A Wheel With Many Spokes
Cyclists interests extend beyond bikes to a plethora of outdoor activities.
As Chris Lambiase, publisher of Rodale's Cycling Group of publications, notes, for these subscribers, "cycling is their true passion, but they're avid participants in a litany of outdoor pursuits like skiing, snowboarding, surfing [and] rock climbing."
While the reasons for riding are a mixed bag, there are common themes that drive cyclists to hit the road or trail.
"It's an emotional escape from their day-to-day grind," says Pren. "If there's one word that most cyclists would relate to, it's the freedom that they get from that."
Fueled by a desire to feel free, cyclists tend to be prolific travelers. VeloNews, a magazine for cyclists who race, reports that 65.3 percent of respondents to its 2003 subscriber survey purchased airline tickets, hotel accommodations and vacation packages via the Internet.
Peddling Your Goods
So, how do you reach them?
Bob Lumpford, vice president of marketing at Chilcutt Direct Marketing, which manages several cycling lists, says cyclists are very responsive to direct mail and the Internet.
"Our internal research estimates spending via the mail and Internet to be $470 million annually using the Direct Marketing Association's assessment that the direct response industry accounts for 8 percent of total spending," says Lumpford.
NSGA data shows frequent cyclists spend an average of 14 hours per week on the Internet, proof that the Web is a solid channel to approach this market.
In fact, a 2004 Bicycling subscriber study found that of the 70 percent of respondents who purchased bicycling gear through direct response, 74.9 percent did so via the Internet and 68.7 percent purchased through catalogs.
According to Lumpford, while the companies that most frequently target Chilcutt's cycling-related lists are the usual sports-oriented suspects, such as fitness, diet, outdoor, extreme sports and adventure travel marketers, "one of the new categories of marketers we see testing into this market is fundraisers with environmental and health-related causes."