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Friday, January 9, 2015

Here's a Great Gig for Unemployed Cyclists

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 11:09 AM

click to enlarge spokesman.jpg

I’d never consider taking up the dubious mantle of  a Brand Ambassador until now. Blackburn – a company that's been making ubiquitous black aluminum racks and bottle cages for bikes for decades – has come up with a rebranding strategy enlisting a bevy of adventurous cyclists to ride across the country pedaling the company’s new adventure cycling gear.

If that sounds like your idea of a dream temp job / vacation and you’ve got a rad Klout score (does that still exist?), then you should consider throwing your helmet in the ring.

This is a brilliant business and PR move on a brand’s part. In this case Blackburn enlists these “rangers” to create content and then pimp it on social media. They’re also required to shill for the brand in person and online, and give product feedback. It’s like having a marketing hack, a product tester, a PR wonk, and a brand manager — for free.

So what do Blackburn Rangers get out of all this, you ask? A sweet new bike from Niner, a pile of Blackburn swag, some Giro clothes and helmet, and a nebulous “travel stipend to help you complete your route.” In return, Blackburn gets some fresh adventure-cycling content blasted all over the internet, and they get to use you as a mobile showroom and real-world product tester.

If you make it down the Great Divide Route or the Pacific Coast Highway in one piece, the company can take all the credit.

It’s kind of the same strategy that Amtrak used by offering a “writer’s residency.” Aspiring writers could apply for the chance to sit in coach for a few days scribbling away, with the occasional obligatory tweet mentioning Amtrak, and afterwards, the company owned anything written while aboard that train.

If you're like me — you like to cycle, write, criticize, and you don't have a real job — then maybe this is one adventure you should check off your cycling bucket list. I know I will. 

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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.


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