The Virgin Cyclone is a weekend of riding and racing for cyclists of all levels, from beginner to professional road racers. It features a series of long-distance, mass-participation challenge rides, known as ‘sportives’. It also includes the Beaumont Trophy road race which attracts some of the fastest riders in the country. Pelican’s outdoor PR team was asked to maximise participation in the challenge rides and achieve the milestone of becoming the country’s largest sportive. As well as maximising the crowds for the Beaumont Trophy.
Key events such as the opening of entries, support from sponsors and record entry levels were all published in key cycling titles. A three-page route preview was negotiated with the leading magazine Cycling Weekly and a competition to win a VIP weekend to the event was offered to readers.
We created an online campaign with a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter feed to keep riders up to date with information on the event. We also targeted cycling forums to create interest and encourage registrations.
The communications campaign hit all the main print and online titles generating over £60,000 worth of PR value, plus over 100 followers on Twitter and more than 500 fans for the event’s Facebook group. Entries for the challenge ride increased to over 3,500, making the event England’s largest sportive. Over 2,000 spectators turned out to watch the Beaumont Trophy ensuring the weekend was a huge success.