Sunday, 20 June 2010

The new GOLF

The new GOLF

Cycling has been described as the 'New Golf', I'll explain why and who I think has some responsibility for this rise.

What do I mean that cycling is the 'New Golf', well in part it is the acceptance of the sport by different social and economic groups. Road cycling had always had it's routes in the working classes (with I am sure the lower middle classes being caught in this group), take a look at the winners list of any major race and you'll find the riders ambition is fuelled by the need to better ones self, much in the same way boxing does in the USA & UK. It could be argued that a childhood of hardship of have have nots provide a deep rooted motivation to be better than where you are now. Of course there are riders through history which will buck this theory, but just as us the case in Boxing it rings true.

So the sports once reserved for the prolartaria are now open to all. But it is not racing at the PRO Tour level where the 'Golf Cyclist' term has found ressinance but at a domestic one. Sportives and Domestic racing has seen the multi thousand pound bikes common place as first bikes & bikes being transported in Flash cars and not in the back of some well used Ford.

I think many riders main objection is what I'd call the 'Chelsa Approach' and buying tech, experience and knowledge without going through the hoops to get to the end result. I think it is the removal of the hard knocks, earning your spurs approach that can agrieve many as the 'Green mentallity' of knowledge bought & not experienced is at the root.

Clothing wise there are a couple of sources which must stick there hands up as a responsible influence on the draw to this new Sport for the Upper classes. Rapha with it's clever marketing & simple designs led the charge. Creating a mood which made the sport look glamouress & sexy it helped push the sport into new sectors. Not being afraid to embrace new channels of media they have captured hearts and minds.

Garmin, when it changed it's kit to use arygle seems to have again captured a new sense of style. With arygle being incredibly popular with Golfers the link is there and very tangiable. Also the strong anti doping stance is attractive to people coming fresh into the sport as they do not have the baggage of the European system.

Lance Armstrong can not be left out of the equation. Nikes connection with high profile sports stars raises awareness across all sectors. So important to Nike is the cycle market that they continue to sponsor athletes while no longer manufacturing goods. Maybe the attraction of a multiple winner of the race with greatest media exposure, coupled with his story of triumph over cancer is no doubt an inspiration for many.

Posted via email from sprintingforsigns's posterous

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,
Cycling is indeed "The new golf" for some people here in Québec Canada. L'ACDA, a group of 200 business men (and women!) use to meet for golf on Wednesday afternoon every 3 weeks. Now, they meet for an organized bike ride. Seeing all the Volvos, BMW and Mercedes in the parking lot is kind of funny!
Great post,
PS Go argyle!