It’s cool that the AMGEN bike race is going to start here, as I’ve said all along.
We can all hope that the national TV and out-of-town media exposure causes people to come back and visit. A visit here from Fox News during the Victorian Christmas caused a bump.
But it’s the end of a race, not the start, that generates the most dollars in a town. People hang around to celebrate.
Local marketing for the race is being handled by a former marketing guy at The Union.
But The Union circulates in a “cul de sac,” so he’ll need to reach out to markets in Reno, Tahoe/Truckee, Chico, Marysville and Yuba City to bring people here. I hope he’s up to it.
We suffer from a lot of provincialism, even “clanishness,” around here. I experienced that in my AMGEN bike race “scoops” on this blog. Yoo-hoo: We are supposed to publicize the race in other mediums besides the ones we’re most used to. Communications is changing. Lance Armstrong uses Twitter.
In addition, the first leg of the race ends in Sacramento, so the “flatlanders” will stay put.
If the area can remain a “fixture” on the AMGEN race route, this would be a plus for raising our visibility. There’s a good chance for that, because AMGEN wants to expand the race into the Sierra foothills. That’s why it is starting the race in May instead of earlier in the year.
It’s going to be a bang-up weekend when the race comes to town, with visitors filling restaurants, shops and stores. Many merchants already are planning to sell bike race-related products or name their ice cream after the cyclists.
But the key to success will be measured in the residual effect from the bike race and our ability to market outside the “cul de sac” we call home. It also will be measured by our ability to think “out of the box.” Can we do that?