There are brands, personalities, and event promoters that have achieved exceptional accomplishments in 2016. Here we are examining forward-thinking concepts for the sport, product design, or marketing campaigns that were surprising and inspiring, with the potential to revolutionize specific segments of the industry.
The Industry Award has been created to honor the accomplishments of teams and persons who are ready to revolutionize the known and build something entirely new. Idealists and realists, these award winners are a driving force within the industry with their innovative concepts and approaches. They’re also a source of inspiration for others, and proof of the benefits of pushing boundaries. This year, our international award team highlighted three winners across three categories.
Votec Gravel Fondo
Event of the year
Despite last year’s Industry Award going to a similar concept – namely the Califor- nian-born Grinduro – the Votec Gravel Fondo Event is even more elusive to de ne, blurring the boundaries of a race, a tour, a sportive, and a marathon event. The com- petitive elements are optional, and the refreshment and coffee stops obligatory.
The Votel Gravel Fondo continues to push progress towards merging various disci- plines of cycling and prioritizing a good time and a shared experience. With partici- pants ranging from pro road riders to downhillers, the Votec Gravel Fondo proved that fun and camaraderie are bigger draws than performance or podiums. Not only did everyone leave properly stoked from the experience, it also laid the scene for new friendships and great shared memories – this is surely the future of sporting events.
Newcomer of the year
The new Berlin-based bike brand HNF Heisenberg have launched an innovative sales and service network where the consumer is king. They’ve decentralized sales, advice, test riding, and servicing so that it is within direct access of the consumer. Who among us would be opposed to a hand-delivered bike to test at home or a visit from the brand’s customer services to repair the bike? HNF have set up a great on- line portal for information where you can customize bikes and book test rides too. Then their staff swings by with the test eet for a test ride and one-on-one chat. The brand is basically coming straight to the consumer, which gives them the chance to receive direct feedback on their products and cement relationships with their consumers. For the buyer, this saves time and stress while bringing them peace of mind regarding a purchase they’re happy with. As the expectations of today’s consumers are more and more demanding, this brand’s innovative sales approach re ects how successful customer service can look. In today’s increasingly competitive market, service splits the good from the great.
Design team of the year
Smart products with arti cial intelligence will soon become part of our future, but the challenge has gone beyond merely collecting data: the focus is now on how to interpret it so that the user bene ts in a direct and easy-to-understand manner. This is where we see the Radar Pace from Oakey as setting a standard. A groundbreaking product, the Radar Pace are much more than just a pair of stylish sun- glasses.They have the ability to gather real-time data during your training ride and give voice-activated real-time feedback, analysis, and coaching. Elevating eyewear into a personal trainer, Radar is ushering in a new era of training.
Text: Christoph Bayer | Fotos: Diverse
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