A Decade Of Digital First Cycling Marketing.
09 November 2020 - Bath, UK: SHIFT Active Media, the world’s leading marketing agency dedicated to cycling is celebrating 10 years since it first opened its doors for business.
SHIFT started as a three-person team in 2010 in Bath. Simon Wear, an experienced media professional, founded the agency out of a desire to set up his own business built around his lifelong passion for cycling. Joined by Peter Stothard and Manolo Bertocchi, the focus for SHIFT at the beginning was to help cycling marketers navigate the rapidly evolving specialist and digital media landscape, leveraging their deep understanding of all things bikes – something which remains at the core of SHIFT today.
SHIFT’s founding clients included fizik, FSA and Santini and within a year they went on to add the likes of Wiggle, Selle Royal and Colnago. The SHIFT team also quickly began to broaden the agency’s offering, in line with their growing client base – building on their initial Media Planning and Buying capability, by adding Creative and Public Relations. In recent years SHIFT has been appointed by big industry players Kask, Continental, SRAM and Bosch E-Bike Systems.
There have been many notable highlights across the decade, starting with a seminal campaign for fizik, which featured the former British road and TT champion David Millar - captured in a rest day at a grand tour. A year later, SHIFT took Wiggle on TV for the first time, they even succeeded in getting Tour de France legend ‘Didi the Devil’ to swap his traditional red and black outfit for an orange Wiggle-branded suit to promote the retailer. In 2015 the agency was appointed by RCS, to run the press office for the historic Giro d’Italia.
In more recent years SHIFT has executed stand out advertising campaigns for leading mountain bike brand YT Industries, with bike launch films featuring Christopher Walken, Vinnie Jones and Japanese manga animation. SHIFT has also pitched for and won several high profile media planning and buying assignments - including Zwift (working with the brand since it was in beta), Rapha (the leading ecommerce retailer) and iconic British brand Brompton. They also added a class leading Strategy and Research function to the growing list of agency services.
Fast forward to 2020 and SHIFT Active Media remains headquartered in the city of Bath but is run by Managing Director - Wayne Brown, and is home to a dynamic team of more than 40 cycling marketing experts, recent senior hires include Client Service Director - Will Fripp, Executive Creative Director - Matt Doman and Head of Strategy & Research - Doug Baker. The team now prides itself on creating strategic marketing for the bike industry's most progressive clients. Combining their global experience with local insights, across all forms of riding - road, gravel, mountain bike and commuter.
Simon Wear, SHIFT Active Media Founder & CEO of Play Sports Group, said: “I’m incredibly proud that SHIFT have reached this milestone, and want to say a heartfelt and humble thank you to our clients and all the hardworking members of the agency for getting us to this point – it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Although 2010 doesn’t sound like too long ago, I’ve certainly seen a huge amount of change in the bike industry since then in how brands communicate with their audiences. SHIFT was there as the digital world started to evolve rapidly, and today the team continues to strive to be at the forefront of change, helping add value to our clients' brands wherever we can. I’m sure the next decade holds a lot more in store for us too.”
Wayne Brown, Managing Director of SHIFT Active Media, added: “This anniversary gives us a great chance to reflect on the last ten years, the work we’re proud of and the strong relationships we’ve built with our clients. SHIFT has a multi-skilled, multi-talented team that blends decades of cycling industry knowledge, with modern blue chip agency expertise, all underpinned by unique data and insight. But we also have one thing in common – a passion for all things bikes – be it competing in a time trial at a national level or a family ride at the weekend. I think this energy is always tangible when you meet the team and I believe it makes a difference to our clients.”