BikeBiz Awards 2019 one year on: Yeti Cycles

The BikeBiz Awards is returning for its 12th iteration this year in a digital format, as we all continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding live events and COVID-19. But while the world has undoubtedly changed since 2019’s ceremony at The Cycle Show, it still remains more vital than ever to recognise and celebrate the hard work of professionals and companies within the cycling sector.

As we look ahead to 2020’s edition, BikeBiz caught up with last year’s winners to find out what they’ve been up to since. Today, we hear from Nat Campbell, global sales director, Yeti Cycles, which won Bike Brand of the Year 2019.

How has 2020 been for Yeti?
2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for everyone. The challenges are mostly derived from the uncertainty. We’ve made decisions with little clarity on what the future holds; staying flexible and adapting to change has been paramount to success. The Anniversary ARC, ARC and SB115 launches were great and well-timed with the influx of new or returning mountain bikers as well as rounding out the line for our existing consumer base.

A huge success for the brand locally in CO was our PPE project. In April things were slow, trails were still covered in snow and we had staff that was more or less idle. We got to work doing what we could to give back to our community. With donations of elastic headlight/goggle straps from Black Diamond and Smith, we were able to produce and donate 20,000 shields to front line workers. The shields were well received by essential workers in a time of need. The project provided a sense of purpose and involvement when everyone needed a distraction.

How do you think the market has changed in recent months?
In the short-term, people are desperate to get outside and interact with their environment or friends in a different way. Long-term is harder to say – the big question is how long will the tail end of it be? I know some of the new customer base is here to stay. However, I imagine a good percentage of them will return to cars and slowly forget their newfound focus on health and the outdoors as things return to normal.

What did it mean to win a BikeBiz Award last year?
It showed how a strong brand with a solid legacy and the right international partners can flourish no matter the overall size. It confirmed we are doing things the right way for the right reasons. We’re a small team of dedicated mountain bikers, living in the mountains and making bikes we want to ride. We trust there are enough like-minded riders out there who are after the same bikes and can identify with the brand’s ethos the same way we do and it paid off.

How important do you believe it is to celebrate companies within the cycling industry, especially during this time?
While mountain biking is growing, it is still a small percentage of the population. We rely on each other to keep building awareness and often work together on trail advocacy. On a larger scale, Eliot Jackson’s Grow Cycling Foundation has brought many of us together in the pursuit of making cycling culture more inclusive and diverse. We might all work at different companies and be competitors, but we are in this business for the same reasons and in many cases are friends. We are looking forward to cold beers and rides with you all again in the future.

The Awards is returning for its 12th iteration this year in a digital format, forgoing a live event to ensure those working tirelessly to keep the sector’s wheels turning can receive the recognition they deserve while ensuring the safety of all involved.

The winners will be revealed online on Friday 11th December. For sponsorship and promotion opportunities, please contact Richard Setters.

Tannus Tyres will act as the headline sponsor for this year’s BikeBiz Awards, and will also sponsor the Innovation from a Newcomer Award. Pure Electric is sponsoring the Cycle Advocacy Award for 2020.

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