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Dec. 17, 2016, 2:33 p.m. -  Cam McRae

#!markdown A Preliminary Response from Specialized (more to come) Marketing versus Advocacy is not an either or proposition; both components are equally critical. The biggest difference is that our marketing efforts are extremely visible (that is how marketing works…), however, the work we do on the advocacy side is not nearly as visible to the average rider. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about this because we’ve struggled to come up with ways to let riders know about the work we do without boring them to death. It’s easy to get people to watch a video of the Coastal Boys or Matty Hunter shredding some trail but it’s not nearly as easy to get the word out about things like sending our people to speak at IMBA summits, rallying our staff and athletes to do trail work days, participating with organizations like the BPSA to ensure a sustainable future for all types of cycling, etc. As critical is all that stuff is, it just isn’t very sexy. A company of our size and position in the industry has a huge responsibility to be stewards of the cycling community, and it would be incredibly near- sighted of us to aggressively market pedal-assist bikes without simultaneously doing the work to ensure long-term sustainability. What good would it do us to make a bunch of money over the next year or so selling pedal-assist bikes if it meant jeopardizing access for all bikes, thereby negatively impacting future sales? To prevent that sort of thing from happening, we are actively involved in many facets of trail access and advocacy – some of our efforts are specific to pedal-assist but many apply to cycling as a whole. We have been big supporters of IMBA for many, many years and have heavily funded and worked closely with them. We are also part of the BPSA, leading the charge towards a sustainable future for the bicycle industry, doing a lot of work with them specific to the challenges of pedal-assist. We have also undertaken a massive effort to educate our retailer network in regard to making sure their customers are clear on where these types of bikes can be ridden legally, as well as providing tools for our retailers to work with local land management agencies on safe and responsible solutions. Another organization we support is People For Bikes, they do amazing work that benefits us all. We strongly believe there is a place in our community for all types of riders and all types of bikes, and we are doing everything within our power to ensure that vision remains a reality for a long time to come. – Sean Estes This was also posted below the article. I still have specific questions for Specialized that I hope to address directly with them.

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