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September 21, 2008

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So many other sponsors are involved in cycling....grass roots level / team level / behind the scenes / etc I am baffled why singling ING out?

Almost all the sponsor props I give on GamJams are those who work at the grass roots level (look at most of the GamJams Tech articles - which focus on the companies that support teams, even though none of them support GamJams), and all the sponsor programs on the site are designed with them in mind. For example, I've turned down several offers to advertise on the site by mail order bike shops because I don't want to compete with the LBS, and sponsors of local teams have asked to advertise here as well, but I don't want to compete with the teams for their budgets. I'll still do everything I can for the folks who support us at the local level.

But ING placed a big bet here - not just with the $10K prize for the winner, but by giving every kid in the kids' race a $25 Orange Savings Account, and mobilizing their staff to ride down all the way from Wilmington. On top of that, it's a first year event scheduled at the very end of the season with almost no lead-time. This was no bombproof marketing investment for any sponsor - particularly for one whose leading product is a savings account, at a time when nobody has anything to save.

I've long believed that the greatest return for sponsoring cycling comes before the event and, particularly, after - through all the media that racers themselves generate and consume. I think this is as good an opportunity to prove it, and ING may very well be the kind of company that listens. So to answer your question, I guess I've put more thought into this response than into the original post and idea. Just seemed like the right thing to do.

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