I've been watching with interest the journey of Caroline Buchanan after seeing her UCI World Cup win at Mt Stromlo MTB Park in 2008 in Elite 4X (think BMX on a hillside with a range of extra natural obstacles to make the race more challenging). An awesome sight to see a Canberra local girl take on world class competitors and win in her own backyard.
As a father of 3 spirited kids (including 2 girls) who love their bike riding, she's a natural focus point for inspiration and focus, especially since our local BMX track (for recreational rides) whilst living in Canberra was her home track. It also gave me a chance to see how hard some of the local kids would hit the deck when a jump was mis-timed (fortunately, not one of my kids).
It's been great to see the emergence of Buchanan Next Gen and the Sponsorship pattern that Caroline is adopting, using her Sportaroo campaign as a crowd funded operation to help supporters understand the costs involved in competing at a national level, as well as getting something back in return. It shows she understands very well the needs of sponsors and athletes, doing some great things to help make the connections between brands and athletes - I can see the influence of Layne Beachley's Aim for the Stars program at work. Choices are clear, return on your investment is transparent and it's a friction-free User Experience. All good stuff, but rarely found in sports marketing. That's what she's done to help make this different, breaking the mould of sponsor-as-ATM.
It's why we're delighted to make a small contribution as helmet logo sponsor to help lift the profile of the girls, keep their heads and minds safe and give them their best shot at competing on the national and international stage. They're building bike-skills, race-skills and life-skills as they experience how things can be handled with style, grace and professionalism as emerging Australian athletes. I know more girls will take inspiration from their efforts. Let's help them hit their sponsorship target!
Now go get em' grrrls.