Cooperative Event Marketing

One of the key ways we promoted Storming of Thunder Ridge was to leverage connectors and their networks to spread the word about the event.

The reason was twofold: (1) we sought to extend our reach beyond our local market and (2) we didn’t have budget to spend on advertisements.

For the most part, our strategy worked. While some targets balked, most agreed to help.

Which demonstrates the importance of cooperative event marketing.


Bike shops including Three Sports and Bonzai helped out by Tweeting and posting to their Facebook newsfeeds.

Others such as Bikes Unlimited added the event to their calendar.

Blackwater Bike Shop sent the ride to their customer email list.

Performance Bike Shop in CharlottesvilleCardinal Bike and others went old school and agreed to display our brochure.

Cycling clubs also helped. Many, including Women on Wheels, Cyclists of Danville, Winchester Wheelmen, Charlottesville Bike Club and Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Club, added the ride to their event calendar or included it their member newsletter.

Similarly, we found a great advocate in Bike Charlottesville whose calendar serves as a clearinghouse for local and regional rides.


But some shops and clubs couldn’t be bothered to help. And that’s unfortunate.

One organization preferred that we advertise in their newsletter. When we requested rates and asked whether they’d “like” us on Facebook, their advertising contact never responded to our multiple requests.

Another club steadfastly declared they wouldn’t promote any events but their own.

Then there were the unhelpful bike shops. One was particularly snotty when we visited them. I strongly suspect they threw away the brochures they reluctantly offered to take to get rid of us.

The most egregious example was when we were snubbed by the local Bike Week coordinator.

Can We Get Along?

Hey, there are all types. But why be so unhelpful?

Our event didn’t compete with the other club events. We’re in different markets. The rides at different times (May versus August).

Heck, we even said we’d promote their event to our community.

And that shop was pretty myopic too. Perhaps the event would have spawned revenue opportunities for them as customers purchased accessories such as new water bottles or got a tune up in preparation for our event.

Cooperation = Good Karma + Success

By cooperating, the shops and clubs won an ally in those involved with Storming of Thunder Ridge. We’ll patronize and recommend their shops. We’ll participate in and promote their fundraising rides.

The others? Well…

We love cycling. So we will do whatever we can to promote our sport, get others involved and support those are like-minded.

What Say You?

Tell me how your event has been impacted by cooperation or lack of cooperation of influential groups.

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