Poll: If You Were A Sports Marketing Manager...

Dec 4, 2020 at 17:06
by Sarah Moore  
Isabeau Courdurier, Adrien Dailly and Chloe Gallean formed the Lapierre Zipp Collective last year.


We're just getting into racing rumours season with World Champion Reece Wilson announcing that he's officially re-signed with Trek Factory Racing, Danny Hart announcing he's parting ways with Madison Saracen, and IXS parting ways with the Commencal Muc-Off team, but you can bet that most 2021 contracts are a done deal by this time of the year. If you're an athlete without a contract at this time of the year, chances are you're scrambling to get a privateer set-up together.

If you're a bike brand, however, you've likely been planning and negotiating contracts for month now and have probably even figured out how to get your new signings on your bike and gear and planned a top secret press release and photo shoot.

Imagine you're the one sending out the contracts this year, who are the riders you're betting on to help your brand succeed and sell the most bikes in 2021? There are always going to be some budget restrictions, what compromises are you willing to make?


All about that introductory photoshoot.




Keeping in mind you're trying to sell bikes here, would you rather sign 1 top-3 athlete, 3 top-30 athletes or 20 top-80 riders?



Which discipline of mountain biking do you think has the best return on investment?





Would you rather sign an up and comer for $20,000 a year for ten years or a seasoned rider for two years at $100,000 a year?



What's the most you think a professional mountain biker should be paid?



Which piece of gear do you think athletes are most picky about?



Which athlete would you most like to sign for 2021?



Which athlete do you think will get the most podiums in 2021?




299 Comments

  • 425 2
 Pinkbike be figuring out how to manage the Grim Donut Team
  • 243 3
 To: Yoann Barelli
Subject: Blank Check
  • 32 1
 Yep, looks like it's Yoann Barelli then
  • 220 1
 @pinkbike needs to hire @yoannbarelli and @remymetailler for a French exclusive Free-duro team. Urban, Rampage, EWS, social media. They've got it dialled. Sponsored by the baguette.
  • 91 3
 Its no longer about results or talent, its about youtube views. Hire the rowdiest, stupid mother fuckers in the circuit, give them 5 GoPros and post whatever happens on a dedicated youtube channel.
  • 5 0
 @fasian: the bagguestte team around
  • 31 0
 @scott-townes: to be honest, for the EWS how could it be any other way? The only thing we get from race weekend are still photos, and then eventually some video slowly leaks out. EWS riders that make their own content on Instagram or Youtube are far more accessible. Richie Rude and Sam Hill are amazing riders at the top of their game but Ive seen very little of them actually riding.
  • 11 2
 @mtmc99: they are good enough that they don’t have to bother. Sam gets more family time and Richie gets more traveling in (I think). Good on them. It’s not their job to promote the EWS.
  • 12 3
 re: which athlete to sign:

"Sam freaking Hill, you idiot! Gosh!" (Napoleon voice)
  • 25 2
 re: the most an mtb athlete should be paid:

This needs more clarification. Is this salary from their frame sponsor or race team contract? Or the total sum of all contracts / endorsements / profit sharing from developed products and all the other pieces of income that a top rider can build once they have a brand that others are willing to pay for?

There is no "the most" for the total package that is the sum of a top rider's compensation. As high as freaking possible.

As to how much their main sponsor (frame / factory team ) should pay... I guess that's dictated by the success of the brand they're riding for (how deep their pockets are) as well as how much they value racing to continue to build their brand. It would be nice if everyone's base contract was 6 figures plus kick-ass insurance coverage, but I don't think a lot of brands can or will support a race team that expensive. I'll let someone w/ firsthand experience weigh in now.
  • 12 0
 Does anyone remember who Sam Hill's teammates were in 2008 Val di Sole when he was with Iron Horse and had the best 2:54 any human being has ever had on a bicycle? Probably not......Sign the single top dog. Its sports, the formula has been the same in "pro" sports for decades.
  • 2 0
 @fasian: Yep, those are 2 siiick-ass foos
  • 5 0
 If they want their results to be grim, hire me!
  • 6 4
 @lastminutetech: Oh, you and all your reality....I mean, come one....all facty and stuff.

It is kind of a shame that we (in general) do not look at who gives back the most (to cycling on a whole). Without question, it is Specialized, Trek, Giant...but, as a group, it seems that if someone is not on some esoteric brand or a brand with nut California Fruit and Nut owner then we are not "cool". Fact is, Specialized and Trek are the reasons a LARGE percentage of LBS are even open....we as consumers need to take that into consideration as much as who is on a podium.
  • 2 1
 @fasian: Remy is amazing with a great attitude! Riding the Grim Donut on PR speed is insane!
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: you should work for haibike
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: don't forget to like, comment, subscribe
  • 1 0
 @mexicant: 1000% agreed. all the more reason for ThE Baguette team. Or maybe Team Cafe Gourmand. And it was Yoann that rode the Grim Donut. I'm sure Remy could give it a good go too.
  • 1 1
 @lastminutetech: And...how'd that work out for Iron Horse? Bankrupt in early 2009. ;-)

Actually I voted to hire Sam Hill too.
  • 2 0
 @MarcusBrody: ha ya i thought about that too. Even still, him being on their bikes brought a brand from a walmart special to recognized. Part of me likes to think if they had a resurgence and built a good bike for the people it would have a decent following.

At the end of the day what we’re talking about is an employers acquisition of talent. Just like in all of our work places. When you have someone with talent, values and pro mentality it makes everyone around them better. So ya, im for one top talent instead if three mid-tier. Besides top talent attracts other top talents. Sam Hill 2008 VDS was the best a human has ever riden a bike.
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: you mean melon farmers?
  • 1 0
 Not sure that Cathro or Barelli would work for donuts but you never know....
  • 3 1
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: and ironically specialized is the reason a lot of shops aren't open too!
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: agreed. The fact remains in business the primary goal is to crush the competition.
  • 1 0
 To: @scott-townes
Subject: Marketing Director Position
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro @mikekazimer @mikelevy There should have been options for men and women. Big toss up though between Sam Hill and Greg Minaar. They've been neck and neck for years.
  • 112 0
 One person that answered eMTB World Series just wants to watch the world burn lol
  • 5 0
 Just went and changed my vote.
  • 1 0
 'Tis the season (2020).
  • 3 0
 The question asked about return on investment and eebs have great margin
  • 88 3
 Nice try marketing managers, I'm not gonna do your work for you Wink
  • 34 0
 Random answers here I come
  • 18 2
 They better get their $5m cheques ready because im not the only one voting mainstream sports money is deserved here too!
  • 3 2
 @drfunsocks: semunek on 5mill+, wins everything next year (you know how much he competes these days) and I don’t want any Wc pros winning, I want 3 top 30 guys, 1 of them is getting a win and crashing out for the rest of the season tho. Dh bikes sell the bollox end of. Also semunek has the best she’s bcse I bought a pair..... done
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: Why not? The riders are paid to promote their sponsors. If they boost sales they should get paid what they're worth.
  • 4 1
 @Ac282: but the statement was 'mainstream sports money is deserved'. it has nothing to do with what is deserved. your phrase is much more accurate, they are paid what they're worth.
  • 5 0
 I feel like the mtb industry needs to professionalize already. It's insane what pinkbike does for the industry...it seems like making a superior product might be a better way to sell a bike?
  • 5 0
 All the riders in a future eMTB league are all getting paid $5 million+ thanks to me. You're welcome, top brands.
  • 7 0
 @tobiusmaximum: they are paid jack shit because nobody knows what anyone actually makes and it’s a collection of the worst sports wage negotiators I can think of.

Think of this, in American football a punter kicks the ball 2 to 6 times a game, 16 game season, a few pre-season games and a few post season games if they are lucky, and the top half of guys (32 teams) are averaging $2,860,000 per season in 2017. If he’s on a good team that’s getting paid for maybe 65 kicks a year. The practice squad players get paid $8,400 a week (raise every year too FYI), a veteran on the practice squad is making $12,000 a week.

Mountain bike racers are paid peanuts, well more like table scraps.
  • 11 0
 @DHhack:
Problem is the NFL brings in substantially more add and merchandise revenue than the sum of all MTB events combined, regardless of discipline. I’m all for equal pay for equal work but if we go straight percentage of revenue gained from athletes they will never reach mainstream sports levels unfortunately. But yes, they should be paid proportionally as well.
  • 1 0
 Yes you are.
  • 11 0
 @Chief2slo: This will forever be the only valid argument about athlete salaries. Generate more revenue, get paid more.
  • 5 2
 @die-tze: there is an old saying that is absolutely positively correct... "Your raise becomes effective when you do". It is a shame that it seems people under a certain age simply do not understand that reality.
  • 7 1
 @Chief2slo: events shouldn’t be paying a team racers salary. That’s what the team is for. Most teams do a pretty terrible job at marketing themselves. Specialized should be selling Loic Bruni everything, I’m sure there’s more than a few people that would buy SuperBruni jersey, or shorts/pants, or gloves, or helmet or maybe a special edition Demo. Same for any of the other big name racers out there. Gwin can’t be the only one to have figured this out...
  • 4 0
 @DHhack: but the NFL generates revenue in orders of magnitude greater than mtb.
  • 4 0
 @DHhack: fair but remember the NFL’s tv revenues hover around $15,000,000,000. Theres gunna be some money lying around to pay kickers. Not sure the UCI has a revenue-sharing program (like nfl) with the bike manufacturers to equally share revenue from RedBulls “tv” deal.
  • 4 0
 @lastminutetech: exactly this, the TV revenue and match day sales (when there's no pandemic) is what allows others sports like football (UK & US versions) to be paid so highly. It would be interesting to know what TV revenues MTB pulls in, I doubt it's very high. It's also to do with how the industry is monetized. We can watch DH WC for free on redbull but basically any other sport you are paying for. We all say professionals should be paid more but where does that money come from? If there's suddenly a cost to watch then everyone here will lose their minds. Yes there is other revenue streams such as actual bike sales that other sports don't have but that can only cover so much.
  • 3 0
 @tobiusmaximum: but, but, but....we try hard......NO FAIR!!!! Just because our revenue is no where near theirs does not mean we shouldn't have equal pay!!!! (common bitch at the WNBA and womens soccer)
  • 52 2
 I know I'm taking this wayyyyy too seriously but it seems like these questions lack some context. Assuming you want to make smart marketing decisions all of the answers will depend a great deal on the brand you're trying to sell, the budget, etc. If I were managing Evil for instance I wouldn't give a rats ass about race results and would focus on supporting athletes and projects that were in line with the brand. On the other side if you're managing Specialized you pretty much have to put together a top tier team as a terrible team could lead people to start to question the brand. All that said YT got a ton of legitimacy from Aaron Gwin joining the team and absolutely destroying so there definitely is some value to bringing on a high caliber pro if you can.
  • 9 0
 name checks out
  • 2 0
 Always looking at the upside, but well said.
  • 3 0
 Yeap! Context is everything.
Also given that this year is an Olympic one, wouldn't PFP be an obvious choice?
  • 1 0
 Agree 100%. Yeah I was going to say the same.
  • 35 2
 Tires are 100% the piece of gear athletes are pickiest about. There are way more blacked out tires than anything else. If you don't have good rubber, nothing else matters.
  • 13 1
 I went back and forth between tires and the frame, but then I thought about it from the perspective of choosing sponsors, and, to me, the ability to black out a Maxxis means racers really don't need to be picky about their tire sponsor.
  • 6 2
 @jcc0042:
I highly doubt a frame matters much either, especially since riders get custom links/dropouts/headsets etc. As long as it’s closeish.
  • 25 1
 @gafoto: I thought the same until Brook signed with GT and effectively lost some of the best years of his career to an outdated frame.
  • 2 0
 Tires and suspension
  • 1 0
 This.
  • 10 0
 @bonkmasterflex: if you don't have good rubber, you have kids. Ask me how I know.
  • 30 1
 To be honest, I'm more influence by the Pinkbike field test reviews than which pro rider is riding which frame or part. Maybe I was 12 years old it would be different.
  • 46 0
 I'm influenced by the condition of my wallet LOL
  • 3 0
 @jaycubzz: Im influenced by unpainted alloy frames.. dont even want to ever see a titanium raw frame in the flesh...
  • 4 0
 Yep. I haven't seen a pro rider on a podium on an Epic Evo, but I have one on order because of the PB review. I'd also take that Cannondale too, but that will take many more months to arrive.
  • 2 0
 I would really love to see data on this. Like, did Specialized’s sales pick up after Kate’s WC win, did Intense/YT sale pick up after signing Gwin? Reviews hold weight for sure and can especially boost the sales of smaller brands- I almost bought a Transition Spur on the strength of its reviews when I had never before considered Transition- the only reason I didn’t was availability. But I feel like most people, serious riders included, just go with either what their favorite shop sells or direct-to-consumer for cost. The big exception was Lance and Trek, but he was so much more visible than any mountain bike athlete it’s not a fair comparison.
  • 2 0
 @jaycubzz: So true !!!
  • 29 3
 Likely an unpopular opinion but aside from the R&D feedback that racers provide I don't think they sell many bikes. Direct influence almost none. Im never buying and Intense no matter how many times Gwinn wins (or does not). I would go grassroots with ambassadors, venues like bike parks and Influencers. Depending on what you want to sell sponsoring Seth from Berm Peak (Seths Bike Hacks) probably way better ROI.

Also just make a good product. If it's good enough people know.
  • 17 0
 I guarantee Nino sells bikes. XC racers are a superstitious bunch, and there are a lot of them (I'm one). Nino's results are a powerful indicator validating that the bike will not hold you back from winning your next race.
  • 12 1
 Agreed. Seth is probably the golden goose at Diamondback.
  • 15 0
 Surely we all remember when Sam went to Specialized. Demo sales went through the roof. He is worth every penny.
  • 4 8
flag Cyberhatter (Dec 11, 2020 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 @Connerv6: I bet more people know who Seth is than Nino. US wise anyway.
  • 6 0
 As a broad (i.e. not mtb-specific) principle i'd tend to disagree. Valentino Rossi is responsible for countless Yamaha sales.

But i do agree that i don't see many people in MTB that have that sort of sales-appeal (I will say that i watch the DH WC, but aside from that i am very unfamiliar with who's who in the sport).

People like Rossi have an almost mystical status that can be easily marketed to convince people "buy the bike, be like Rossi". And it works. Win on sunday, sell on monday i believe the saying goes.

Of my limited knowledge of riders. I'd say Sam Hill is one of the closest to that sort of elevated status in MTB.

(Just remembered that my Sam Hill Nukeproof bars turned up this morning - guess this marketing stuff does work after all)
  • 6 0
 @Cyberhatter: @Connerv6 I would bet Seth gets a ton of new riders onto Diamondback bikes.

I would also bet that Nino sells a lot more of the ultra high end bikes.
  • 2 0
 I would guess that even if you might never buy a bike directly because a certain pro rides it, you can’t escape the psychological influence it has, unless you completely disconnect from any news about the industry at all. Just the impression of “so and so won on this bike, so it’s a solid bike” or even just enjoying a pro’s personality is enough to influence the needle on at least some people making decisions about what bike to buy (among many other factors).
  • 2 0
 ...ask Commencal, they will disagree
  • 3 3
 Disagree 100%. That’s like saying basketball players don’t sell shoes. Mtb athletes 100% sell product. You telling me Brett rheeder didn’t boost clif bar sales? Trek sales? No one in their right mind needs a factory level fox 831... but people buy them because athletes.

These guys sell product. Period.
  • 7 0
 Sponsored athletes get you on the product.

The product being good keeps you on it.

I don’t think companies can have either/or if they want to become the leader in their product category.
  • 1 0
 I can’t say I’ve ever bought a mountain bike based on what pros are riding. However, I will say I considered YT back when Gwin was riding for them. They went from, “forget it” to “let me take a look.”
  • 27 1
 Salary $5m+ If you can find an athlete who can generate enough return, the sky should be the limit. There's no amount 'too much' for what riders are willing to risk.
  • 3 1
 This - MTB athletes put so much on the line! The best of the best deserve to be paid millions.
  • 1 0
 I thought that was a strange question, why should there be an upper limit?
  • 14 0
 No athlete can generate that sort of return. Even a huge bike company is what, $1B yearly revenue, of which MTB is probably 25% at best. Not really sure what sort of margins these guys run, but let’s assume 10% net margin as a generous number, you’re looking at $25M net profit for the whole MTB business of a large brand. You’re going to give $5M of that to one person? Cool
  • 1 0
 If generating return is the qualifier, then all talented bike company employees should be paid $1M+ yearly.
  • 1 0
 Agreed! From an athletes perspective, you should earn as much as you can, and not have some arbitrary limit. From the team manager you have to weigh that contract and look at potential ROI, how much those above you budgeted, etc.
  • 2 0
 @mtallman2: Although not purely a mtber (or a mtb racer at all in 2020) Van der Poel will probably have a close to 5 million dollar contract when his current contract is up in 2022.
  • 1 0
 @CreakyCaad: I’m admittedly not well informed on major continental race teams and contract structures, but I’d assume those big contract numbers are more to do with the teams having many tens (more?) of large sponsors that are not exclusively cycling-related? I definitely wouldn’t argue that top cyclists aren’t worth that much in total, just not to a single bike brand.

I think it’s not a stretch to say MVdP is worth numbers like that, considering generational talent level, adaptability, and amount of runway in front of him to build a huge career based on his age, but I wouldn’t expect all $5M (or maybe even most) of it to come from Canyon.
  • 24 0
 Most podiums- where is Amaury Pierron? Other?
  • 10 1
 MVP isn't there either. Cyclocross + XC + road means many more chances.
  • 7 0
 Yeah, I was wondering the same. That list was an unalphabetized shit show.
  • 5 0
 Added in Amaury and MVDP.
  • 2 0
 @sarahmoore: missing Laurie Greenland too...
  • 4 1
 @sarahmoore: and man of the moment jamie edmondson
  • 2 0
 Ben Cathro?!
  • 1 0
 I would think it’s MVDP without question. He wins pretty much every short track XC race he enters. Seemed like he figured out the XCO length as well. By the end of 2019 he was even demolishing Nino. He can win one day classics on the road as well as world tour stages. Not to mention he wins Saturday and Sunday on any CX weekend competes in.
  • 5 0
 @sarahmoore: missing Vlad from Pinkbike Academy! This poll is a joke...
  • 1 0
 Comparing the amount of podiums of different disciplines with different number of events makes no sense at all.
  • 25 6
 Interesting that most people agree it's suspension, geometry and tyres that are the key points. Then cockpit. Drivetrain not important at all. More alloy bike please, with Deore gears and Fox Factory suspension!
  • 13 3
 Well we all know it's actually tyres ( just for you, I've trained myself out of spelling it properly now) that are the thing racers are most picky about. You don't see many racers running tape on their brake levers, but you'll see plenty with blacked out sidewalls.
  • 4 0
 Drivetrains are a manageable upgrade, relatively. Dialed geo, sick top tier suspension, and grippy durable tires, save everywhere else to keep the bike mid to low priced. I think you're on to something.
  • 1 0
 Sounds pretty much like the “Pro Line” that Orange did recently.
  • 4 0
 @mountaincross: tires are pretty location specific. I’d happily buy a bike with no tires tbh.
  • 1 0
 Good tolerances pistons and time spent on custom shimstacks are worth more than everythimg else combined. You dont need VVC or kashima when the suspension is built for you.
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: Hang on - Candians don't use Centre/Tyre/Colour/Cheque/etc - mind blown.
  • 1 0
 @thingswelike: They should do though. They use neighbour not neighbor etc. Stupid lazy American 'English'. Besides, I am a transplant, hence training myself out of it.
  • 17 1
 I make my purchasing decisions based on two things: how well a bike's geo and kinematics suit me, and how well the brand treats its riders, its customers, and communities. Santa Cruz, Ibis, and Knolly seem to always be giving away bikes for good causes, Knolly has the builder edition frames with proceeds supporting NSMBA, Transition seem to be constantly building or funding new trails in Bellingham. On the rider side, I've always appreciated how the Syndicate treats its riders, and is a class act when it's time to say goodbye. Compare that team dynamic to that of Madison-Saracen; after the Danny debacle, I wouldn't consider a Saracen even if their bikes did appeal to me.
  • 3 2
 I base my purchasing decision on who do I know in what bike shop or who is now working for a bike manufacturer
  • 11 0
 @JezzaE: i go in a shop with a picture of a pro with his bike and say „ i want that“
  • 5 0
 I make my purchasing decisions based on... Oh, who am I kidding, my wife makes all the decisions
  • 1 0
 seriously if you want a laugh check out Danny's mrs on instagram mrssophiahart might be the reason Madison had enough, imagine living with all that going on!! Danny's in the dog house Smile
  • 12 0
 Pinkbike fans...

"Would you rather sign an up and comer for $20,000 a year for ten years or a seasoned rider for two years at $100,000 a year?"

> I want to develop the up and coming athlete - 2101

> I'll pay a premium for two years someone with a proven track record - 1565

Also Pinkbike fans...

"Which athlete would you most like to sign for 2021?"

> Loic Bruni - 425

> Loris Vergier - 335

> Matt Walker - 58

> Reece Wilson - 95
  • 11 0
 People picking literally any male for the “most podiums” answer didn’t watch Isabeau in 2019.

For components the pros care the most about it’s obviously tires. People run blacked out rubber all the time.
  • 4 0
 People picking single-sport athletes as “most podiums” are similarly shortsighted.
Objectively a rider like Pauline Ferrand-Prevot who wins world championships in multiple disciplines has to be the favorite.
The question wasn’t most podiums in a discipline you care about personally, it was most times standing on the steps. PFP or MVdP or riders like them are the obvious call here.
  • 1 0
 Pros care about tyres but I doubt that would influence the brand they ride for as you can black out the tyre brand but that wouldn’t work for a frame!
  • 13 1
 None of the above? I'd sponsor youtubers and blow up local riding scenes. There's more money to made with new people getting into the sport.
  • 3 0
 So valid, the local sponsored guys in my area really seem to influence what the people around them buy
  • 3 0
 Good call but many companies do all that too. They’ve got riders at all levels, getting different levels of support. When I worked at a shop, years ago Transition started giving me an employee deal before our shop was even a dealer. That move led to dozens of direct sales just from people around me. Haven’t been on a different brand since!
  • 13 1
 Isabeau is always on the podium, easy pick.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. She is a baller for sure
  • 1 0
 The social pages say she's got the biggest balls of all.
  • 2 0
 She’s a badass but how many intense bikes did she sell. I don’t think the answer is all too many. While brands should invest in women’s enduro to grow the sport and for bike devolopment I question how much that investment translates to short term sales. So while she is someone I would sponsor in a heart beat it’s really difficult to judge the value of an athlete like that despite her accomplishments and value to the sport in general.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: Did she sell Intense bikes any more or less than Jesse Melamed is selling Rocky Mountain? Just want to figure out what you really mean.
  • 4 0
 Men buy more bikes then women. Men are more interested in men’s marketing then women’s. I think brands need to make a concerted effort to get more women buying and riding bikes. But I can see why it can be hard to in a short term business sense paying Rachel, isabeu, or Cecile a ton of money to ride your bike even if they are the best at what they do. Don’t think it’s fair either but neither is life.
  • 6 3
 @bulletbassman: It's unfortunate but true, very few female professional sports are capable of surviving on their merits alone. If it's through not direct (and often mandated) subsidization from their male counterparts, it's via their "shared" use of existing infrastructure that was built to support men's teams (venues, marketing, back-room staff etc.). I stress shared because often the male members of a team are prohibited from their own gym while the female teams are training- for fear of the dreaded male gaze (or similar BS). But the women are free to come and go as they please because they require "more flexibility". Anyone who thinks privilege and entitlement are exclusively white male transgressions (let alone exist in any great degree) should spend a day observing the mess that is college sports administration.
From my own observations, the problem with many female sports is that they seem to think they can (and indeed they should) be given the same resources and be just as successful as their male counterparts right off the bat- not because they earned it, but because they're 50% of the population, and they can do everything the men can, right? Anything less is a clear sign of bias, sexism and patriarchy... ***YAAWWWNNNNNNN
The fact is that even after decades of investment, most female professional sports are not economically viable as standalone products. They simply don't pay the bills. For sure it's a social imperative to get as many involved as possible, but companies that try to get more women involved will typically require a higher outlay, for a lower return. It doesn't make financial sense to pursue them as aggressively when the ROI is so low compared to men. So one can understand why some companies resort to identity politics, when talk is cheap (I'm not saying I support such actions though, and I actively avoid companies which go down that particular rabbit hole). I've been saying it for a long time- men's professional sports were not built overnight- they grew organically, over decades, sometimes centuries and they had their fair share of disasters along the way. Just look at the history of the NHL for example. Women's sport, because of the faulty assumptions of the ideologues that drive it forward cannot accept any such setbacks as natural and necessary. They miss the opportunity to learn and adapt because they're so attached to the notion they have to "beat them at their own game".
Honestly, I'm excited for programs like the ones Nina and Vali have put together, because not only are their achievements such a kick in the teeth to the idea that professional female sport has to be implemented by a successful men's program, it also shows others what they can do it if they're willing to take responsibility for a little failure along the way.
  • 2 4
 @SmashySmashy: subsidation would not be my choice of words. These women are there because they earned it. They are under supported because of inequality. Much of which is to blame to male bias. Unfortunately far too many people live their lives based on what the world is and not what it could be. Bike companies absolutely need female support to grow the sport.

On further thought I should not have included Rachel in my list above. Her level of success in a country like the uk is undeniable. If anything she subsidizes her brothers at this point.
  • 3 0
 @SmashySmashy:
Pinkbike commenters never fail to deliver what I expect.
  • 2 0
 @bulletbassman: While I understand what you're getting at, you can't make the world what it could be without an adequate grasp of what it is, and where it's coming from. Basing your goals (and in particular any plans to realize them) on half-truths and inaccuracies can only lead to poor outcomes.
It's also a bit myopic to assume Rachel is subsidizing Gee and Dan. You might want to check for yourself the many pies the lads have their fingers in (Dyfi, Atherton Bikes, Hardline etc.)
  • 1 0
 @SmashySmashy: Rachel is known in uk outside mtb circles. Her perfect season accomplished that. She has had a better career because of her brothers for sure and each has value. But at this point from a marketing perspective she is by far the most valuable. I would also say her name gets much more respect among men than the enduro girls cause you can actually see her runs and how much she is above competition.

I get many brands do not have means for long term investment, but the fact brands like specialized don’t invest more in female riders is absolutely a mistake in the long term. Whether that investment should be quantity over quality is hard to say. But long term I’d say Cody Kelly sells a few bikes today but a long term women’s program sells thousands down the road.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: "But at this point from a marketing perspective she is by far the most valuable." Remember what I said about having inadequate knowledge of the past and present? Because Google Trends disagrees with you. Of the 3 Atherton siblings Dan has been the most searched for in the UK, on average, for more than a year. His spikes in search volume track nicely with those from Atherton Bikes, and to a lesser extent Dyfi Bike Park:

trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=GB&q=%2Fm%2F0479xbs,%2Fm%2F047bc4t,%2Fm%2F047c7nt,Atherton%20Bikes,%2Fg%2F11fmfz1m15

The problem with living your life based on what it could be becomes very apparent when other people have a different vision and act accordingly. The world does not share your dreams, nor should you expect it to. But I suspect given your earlier remarks, when you say "far too many people live their lives based on what the world is and not what it could be" that is actually what you expect.

The fact is the single biggest issue facing women's sport is not men, or inequality or bias. It is simply that proportionally fewer women wish to dedicate the time and effort required to be proficient athletes, let alone professional ones. And I think a lot of that is to do with having different priorities, and with that more perspective and sense.
  • 2 1
 @SmashySmashy:

Rachel gets 100x the coverage Dan does. She puts out the most media of 3 and gee gets way more coverage than Dan. Google searches is a pretty limited window.

I may be different than the vast public but my circle of mtb in both Oregon and pa largely reflect the same morals and thoughts I do. I don’t think you can compare men’s and women’s mtb to men’s and women’s basketball. We are a niche sport made up of largely educated middle class professionals from highly developed countries.

I also see that a major issue for mtb is the exclusiveness of it. The biggest barrier for that is getting more women on trails for sure. Rachel accomplishes this in a way very few female athletes do. That is a value that can’t be subsidized by a sweet ridge line video project or a race result.

I’m not trying to knock Dan or gee at all. Just simply stating without thinking about it I undervalued her in my post above.
  • 1 0
 @SmashySmashy: Wait, does EVERYONE get a trophy, are the mens and womens identical and how does Veronica Ivy feel about it?
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: I think, to be fair, you've swung so wildly in the opposite direction trying to correct your original error that you're now simply proffering an even larger fallacy. Dan and Gee probably would have achieved all the same success they enjoyed without Rachel, but it's very unlikely the converse would be true. So to claim she's subsidizing them is a bit much. Especially when you realize how instrumental Affy was to Rachel and Gee's success in the first place, and how successful he is in his own right outside of racing mountain bikes. I'm not trying to downplay Rachel's achievements, but my perspective on this holds up far better under scrutiny than yours, not least of all because it's supported by facts, which yours does not seem to be.
  • 1 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: Perhaps you and Veronica Ivy sat together on the bus to school? Maybe you even held hands? And that school was the kind full of people that think everyone should get a trophy...
  • 2 0
 @SmashySmashy: I was not lucky, like sp many (pathetic) modern kids......
  • 1 0
 @SmashySmashy: Oh, and no one had invented Ivy yet....
  • 2 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: It does seem like objective truth and facts are very much out of fashion, replaced with fantasy and delusion. Case in point: Ivy's cynical rebranding.
  • 1 1
 @SmashySmashy:

I said at this point and said she certainly had her career helped by her brothers.

But gee and Dan would be no where near as relevant without Rachel. Gee has not even been competitive for sometime. Dans work in dyfi is undeniable but it isn’t a perfect season. It isn’t a nearly double digit win at 2018 world champs. It isn’t the constant media stream rachel recieves out of her own and current merits.

There is no doubt trek paid them way way more money because of Rachel. Would they have gotten there without gee and Dan, no. But at this point she contributes the most value of the three.

I didn’t swing wildly in the other direction. I provided plenty of context for what I was saying. Maybe you are a little biased if you are so adamant about arguing that Rachel can’t possibly be worth more than her brothers at this point. I don’t mean that to put you down you don’t seem like a bad guy. I made a similiar comment, thought about it and realized I was wrong, and made an effort to correct myself cause it’s not just you and me who read these comments. Even now long after the page is died down.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: "I didn’t swing wildly in the other direction". I think you're exaggerating the significance of her perfect season, and downplaying or ignoring the many accomplishments and contributions of Dan and Gee. She hasn't even raced in more than a year.
Rachel's results are not in question, but the idea that she is the one supporting Dan and Gee, or keeping them relevant is just laughable. Atherton Bikes, Dyfi, Hardline etc. do not attract the envy and awe of the mtb masses because Rachel Atherton had a perfect season 4 years ago. Cop on.
  • 1 2
 @bulletbassman: I think you'd be surprised how valuable female riders are to a brand. I believe that a study recently showed that male riders sell bikes to men, female riders sell bikes to women, AND men. This coupled with the fact that female participation on MTB is booming, make signing females athletes a no brainer in my opinion.
  • 9 1
 Bit of a biased way to title your options there Wink 1 rider vs 3 and you get "Form a team of 3 that's unlikely to reach the podium". That doesn't sound appealing lol. The way I see it is you got 3 riders that can train together, film together, share interactions which makes me a lot more stoked to follow than a single centered person. Ideally you get a bit of both worlds but I don't think that going for 3 riders vs 1 means you'll never get a podium.

The best return on investment discipline is always the most awkward... Everyone knows that Slopestyle and DH don't only sell Slopestyle and DH bikes/parts. DH racing fans may only own 1 do it all bike which will be a trail bike... Does that mean EWS racing generated all of those trail bike sales? No.
Knowing what exactly sells bikes and parts is a really hard and pretty much impossible data to prove. But a well rounded combo of performance quality and something to get you stoked on (brand image, vibe, exciting content) is what brings your attention on one brand over another. I'm no expert... but it's not all black on white Smile Happy bikes errbody!
  • 9 0
 None of the above, blow the budget on 50 megalomaniacs with instagram accounts and a materialistic addiction to bikes.
  • 6 0
 Martin Maes is not on these lists, but he's gotta offer a tremendous value and ROI for GT.

Imagine if MVDP raced EWS and WCDH while occasionally showing up in the Top 10 at WCXC and some of the highest televised Euro road events? Would he sell any more bikes?

Or is it better to have a grassroots team that is huge and makes every young rider feel like they too have a chance of riding for Commencal?
  • 2 1
 I've added Maes in as well now... I went with the top 5-8 in the overall standings for each discipline in 2020 so that the list would be semi-manageable. After a DNF in Pietra Ligure, Maes wasn't in it but I think you're right, he should be on this list!
  • 12 3
 Nice GWIN snub on who would you sign...
  • 5 1
 Beat me to it. Yes, he there are a LOT of top and hot riders out there. Loic and Loris and on point and deservedly so currently. Add to the fact Gwin has had some injuries and a rough few years. That said, to see Gwin's name left of the list and other 'older' riders still there is puzzling. Sure we will get lots of grief for this opinion.. oh well. Amaury is another curious missing name..
  • 1 0
 Could it be because he owns part of Intense, so he isn't really a signable athlete at the moment?
  • 1 0
 @Austin014: According to Syndicate news today, Minnaar is staying, but here is still up there. Could be a point though...
  • 1 0
 Haha yeah, was confused looking at the list with no Gwin on there.
  • 4 1
 I went with the top 5-8 in the overall standings for each discipline in 2020 so that the list would be semi-manageable! No snubs intended.
  • 7 0
 I see people picking their bikes based on accessibility and local ambassadors riding bikes
  • 6 3
 I know a lot of people who race on the local level and can honestly say not one of them chose their bike based upon who won a top level race. No one is foolish enough to think that their bike is what go them to that victory. As a team manager its all about brand awareness and positioning. As a mid to back field local enduro rider I would buy the bike that promised to make ME better, not the top .00001 percent that I will never be half as good as.
  • 8 1
 Race win promotion stuff doesn't sell bikes to racers, it sells them to the masses. Having said that - how many Iron Horse Sundays were sold because Sam Hill (my pick for who I'd sign because he seems like fun bloke to have on a team) rode them? Nukeproof would be a premium Calibre if it wasn't for the legitimising wins of SH.
  • 3 0
 I don’t think you can say that with certainty. Marketing and sponsorships affect are subconscious more than most care to admit.
  • 2 0
 The reasons we give for choosing something aren’t necessarily the real reasons, whether that’s conscious or unconscious.

A good portion of our rational abilities are used for rationalizing an emotion-based decision.

And I agree with you, I’m just adding some other factors to the complex equation.
  • 1 0
 Eh, unless you get to demo like dozens of bikes, how do you even make that call?
  • 8 2
 As a mechanical engineer, I've never felt less competent to answer a pb poll intelligently.
  • 3 0
 Scott sponsors a lot of the local youth and high school teams, so I see their bikes EVERYWHERE on the local trails. Maybe it's just me, but I'm also noticing a lot of other people riding Scott bikes around here too. I don't know if they have a discount to parents or people connected to these local teams, but something tells me they have sold a lot of bikes based on their local support. I know local bikes shops and even bug brands sponsor races, and I'm glad they do, but I'm not choosing my bike based on the title sponsor of the local race. But if I wanted an XC bike... Lots of XC racers around me are riding these Scott's, maybe there's something to that.
  • 2 0
 @ClaytonMarkin: my next door neighbor got a pretty big discount on his bike by “working as a coach” on his sons team. I’m pretty sure it was a few practices and a race. He didn’t have to buy a xc bike so he picked up a carbon Genius and uses it from xc to days at the bike parks.
  • 7 1
 I’d sack off the pinkbike academy rubbish and fund a Walk the talk WC team
  • 3 0
 Welcome to my job 15 years ago. I had a sponsor that wanted a team (a Korean car company, which sounded good on paper but really paper is just something you wipe your ass with) and a budget that would pay for either one good rider or more riders with less concrete results. We went with the latter, which was probably the better option. Why? Two reasons. Firstly the sponsor did not pay on time (lesson for young players, not everyone in business is honest lol) so I had to run the team for a full year on credit cards and the generosity and trust of my riders parents, who covered their bills until we got paid. I had $43,000 and growing in credit card debt and that was with working two jobs on the side. Secondly, I was able to make results in lesser races sound good. We bombarded the sponsor with photos and video of podium results that made us look like the best team in the world.... in reality we were pretty shit. They signed on for another year and I ended up with Florentine Payet and Roger Rinderknect for a season which made us slightly less shit.
  • 3 0
 The question, "what's the most a rider should be paid" is kinda dumb... if a rider brings my company hundreds of millions in revenue, I would be happy to pay him/her a healthy portion of that. It's all about the value they create; they're just marketing employees.
  • 3 0
 This is completely rubbish ! The answers to any of these questions depend on your brand image strategy, where you are and where you want to be. Not all brands are focused on ultimate performance, and can aim at being more freeracer, freerider, lifestyle and so on. For each of these the answers will be different. I know that everyone like to bash on marketing but this clearly show how little of an understand of the discipline Pinkbike can have but have no problems using all the cliché.
  • 8 2
 Nutters reckon they're worth over $5m!!
  • 5 2
 If they can generate the sales then they’re worth it. It’s all about what they can bring to the brand.

Think back to the time when footballers weren’t so extravagantly paid, the same thing was said once the salaries started to skyrocket.

It’s the riders who make the sport. If and when it grows to a point where riders are in a sport that can bear $5m dollar salaries, they then are worth that salary.

Why should the bike companies reap all the rewards when it’s the riders who put life and limb on the line?
  • 1 0
 If they were, that would mean that 50 times more bikes had been sold and your local trails would look like a supermarket queue before a lockdown.
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure who it will be (I voted for Myriam Nicole), but I strongly suspect that one of the women will grab the most podiums this year. If Rachel Atherton is healthy and motivated, how often does she miss the podium? The seven women on this list are going to take 90% of podium spots for the year, whereas the men might spread them out a bit more in the deeper classification (though I wouldn't bet much against Bruni/Pierron).
  • 2 0
 I voted "downhill" but only b/c Rampage wasn't an option. I think more "regular" folk have heard of (and seen) Rampage, (whether the actual event, TV replays, Insta, or wherever) than most o those other things combined.

If I had a team, I'd want either 1) one top guy OR 2) riders who can analyze a bike and tell what works/doesn't work, how to improve the design...like engineer-riders; rather than: gimme a bike...HULK SMASH!!!! who gets a few good results (before landing in the ER ending their season).
  • 3 1
 Ha, all those people saying the EWS sells the most bikes. The series that is not discussed, aired, or written about on anything mainstream. If you are making your managing decisions based on exposure, why would you choose that one?
  • 1 0
 The EWS doesn't sell the most bikes but the bikes the are most popular with the public are also closest the bikes that the EWS riders use. The best advertising for bikes is having them strapped to the top of an SUV while it's trendy owner sips a coffee or beer after a ride with their cool attractive friends.
  • 2 1
 Fully agree. EWS is not selling bikes, Events like DH world cups or Rampage however do in my opinion!
  • 2 0
 The big thing people on pinkbike don’t realize is that some athletes cross disciplines. DH isn’t the only thing. A rider like MVDP can win cyclocross races, XC, and road in a single season. He can market easily 5 bikes in a single season, as well as everything that goes with it. A rider like Loic Bruni, while amazing, pretty much sticks to DH and markets everything associated with DH. As a account manager, it’s better to invest in a multi-disciplinary rider like Paulina, MVDP, Van Aert, and definitely the guys mixing it up in both Enduro and DH. 1 discipline isn’t always enough anymore unless you’re the absolute best (such as Nino). If anyone cares what I think...
  • 2 0
 I would hire men #61 to #80, women #16 to #80 and an army of mechanics. I'd give each of the riders a bike, a squat rack, and a van. If any of them was struggling I'd strap an empty carbon box to thier downtube and tell them to twiddle the fork's compression dial halfway through thier run. For the Christmas party I'd hire a wind tunnel and we'd take advantage of the UCIs new recreational drug rules (although fie the rest of the year I'd be quite strict about training and looking after yourself). I'd hire a massive truck, fill it with spares, coffee, the mechanics and Ben Cathro, and drive around Europe riding and watching World Cups. In the off season I'd kick back and wait for the bosses to top up my marketing budget.
  • 6 0
 Where is Amaury.
  • 1 0
 En Provence
  • 10 5
 More diversity in the bike industry, please.
  • 4 0
 I want brand ambassadors in communities that grow the sport at the grassroots level. Relatable heroes.
  • 1 0
 I kind of disagree with the "blow the budget on a top rider" answer, in my experience you need to balance the salary with the activation money. I have a 1:1 rule for sponsorship... If you pay a rider $100k, you should also invest $100k in activation funds to communicate the partnership. Without the 1:1 rule I've seen sponsorship expectations fail.
  • 1 0
 Although most riders will be buying an enduro/trail or XC bike, I feel like most casual riders will follow DH because the pros are a smaller group to be able to folllow. Also, these pros will be making edits while riding trail back home on non-DH bikes, doing promos for trail bikes, or crossing over into enduro. Seems like DH gives companies the most bang for buck. SC's videos using their pro DHers to launch trail & XC models are perfect examples of this, as well as Gwin on the 2018 Capra vid. Now hardcore fitness and XC fans not so much, but when Nino's doing tabletops on a promo vid, he'd skinning the cat for XC the other way around...
  • 1 0
 The Social Media Following question is def more in-depth based on the previous question of "Would you choose Top-level athletes vs up n' coming?" Yes, in today's day & age, sponsors pretty much require a solid following on social media to help push out advertising & if you're someone who wants to make it, you better start building a brand for yourself (or be absolutely insane to get picked up without one & have that team start it for you).

With that said, if you're looking to recruit top talent only, their following has most likely been established & marginal follower counts wouldn't be a deciding factor (ex. I want to grab either Gwin or Bruni. Both are insanely big names in the industry, so it really doesn't matter to me how many IG followers they have, but who I feel is best for my team/who I could help win).

If you're looking at an up n coming rider (either from Jr X or just a privateer), then I'd forsure look into the following base they've grown & base choices off how I can get them the best possible sponsors/opportunities through that following. Not only are you seeing their progress over time via their posts, but how they portray themselves naturally without being shoveled sponsorships into their content. I think that's a huge thing to recognize.
  • 4 0
 I think there should have been a question to what is the MINIMUM salary a professional rider should be?
  • 1 0
 The question of how much a pro athlete "should" be paid is pointless. In any sport, the athletes make money proportional to the revenue they generate. This is why Champions League and MLB contracts are so huge, with NBA not too far behind. Sooo many people watch those sports, therefore, a lot of money is made. There would be no sport without the athletes so as the sport continues to grow and generate more revenue, the athletes should make more money.
  • 3 2
 How is Kade Edwards not an option for person to sign? He's the most talented rider in the field right now. He's the next gen Brendog. Show up to anything and kill it. Might not win but always a top 10 threat.

Vories/Strait/Brendog/Edwards.. there's always one every few years.
  • 1 0
 Khaos too, and Ratboi
  • 1 0
 I'd want someone in the top 10 in XC/DH/enduro on my bike and then I'd spend the rest of the money on local pinners/influencers in multiple hot markets. People do care what bikes finish in the top 10 at WC level races and they also care what bikes are on the podium at local/regional races where they are racing or know people who are, but they probably don't care much about teams placing outside of top 20 at WC events.
  • 4 1
 If I owned a bike company: I would not have a sports marketing manager or sponsor the racer/race team. I would employee brand/lifestyle ambassadors.
  • 1 0
 I don't understand why the discipline question skipped Freeride. With the rise of social media, an athlete who dedicates themselves to going bigger, and going farther into amazing landscapes no one has seen before seems very valuable to me. Add a medal at Rampage and you've got my number one pick.
  • 1 0
 I don't think it's any contest who will get the most podiums if we include all bike races combined. In 2019 MVDP had 12 road podiums(11 wins), 29 cyclocross podiums(28 wins), and 6 olympic mtb podiums(3 world cup wins out of only 5 appearances)

Add it all up and its 47 podiums, 42 wins. I don't think any other pro mountain biker even races half that many days in a year.
  • 1 0
 Pinkebike "I only ride downhill" crowdshowing their colors with 0 idea of how marketable someone like Mathieu Van der Poel is. That dude could legitimately win titles in 3 different disciplines and people over here wanking it to loic and loic only. Widen your gaze people!! I'm just glad the marketing team isn't run by you.
  • 1 0
 I remember working with a brand where our athlete manager sponsored people in specific disciplines that didn't involve our product (downhill / freeride, etc), yet dropped the athlete that won the best example of a discipline that did (Transprovence). Sports marketing ain't rocket science, but I'm always blow away by the incredibly bad decision making that often goes with it... also, it's not always about competition, in fact if often mostly about everything else. That gets overlooked a lot too... I sponsor based on personality first. If you're not good to work with, then i don't need to work with you. A podium doesn't give the same return as a program and the best programs are collaborative. Fact.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer @mikelecy Oh man, there are SO many problems with this poll.

"Keeping in mind you're trying to sell bikes here, would you rather sign 1 top-3 athlete, 3 top-30 athletes or 20 top-80 riders?" There should have been an option for 2-3 top-10 or top-15 athletes. That would have been a more compelling option.

"Which discipline of mountain biking do you think has the best return on investment?" This is a really difficult question to answer. And it mostly comes down are we talking ROI for the sponsor or for the athlete. Olympic definitely takes top marks for the athlete, but only addresses XC. UCI World Cup is equally good for the sponsor and athlete and serves XC and downhill quite well. I think company's make out pretty well on Slopestyle. A major factor here is size of audience exposed to each discipline that is actually inclined and able to tune-in/ attend events. I don't have a real good way to gauge how big the fan-pool is for each discipline, but DH and Slopestyle seem to drum up large crowds. XC just doesn't have enough excitement factor for in-person race spectating. EWS probably draws a similar sized crowd now, maybe larger, than DH since it's more relatable. As for where the money is, Olympics, UCI, EWS, and probably Slopestyle.

"Would you rather sign an up and comer for $20,000 a year for ten years or a seasoned rider for two years at $100,000 a year?"
This is a really poorly formed question I think. It should be, " Would you rather sign an up and comer for $55,000 starting with incremental increases of $5,000/yr for 10years (ending in a salary of $100,000 for sum total contract value of $680,000) or a seasoned rider starting at $100,000 a year with incremental increases of $5000/yr for 6 years? Near equivalent contract value, one athlete much more expensive than the other.

"What's the most you think a professional mountain biker should be paid?" This is the super tough question, that has a big "it depends" asterisk on it. Not all disciplines should be paid the same, since they all do not have equivalent value to the sponsors. I do think athletes in the top tiers of MTB such as Olympic, UCI World Cup, and maybe EWS should be compensated like their cycling brethren. That is to say $1-2.5M per year would not be unreasonable (assuming bike/gear sales are near equivalent). Outside of those high visibility, highly regarded sanctioned areas, I think professional riders should be in at least the $100,000-250,000 bracket, if not a little higher. It needs to be appreciated that athletics is not generally a 30yr career, you get at best 15years and that time will be hard on the athlete's body. There is much risk in being an athlete and it is expected that taking that risk will be rewarded via high value contracts otherwise the risk is not worth the reward.
  • 1 0
 Wut? How could they be promoting YT before YT even existed? An even now how can they promote a brand in slope when YT dont even make slope bikes for sale to the public?
Theres plenty of free ride, Fest series an video edits...
  • 2 1
 Where is kade edward for which one would you sign he’s fast, sponsored by red bull, huge social media and regularly qualify a for world cups and might go and do hardline and rampage
  • 3 0
 Us answering question about salary.. Trek watching and deleting number in MS Word doc titled LV..
  • 3 0
 I think brake lever position is what riders are most picky about, particularly the guys with a 3rd ball...
  • 5 1
 Donate the money to Trail Building Instead.
  • 2 0
 Lol. That’s like burning money, there’s a reason bell isn’t doing the built program anymore. Any trail support is purely for write offs or some board members pet project
  • 4 0
 PB readers be googling "who is Mathieu van der Poel"
  • 1 0
 Anyone who thinks anyone in cycling is going to have more podiums than him (with the exception of maybe Wout) is crazy
  • 3 0
 Missing a crucial demographic: I would sign Jamie Edmondson or Oisin O'Callaghan in a heart beat.
  • 2 0
 Seeing results of votes, we know that PB readers just don't know where's the 'most amount of money invested on an athlete' returns.
  • 1 0
 Where?
  • 1 1
 The second question is basically answered by YT and Aaron Gwin. They put the Gwinner on their frames for a few years, exponentially increased their profile in the market, and then both parties moved on. If you're a brand looking to make some noise and expand quickly, a big name can be worth the investment.
  • 1 0
 Anyone else think a few of the questions are a bit ambiguous? Do they mean brand of gear, or just their specific setup? Are you asking how much a pro should be paid by their main sponsor, or their overall income?
  • 2 0
 No Brendog or Aggy for most wanted rider?
-- now that the cat's out of the bag, give us a shout if you're interested Brendan or Aggy. Ha (no, but really)
  • 1 0
 Brendog got robbed! WC + Rampage + YouTube = Scott getting good value
  • 1 0
 .....is a marketing manager...

.... gets every poll "wrong"

Lol this data is only useful to PB or others with very similar angles. Of course, for them, it is perfect data.
  • 2 0
 Jheeez , enough of the polls PB! I wonder if they sell the data they collect
  • 1 0
 If you’re getting something for free... you’re the product.
  • 1 0
 So many options to choose, so few sides a dice has. Gotta buy some more dices when Pinkbike is looking for a easy way to manage bike business next time.
  • 3 0
 Yall sleepin on Van Der Poel
  • 3 0
 Anyone who thinks anyone in cycling is going to have more podiums than him (with the exception of maybe Wout) is crazy
  • 1 0
 Maybe it’s not only about winning...
  • 2 0
 Because pink bike had no clue how big Xc is outside of North America
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy: And CX, and road. To put it into perspective: One CX WC race will have more fans in attendance than every DH WC race combined.
  • 1 0
 @c-lion: maybe this poll is?
  • 1 0
 Anyone else enjoy messing with corporate data mining? Wink I sure do, now pay Nino 5 million to eBike around with special pedals.
  • 3 1
 If I ran a bike company I would be sponsoring youtubers rather than EWS riders
  • 1 0
 Commencal seem to be the brand that get the right balance in their marketing. Great edits, good race team and social media influencers.
  • 1 0
 What i don't understand is YT probably paid Gwin 1 million a year but obviously YT didn't make sell over million revenue of YT's?
  • 1 0
 Saying Nino isn’t the best or that he won’t get the most podiums shows how out of touch many PB readers are with all around mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 Question 2 deserves another option:

"Pick a bunch of crazy and fast young frenchies to aim at world domination within 3 to 5 years"
  • 2 0
 I just want @wynmasters & wyntv. Whatever selections get me that are what I want.
  • 1 0
 Which Disciplne?
Pinkbike: EWS
Which rider would you sponsor:
Pinkbike: Loic Bruni

I don't think Loic Bruni is racing EWS anytime soon.

J.
  • 1 0
 Very surprised how many people selected male riders for most podiums. Spread of ability and fewer athletes mean that a female rider would be a safer bet.
  • 1 0
 100% my purchasing decisions have always been based on WC winnings. It started with Greg and I still want a v10 for my next rig
  • 1 0
 Wow really surprised to see such a low vote for Amaury in 2021 podiums. Is just because he's injured?
  • 1 1
 i like pros who go build creative high consequence shit better than enduro racers. too bad racing is the only thing bike companies care about anymore
  • 1 0
 Not true. There are guys making a life purely off content and maybe a few competitions or races.
  • 1 0
 If you don't think MVDP will get on the most podiums, you clearly don't actually watch cycling
  • 1 0
 Yep.... especially considering frequency of schedule. Silly to answer anybody else unless you just don't know there is cycling outside of DH and Enduro.
  • 2 0
 Socials over race results...doh
  • 2 0
 no aaron gwin on the list. pinkbike calling it like it is
  • 1 0
 I'm sure a year with XC Olympic races sells more bikes than Enduro Worlds races will in the same year.
  • 1 2
 Question 9: Should identity politics have any place in mountain biking?
O No
O HELL NO!
O It should be nuked from space with the power of a thousand Suns, never to be seen or heard from again.
  • 2 0
 If I were a sports marketing manager....... I'd be fired in 10mins
  • 1 0
 No matter what brand I'm supposed to manage, I'll sign Jamie Edmondson in a heartbeat
  • 1 0
 First glance at the title and photo of the riders before a cup of coffee, i thought it was Pole announcing a DH Team! LOL!!!
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike: Hello, major bike companies marketing team, we've got that data you asked for.....but its gonna cost you.
  • 1 0
 I went all in for Vali and was glad to see I wasn’t alone. She’s going to wreck 2021 like old Atherton years.
  • 2 0
 MvdP.
  • 1 0
 XC Elim about to TAKE OFF
  • 1 0
 Wish I could sign Jordie Lunn and make Rough AF 4, 5, & 6!
  • 1 0
 Fuck marketing. Make great bikes and let them sell themselves.
  • 1 0
 A bit bummed Evie Richards wasn't an option.
  • 1 0
 Where is Jamie Edmonton? Id sign that kid for sure.
  • 2 0
 CLAW 2021!
  • 1 0
 Who would I want to hire? Brage Vestavik would be my #1 pick
  • 1 0
 what are they trying to know????
  • 2 0
 Matt walker
  • 1 1
 Another poll to sell to brands... and you guys voting being explored for free.
  • 1 0
 Seeking "best crash" athletes.
  • 1 0
 Danny Hart retiring then?
  • 1 0
 These polls are missing some SERIOUS names
  • 1 0
 On the last poll, I honestly think morgane eill getvthe most podiums
  • 1 0
 Ews for best roi lol
  • 1 0
 Really, like who?
  • 1 2
 How voted for max $250k?! Got some pinkos in here
  • 1 1
 To keep them in it for the love
  • 1 0
 @ultimatist: you can't do it unless you love it no matter what you're getting paid. the bodily risk is too high to not have a cushion when you retire. unbelievable. you got kids playing computer games making 10x what these elite athletes make.
  • 2 0
 @mm732: I agree, I was just being facetious. The compensation should be commensurate to the size of the market.
  • 3 4
 where is Gwin?
  • 1 1
 everyone would just pick Gwin for all the asnwers, as thats what TY already did a few years back, got the top winning athlete that put them on top of the podium, sold a bunch from that as it did help them get a little more recognition, and dropped for upcoming riders.
  • 2 0
 @leondelmonte: Not sure that it is true, the last 2 years their has been several riders faster than Gwin. Like Pieron and Bruni!!!!
  • 1 0
 @ElVenezuelan: and this thing called free ride
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: It doesn't really have a competitive season. Rather is it just a few events. It seems to be the case that the athletes that compete in freeride competitions like Redbull Rampage also partake in Slopestyle events. So in that respect, freeride is something of a supplemental option to Slopestyle riders.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: soz , my response was in reference to the many freeriders that made YT big, more so than racing I'd say
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Maybe, but again many of those freeriders ride Slopestyle which has way more events. Plus do we know how big YT is compared to the competition? The reality may not be glamourous as the perception may seem. I'm not aware of YT's presence in Slopestyle, big? little? not present? Surely YT has more presence than Redbull Rampage.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Can not recall any slope riders on YT at crankworks at all maybe some of the lesser known smaller comps like FMB, where'as YT (an commencal) are HUGE in free ride
YT have a DJ bike but I've never seen any one riding one in the wild, and a VERY limited slope bike that I've only seen big name pro's having but, again not competing on
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: That may be true, but the riders that have put YT on map, predominantly ride Slopestyle as their main game, and then partake in freeride comps as an added extra. I think YT's main sources of exposure are MTB films, DH races, and free-ride comps.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Andreu Lacondeguy and Cam Zink come to mind first.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: maybe a long time ago before YT was a thing, when they where on YT they started Fest series to take free ride in a bigger direction
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Exactly. They were a catalyst in giving YT brand recognition. Beyond a certain point a brand has enough of a following that grassroots promotion will sustain the sales of more bikes. Still though it is imperative that all bike brands promote their product at representative venues. Where does YT promote their products these days? Surely at many venues that are not freeride oriented since there simply are not many sanctioned freeride events each year. I do not track the field marketing of bicycle brands though, so I am merely speculating on YTs strategy. I do suspect that the same crowd that follows/watches Slopestyle likely follows freeride as well due to their similarity (aerials and large obstacles).
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