USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States and the primary supporter of America’s elite and Olympic cyclists. But the organization also provides valuable services and events for non-competitive “enthusiast” riders—a fact that’s often lost on the majority of cyclists. The organization needed to broaden its membership base to include more of these casual bike-lovers.
At Fact & Fiction, our task was to sell a membership product designed specifically for non-competitive, enthusiast cyclists, without alienating the core audience of competitive racers.
We made it our mission to find the common ground that linked cyclists of all levels—those who race competitively, those who ride for exercise, and those who just pedal for fun—with USA Cycling. Custom primary research helped us discover the unique rituals that racers and enthusiasts share when participating in the sport they love.
We created a multi-channel campaign focused on the specific (and eccentric) behaviors of cyclists. By photographing distinct and relatable scenarios paired with self-acknowledging copy, we demonstrated how USA Cycling understands and celebrates cyclists—leading them to discover that USA Cycling memberships are relevant to riders of all levels.
We ran half the images in print magazines and the other half on social media channels, where we challenged cyclists to share their own photos of their garages, closets, and more for a chance to win a free membership while showing off their impressive collections to the community.
“A lot of agencies do beautiful work without grounding it in insight. And a lot of agencies can bring you insight but can’t pay it off. Fact and Fiction represents the sweet spot and delivers incredible work grounded in business-changing insight.”
During the two-week launch, we received over 300 fan photo submissions, proving that our work was indeed relatable (and, in some cases, not even exaggerated). This resulting engagement rate solidified our execution as the strongest social initiative in USA Cycling’s history.
Most importantly, we sold double the amount of non-competitive memberships in two months than in the entire previous calendar year combined. And when measured against the previous year’s average monthly sales, we drove more than 5x new enthusiast memberships per month.
Finally, 70% of the total memberships we drove were competitive racer memberships, reaching elite and enthusiast cyclists alike without alienating USA Cycling’s core audience. All told, we set a personal record for all involved, and we can’t wait to break it again.
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