In addition to training camps, it’s also the time of year we look for the release of new products. Campagnolo showed off their new electronic group and Shimano is said to be rolling out 11-speed. One other component company is doing the same – SRAM.
You might remember around the beginning of this year SRAM teased us with images of their Red group with a difference. The Chicago based company released photos of just a small section of the component – a jockey pulley, a portion of the big ring – not the entire component.
In the case of this year’s earlier roll out of the “new” Red group it turned out that the new feature was its availability in black. No other upgrades – just black. Prior to the full launch SRAM’s sponsored pros were using available social media platforms to alert the public with a daily teasing of the new group. Now SRAM is at it again.
As you are probably aware SRAM sponsored pros stared tweeting about the new 2013 Red group. Some riders have taken the time to personalize the SRAM message while other looked to have just cut and pasted it into their status update box.
Charlie Wegelius, the new director of Garmin-Cervelo tweeted,
“Some of the sponsor promotional tweets by riders that I have read lately have been pretty lame.”
Admittedly Garmin-Cervelo is using select Shimano components starting next year so there might be a bit of a bias.
Honestly I can see both sides of the marketing coin. I thought the “I choose SRAM” campaign was off the mark as everyone knows that professional riders don’t choose their components. Sure, auxiliary sponsorships can be an individual rider’s choice (optics, shoes and in the case of Alberto Contador, Giro helmet). But groups – that’s a team sponsored deal. That said, I have to hand it to SRAM for this latest slow roll out of the new Red group. It has created some buzz – good or bad it’s personal perception – they have managed to get daily coverage of this new group.
But I’m curious – what do you think? Personally I always thought SRAM was by far way ahead of any other bike company in regards to social media. Is SRAM smart in building hype or is it just needless teasing? Do the SRAM sponsored athletes’ tweets ring true or do they just read like a contractual obligation that needs to be fulfilled?