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Letter: I’m Hurt. And I Might Get Dropped.

November 4, 2015 by · Comments Off 

How can I help the team?

Dear News: I am (a/an age redacted) expert on a fairly well known team. I had x major injuries this year, and can’t race Grands. What could I do to be valuable to the team, even if I am not racing? (Im afraid they might drop me cause of my injuries).


Thanks for this very time-appropriate question. And it really applies to EVERYONE who is sponsored, whether injured or not, top performer or up & comer.

I will address the last part of your question first (which wasn’t really a question)…the part about “I’m afraid they might drop me…”

Don’t assume anything! Most team managers understand injuries; injuries happen all the time. If you’re feeling uneasy about your place on the team, have a frank discussion about it with the TM. Open communication is always the best way. It will do both of you a load of good, however it ends up.

The question of how to be more “valuable” is a great one for all sponsored riders to be asking–whether at the end of the season, or any time.

These tips could (and should) be used by anyone, but for your purposes, while you’re out with an injury, there’s a TON you can do between now and the Grands, and beyond, to be helpful to your team. Though we redacted your age in order to preserve anonymity, for our readers’ sake, I will say that you are old enough to have access to social media (14+).

Here are five things you can do right now to start kicking butt off the bike for your team and its sponsors.

1). Bump up your team’s public profile. If you’re not planning to travel to the Grands, you should try to go. You’re hurt, so you won’t be riding, which means you can devote all your time to being “generally useful” to the team. I’m not talking about holding water bottles or wrenching bikes. No sir, you can be the team’s social media and press liason.

Create a list of all your team riders (and parent) social media accounts. Share, retweet and riff-off-of those posts to expand your team’s social media footprint. Tag @bmxnews, @bmxnow and others in your posts.

Invite BMX media like News, Pull and BMX Mania over to the pit for an introduction and to update them on how your riders are doing going in to The Grands. For a big story like this, we need background and photos on the contenders, and pit photos are always awesome. Wednesday is the best time for such invites, before the racing action starts.

2). Share, share, share! If your team is in the news (BMX News stories tied to your sponsors, Pull Magazine photos, features about team riders, photos posted of your riders by local photographers, etc), rally everyone with a social account on your team and get them ALL to share these posts. If a team has 10 riders, but a BMX News (or any other outlet’s) post about a team sponsor has only 1 share, that’s a free-and-easy opportunity to create value for your team and its sponsors. With you as QB of that success!

3). Write a Recap. Get with every rider on your roster, and put together a Grands recap of your team’s experience in Tulsa. Speaking for BMX News, we would be happy to run a well-written team recap as part of our Grands coverage, turned in by midnight Sunday (and, by the way, we prefer HORIZONTAL photos).

Take us “behind the music” and create a recap that gives some real detail–not just what we, on the infield, can see. Then pick ONE media outlet, and submit it. Don’t blast it out to every outlet in the known universe. One outlet–whether BMX News or any another (but hopefully News!).

One big mistake teams/brands/riders make is posting race reports on their own social media, exclusively. The audience will be MUCH larger, and your post will have greater legitimacy, if you work with a media outlet, then share what we post on your own social accounts.

4). Tap Local Media. Every one of your team riders has a home town. Research and reach-out to the sports reporters, “local interest” editors and other journalists in those cities to place articles on those local heroes. Coordinate with your riders and their parents first to be sure they are up for it, but if they are, have contact info and photos ready to go (BMX News might be able to help. Contact us if you need photos).

As many riders as there are, so are the angles of the story. “She won the national title in her age class” (aka NAG 1), “he came back from an early disappointment to race in the main event among seven of the best riders of his age in the world,” you get the idea. It’s a lot easier than you think to get their attention; they need to “feed the beast” every day with new content.

5). Be the pit “Ambassador.” Sponsorship is all about selling product. How can YOU make an impact in your sponsor’s sales. Believe me when I say that a pit at the Grands can be more valuable to your sponsor’s sales than a few pegs in a local bike shop showroom–when done right. Set your pit up to display your sponsor’s products in a way that riders and parents passing by can get interested in, and start asking questions about.

When they do, be ready with a smile, and contact info for all your sponsors (a hand-out sheet with all their names and websites, team logo at the top, would be perfect). Be sure you study-up on the finer points of the products you are representing, so you can answer the questions asked. If you don’t know the answer, have a direct-path to answer the question, and maybe offer to put them in touch with a company representative who is there at the race (everyone who is anyone is in the building, ready to impress potential customers. Those consumers will very-much appreciate a team who puts them next to the person who has the correct answers).

Wear a team or lead-sponsor brand T-Shirt (or your jersey), and view this as seriously as you would getting to staging on time and racing well. These are “business hours,” so treat them as such.

PRO TIP: Have clean rags at the ready, and wipe-down the display product every couple hours so dust never settles on it–even way back at the other end of the arena.

BONUS): If you’re not able to travel to Tulsa, you can still do some of this stuff from home. Reach out to all of your team families, create a list of all their social accounts, monitor BMX News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc for the prime share opportunities, and ask your team families to text back details from the race. Imagine yourself as “mission control” for your team’s media effort–because you are.

I hope these suggestions help. If you do even SOME these things, and do them well– and you are STILL dropped– then, my friend, there are a dozen more teams who would be lucky to have you, so worry-not!

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo by FiDalwood, via Flickr (not showing, nor representative of, the letter writer’s injury)





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Kuwahara Adds Hutchinson Family

May 20, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Hutchinson Kuwahara Pickup

Just-ahead of the Music City Nationals, Kuwahara has a hot-tip on some hotshoe pickups. The Hutchinson family of Ohio. Three riders, and a dialed-in dad who has managed a successful team before (Liberty BMX), all showing up in the Kuwa-colors in Nashville.

Here’s a little bit on the Hutchinson fam:

Graydon (10x) has been racing just under three years and has made a name for himself on the local and National circuit. His passion for racing has earned him multiple State titles, Gold Cup plates, and most recently NAG #5. When he’s not carving berms and clearing big doubles, he plays hockey, baseball, and other competitive sports.

Myles “The Boss” (8x) is the fun-loving kid of the family who is just out to have a great time with his friends and family at the track. Make no mistake, when he’s in race mode, he can pull some big moves, landing him on five national podiums last year.

Laura, a hockey player by trade, took a try at the new Hutch family sport. A year and a half later, she would finish NAG #3 in 31-35 Ladies Cruiser. Laura was out for most of the 2014 season having her 1st baby, Alise Hutchinson who arrived on Christmas eve.

Gray “Big Hutch” is a retired, Active Duty Soldier, who manages his family’s BMX fun. He’s a USA BMX Certified Coach and spent last year as TM of Liberty BMX, taking the team to the National #2 Trophy Team spot. Gray has a long history of riding bikes from racing, to ramps and street riding.

Factory Kuwahara Team Manager, Kelly Daniels told News:
“With a growing contingent on the East Coast, the Hutch’s were a logical choice. You can bet Kuwahara will be running some serious team sheets back-East.”

The BMX News Nikons will be sharply-focused on the Hutchinsons in Nashville, so keep an eye on the story and photo coverage for more on this story.

Links

Kuwahara BMX Website





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

The Manager

November 17, 2014 by · Comments Off 

William Parker and Carlos Perez
By Heather Parker

We first met Carlos Perez in 2010. He’d caught word of William, and had been watching him during the season. William was a wounded 9x fresh off of double elbow dislocations, but Carlos took a chance and believed in him. Carlos made no demands. He only expected William’s best. He helped William see what he was capable of, so he could sit back and watch him fly.

We had no idea what we were getting into when William joined Carlos’ Factory Felt squad in 2010. It didn’t take us long to figure out that what we were joining was nothing short of a family. We all made fast friends in the pits, and shared more laughs and good times than I can count.

There’s something extraordinary about this team– this group of people we refer to as “family”. There’s a bond that forms when you share emotions; the hope and love for your children, shared excitement and shared tears. For years we’ve cheered as one, wanting the best for all of our riders. We all know what it feels like when our child doesn’t make the main, so we all know what to say, how to help, and when to hug. For a time, we were like a small, perfect village.

William Parker with Meredith Lidstone
Four years ago when I told William to introduce himself to the new lady on the team, I wouldn’t have guessed it was the beginning of a long friendship. Since that day, Meredith Lidstone has provided William with sage advice for on and off the track. When words didn’t help, she gave him magic shorts— Under Armor drawers I would have to wash in the hotel sink every night at nationals because they really worked. She’s watched William grow from a little boy into (yikes!) the 13 year old man child he is now. I expect she’ll watch him go off to college, and dance at his wedding too. It doesn’t matter that they’re no longer in the same jersey. They rode for Carlos together, and that means they’re family.

The moms under Carlos’ tent formed friendships that can’t be undone. “We’re friends before BMX”, one mom said to me just the other day. And she’s right.

As we prepare for the Grands next week, we prepare for the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. We reflect on the races won, the friends we’ve made, and the times we’ve shared. I reflect back now in amazement at the dedication of Carlos and Madeline Perez, who year after year brought a group of riders and families together who are all winners.

THANK YOU, Carlos Perez for believing in more than just a team. THANK YOU Carlos for the friendships that come before BMX. THANK YOU, Carlos for being a team manager and leader who cares more for his riders than winning a team sheet. While we are always grateful for the support of our sponsors, it’s the people on our team and leading our team that mean the most.

—Heather Parker





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Answer Rennen adds Maltezos

December 18, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Davey Maltezos joins Answer Rennen

Hard as it is to believe, we had not heard of Davey Maltezos prior to this year’s Grands. Following his win of 36-40 Expert, however, he was squarely on the News radar. Then, today, some fresh team news, as George Costa announced that Davey would shift from the FBN/Supercross team to Answer Rennen for 2014–jersey photo (above) already in place!

Here’s what GC said in an announcement to Answer Rennen team members and friends today:

I am very happy to announce the signing of 36-40X Davey Maltezos to the Answer/Rennen family.

One of my personal greatest achievements in racing came at the age of 15 racing locally in Rhode Island against Davey. He was a northeast factory superstar having ridden for teams such as Coke Cola/Bikes N More and Cannondale/Ross. On the national level back then he would bang bars with the best of them such as Robbie Miranda, Kevin Tomoko and Randy Stumpfhauser.

On the local level he and I would go to battle twice a week at our local track Rocky Hill. I would win and then he would, it almost always came down to who had the inside gate. At nationals he would smoke me by over a straightaway, I had local track hero syndrome and couldn’t pull it together at a national, Davey though was true badass.

We spent plenty of time over a berm or two back in the day usually due to one of us going aggressive on the other. In the summer of 1992 (21yrs ago) I was able to win the 15 Expert Rhode island state championship from him coming down to the final main where we tied in points but I had the better final race finish.

As the years went on Davey went on to earn NBL #2/3 and has made the main in 18+men at the worlds in both Colombia and England against the likes of some of the legends in the sport who went on to great pro success. In 1997 Davey took time away from the sport to focus on his career and raising his daughter.

Fast forward to 2013 and Davey has been back on the scene the last few years and has gotten his groove back on the national race circuit. He most recently won the 2013 USABMX grands in 36-40X. He is more focused than ever and with a solid support system and team by his side he is ready to capture his first ever #1 title. The journey starts now and I am happy to have my friend and former nemesis representing the best brands in the Industry.

Welcome to the team Davey.

Answer/Rennen Co-Sponsors: Answer BMX, Rennen Design Group, Ssquared Bicycles, Tioga BMX, G-Cog, Crit BMX, Fly Racing, Time2Shine, G-Form, Base Brooklyn and Pedro’s

(Links added to highlight companies who are also BMX News advertisers)

Reader Letter: Do I Announce Leaving a Team?

December 10, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Should I announce leaving a team

Along with the blingy white lights on the trees, and Jack Frost nipping at your noses (except in Florida), sponsor changes are also in the air along with the season.

Today’s reader letter asks:

“I just parted ways with (team name withheld) after a few years. Should I put out a post to social media telling people I left the team?” —BW, Northeast

Obviously, there is no right or wrong way to approach most of this stuff. That said, from a media relations perspective, my recommendation would be as follows:

Unless your former team is out there misrepresenting your name, or saying/doing something that makes a “no longer involved” statement necessary, it is probably best to stay mum on it.

Then, once you have your new team situation in place, you will be hitting that hard on social media anyway, and the change will be evident. Even if you are not going to a new team, you can put up a photo of yourself in your new kit, and then the change will still be evident.

BTW, the best format for a “New Sponsor” post is a photo of you in the new sponsor’s jersey (or T-Shirt), sitting on your new bike, if possible (horizontal format if you are sending to BMX News :) ). Get a quote from your new team manager welcoming you to the team if you are sending it to media.

It’s a pretty strong statement to say “I am no longer involved with X company,” because it tends to imply “distancing.” As in “they are shady people that I want to make sure everyone knows I am no longer associated with.”

No need to keep it a secret, per se. If someone asks you, tell ‘em true. But you don’t have to issue a statement if it is just an amicable parting of ways. Announce the joyous news of your new sponsor (and at the same time, if you so desire, thank your outgoing sponsors). Then, all the sponsor gods will be happy.

Same would apply to any team managers that have similar questions. Announce your new roster, and let the absence of last year’s rider(s) tell the story about departures.

Best of luck with your new ride, BW!

—Mike Carruth

Send Your Letter:
BMX News reader letters can be sent to letters@bmxnews.com. If we use yours, we’ll send you a BMX News T-Shirt.





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Jared Garcia Joins Factory Supercross

October 3, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Jared Garcia Joins Supercross BMX Factory Team

Jared “The Jet” Garcia has been rockin the Speedline colors ever since February 27, 2013 when News carried the bulletin and photos of his new bike build. Well, last weekend, in Chula Vista, we saw him on an ice cool, ice blue Supercross Envy. AND, running a new Supercross kit.

The OTC is such a big place that even if you see someone with your eyes, the chances you can get over to where they are before they move are pretty rare. Such was the case when were were shooting on Saturday. We spied Bill along the first straight, but by the time we got to the fenceline, it was too late to talk Speedline.

So, we activated the BMX News – Supercross BMX touch-phone. It’s a lot like the Batphone, but it uses a Speedline half-link chain as a receiver cord.

Smilin Bill Ryan picked up with an “we’ve been expecting you” vibe, and was ready to kick-down all the details.

We are proud to suit Jared up in the Supercross Factory Gear for 2014 and beyond We debuted the 2014 Uniform in Chula Vista and thought it was perfect-timing to get The Jet in the new gear.

Even on the Speedline team, he has been influential in providing testing feedback (along with Jeremy and Dani) on the ENVY v5 for most of the year, and the new ENVY BLK carbon News reported in the Interbike coverage. Jared has always been a part of the Supercross Family, so even though to some it may seem like a big move, it feels the same to us.

Look for Jared to be at the USA BMX Redline Cup West Finals this weekend, as he takes another road trip in the White Ghost with Dani, Jeremy and myself. Yep, the more it changes, the more it feels the same.

Not to let a good hotline call go to waste, we also chatted with Bill about all the carbon parts they are getting ready to hit the market with for 2014. We will have more on that on next week’s Announcers Tower Podcast.

Meanwhile, Congrats to Jared on the change in wardrobe. We’ll be watching the results for “Jared Garcia, Factory Supercross” up top.

Links

Supercross BMX Website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Rider News: Tyler Faoro shows a Dkoi

September 20, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Tyler Faoro to Dkoi Bikes

Scrolling through instagram yesterday we noticed that the self promotion king of Florida, Tyler Faoro had a new bike on display during an autograph session for Maxxis tires. A light blue “Dkoi” frame, which showcased his signature Optimum Nutrition and Dans Comp co-spos. We asked Ferocious if he is going to suit up in a full “Dkoi” kit or stay in his “Profile” kit. He quickly answered that he will still be riding for Profile, but his uniform will also display the Dkoi logo.

Here’s what else he said:

I am super-pumped to be partnered up with Dkoi Bike frames, awesome USA made frames that are priced at a very affordable price. Super stiff aluminum and all the perfect geometry for BMX racing. Check out Dkoibikes.com to see more on their race frames and specs. A perfect combination to go along with my other amazing sponsors: Profile Racing, Optimum Nutrition, ABB Performance, Maxxis Tires, and Dans Comp!

Tyler has had a rough year this year, with an injury during the off season, and another injury just a few months ago. He has still been working hard in the gym, and has recently been cleared to ride again. If Tyler’s injuries came as a surprise to you, that’s likely due to how great he is with getting his name out there through giveaways and clinics.

Tyler is definitely off the sheets for Chula Vista, and is still on the fence about racing Fresno, but either way he will be working hard on his new Dkoi frameset to make a strong debut performance at Disney.

We don’t know a whole lot about Dkoi as a company, but having Tyler tooling around the country will likely change that pretty soon.

Holmes and Becerine to Move From Free Agent in 14

September 18, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Dale Holmes and Cristian Becerine will ride for new team in 2014

Early scoop from the Interbike show says Dale Holmes and Cristian Becerine will be moving on from Free Agent at the end of this year to start a new team for 2014. No news on sponsors or other riders involved just yet, but keep your eyes on News for the latest on the new DH deal, as it develops.

We also heard Dale has been working with Aussie Darryn Goodwin the past few weeks. Darryn came over from Oz to stay with Dale and train full-time in the fertile land of fastness known as Southern California. With all the clinics Dale and Cristian have done in their Free Agent kits, it’s not too far a stretch to imagine we’ll be seeing them out among the kiddies at local tracks everywhere.

A Throwback and a Go-Back for Upshaw

December 20, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Jeff Upshaw Back on Kuwahara

You might think the photo above is a “Throwback Thursday” homage to our friend Jeff Upshaw. Well, it is and it isn’t. It IS a throwback…the photo was taken February 14, 2009 at the NBL Columbus Fairgrounds race. Here we have Uppie leading an Elite Men’s moto, decked in the colors of his new sponsor of the time, Kuwahara. And see…nice transition to the news of the day.

Fast-forward almost four years. Kuwahara made their exit from the US market…then, just last month, announced the brand was coming back to US shores under new ownership, and with a new plan for BMX market superiority.

In the spirit of gettin’ the band back together, Jeff and the Kuwahara USA peeps got to talking, and decided to bring the sizzle back for 2013. Jeff has been spending much of his time with everyday life, selling cars at a Ford dealership in Ohio (quite successfully, we are told). But BMX has never been far off Jeff’s 2-do list, and he gets out to the Dayton Indoor with frequency, to keep his flow flowing and his skills upshizzle-sharp.

No firm plans on which races Jeff will be hitting (as you remember from an earlier BMX News story, he is racing A-Pro at the moment, so lots of options), but we wanted to bring you the news of Jeff’s return to the team. it’s a solid story of good people coming together to make it happen for a long-beloved brand.

We also managed to get the 2013 Kuwahara team roster along with the Upshaw lowdown.

1. Jeff Upshaw – A Pro

2. Sienna Fines – 13 Girls

3. Phillip Keiser – 19-27 Expert

4. Bart McDaniel – 46-50 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

5. Eric “E-Dogg” Schreiber – 41-45 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

6. Alan Porter – 46-50 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

7. Chris Jeffery – 46-50 Cruiser

8. Scott Woodworth – 41-45 Cruiser & 41+ Expert

9. Troy Daniels – 46-50 Cruiser

Plus a few young hotshoes in the works!

We thinks there’s gonna to be a lot of Kuwahara yellow in those 46-50 cruiser main events. Congrats to Jeff and the whole Kuwie crew.

The latest and greatest Kuwahara product will be hitting the shores and the stores in the next month or two, so keep your eyes here on BMX News for the latest. Meanwhile, give their website an eyeball or two.

Links

Kuwahara USA Website

The Reade Prophecy

November 29, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Shanaze Reade on Prophecy for 2013, via bmxnews.com

“Where is Shanaze Reade?…she is the best BMX Racer who never races.” Such was the question in the press tent at the recent USA BMX Grand National. That may be changing soon, as word is leaking across the Atlantic today that Shinny signed on with carbon frame company, Prophecy for 2013.

Reported first by Fastlane BMX Mag over there, no word on whether #12 will be making the hop over to the States more in ’013. The post-olympics talent pool is pretty thick over here, with Aussies, Euros and even a certain Colombian rumored to be touching down in Florida after the holidays for a longer-than-weekend stay.

We are also curious if Shanaze will be rockin’ the Prophecy jersey, as shown in the above photo (pinched off Facebook), or if she will be back in a British Cycling blue & red zip-front, aboard Prophecy’s bike.

The first USA BMX pro race of 2013 is still about 90 days away, so plenty of time to ponder her plans and pound some new pages into her passport. When she was racing over here a few years back, we were always big fans, so it would be great to see her back in the battle here in the colonies.

A lot of you may not have ever laid eyes on a fully-built Prophecy in the flesh (except for under Joey Bradford, we have never seen one at a US race either), but take our word for it, you have never seen trick, head-turning hardware until you put your glims on one of these go-fast machines.

Links

Prophecy BMX Website

Shanaze Reade on Facebook

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