Ride with us: Speak’s cycling highlights
If you’ve spent any time at the bike-cluttered Speak studio, you’ll know we’re cycling obsessives.
Now – as our first season as sponsors of a cycling team gets underway with a stunning success for Lunsar CT, and our brand new film about Pennine Cycles goes live ahead of the Tour de Yorkshire – it’s the perfect time to look back on our creative associations with cycling brands, teams and the sport in general.
So for all the clients, colleagues and collaborators who share our love of life on two wheels (and we know that goes for a lot of you), here are the highlights so far, from interviews with Sir Bradley Wiggins to rides with Chris Froome:
1. Pennine Cycles film
Our latest video story for Barclays is live – featuring the wonderful Pennine Cycles in Bradford, one of the bank's long-standing customers, just in time for the Tour de Yorkshire.
We’ve loved every minute of producing the magazine-programmes for the Revolution series of events – starting with a major redesign and content overhaul in 2016 – and with the Speak Media logos featuring prominently on trackside hoardings as official media partner. Our editorial team got the chance to cover all the thrills and spills of track cycling’s ‘Premier League’ over several seasons, in print and on social channels, and produced a number of memorable cover features including in-depth articles on the hour record, and interviews with the biggest names in the sport: Wiggo, Trott, Hoy, Kenny, Storey … the list goes on.
3. Urban Hill Climb
Away from the starry track scene, we’ve also got stuck into many grass events – helping with promotion and content for great organisations like Rollapaluza, the roller-racing kings who put on some of the best events in the amateur calendar. Our favourite – as contested on occasion (with middling results) by our editorial director – has to be the Urban Hill Climb. Other memorable partnerships included our work on pioneering Keirin racing in Manchester (we created the marketing collateral and the event programme).
4. Spin Cycling Festival
If you’re into cycling and live in or around London, you’ve likely heard of this annual event which has grown exponentially in the last few years. We were there in the early days, helping the founders with content and branding consultancy – and it’s still a must-do on our calendar. Hope to see you there later this year …
5. Trase cycle wear
We helped this Norwegian cycling apparel start-up – which has now morphed into a bricks-and-mortar bike shop – with all its online copy including brand story and product descriptions.
6. Pedalsure PR
The cycling insurer approached us for a new way to get its message across to commuters, and we devised a practical yet fun-filled advertorial for its PR campaign – which earned it a spot in the Daily Telegraph’s sport section among others – on the ’11 unwritten rules of commuting by bike’. Our piece utilised the brand’s existing stock of archive imagery, with a tongue-in-cheek tone to match.
7. Herne Hill Velodrome
The Herne Hill Velodrome in south London is arguably UK cycling’s most iconic venue, built in 1891 it’s one of the oldest tracks in the world. Unsurprisingly, the velodrome is steeped in history – having hosted cycling events in the 1948 Olympics and been used as Crystal Palace FC’s home ground during WWI.
It’s a place where many of the Speak team have shed tears of joy (and a few layers of skin) on the track. So we were pretty chuffed to be asked to help develop promotional materials for the fundraising events that would eventually help pave the way for a major renovation of the venue in 2017.
8. Lunsar Cycling Team
Our most recent – and to-date our most significant – contribution to cycling is our partnership with the Sierra Leone-based team Lunsar, for whom our sponsorship provides pro-quality racing kit (designed by freelance Speak designer Jo Pearson and produced by Milltag). Find out more here.
9. Racing Chris Froome
Ok, wherever you are on the salbutamol debate, you can’t argue with the fact that taking Froome on, head-to-head, on the hills, is no mean feat … and that’s just what we did. Here’s how it happened.
10. Returning to the Tour de Yorkshire, we interviewed chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Sir Gary Verity as part of our leading questions strand for Barclays. We chatted about leading by example, living on a sheep farm – and whether there’s a specifically Yorkshire approach to leadership.