing about is our Koppenberg 24 event. After a first year run which helped us raise over €600 euros for house, Gregg will be back to ride the famous Koppenberg climb for 24 hours. This insane idea is going to be leveraged into publicity for the house and our partners. We plan to leverage all our media contacts to maximize our exposure during this world-record attempt (a submission to Guinness Book of World Records will happen).
As you can see The ChainStay provides companies several compelling reasons to form a partnership in 2013 and beyond. Our goal is to build up The ChainStay into a center of cycling development, providing young athletes (and on occasion hardcore cycling fans) a place to stay and learn all that Belgium has to offer. Our program has seen steady growth each year, with the current 2013 year looking to be a full capacity for a majority of the season. We would like to partner up with companies who see the value (and return) in helping build the development of cycling in the future.
If you would like to know more about our house, programs, or team, please feel free to e-mail Gregg Germer at email@example.com and he will get back to you asap.