Corporate Christmas cards are landing on doormats thick and fast. Many are still round-robin signed, totally un-personalised and mailed from a central database. CRM be blowed! However, Fishers Outdoor Leisure is now donating its Xmas card budget to charity and Russell Merry of Hot Wheels has today told he is doing the same

It’s a Merry Christmas without cards

“In the light of the reported response to the corporate, less than personal Christmas card, Hot Wheels will be making a donation to the Leukaemia Research Fund instead of sending Xmas cards,” Russell Merry of Hot Wheels told

Hot Wheels has 804 dealers and will be totting up the postage and card costs and then sending a cheque to the cancer charity that means the most to the Merry family.

“Our granny died of leukaemia and left us enough money to buy the shop we started in and go on holiday to the USA where we ended up at the first Interbike show in Las Vegas as our holiday was coincidentally at the same time. The rest is history!”

Hot Wheels dealers will be informed of the no-Xmas card policy in the Hot Wheels monthly newsletter due for posting soon.


For those who don’t know, CRM is Customer Relationship Marketing, and is the latest in a long line of management buzz terms.

Those cycle companies which send out Xmas cards from a database, signed by all and sundry but with no personalised comments are plainly crap at Xmas-related CRM.

In a poll on this site, IBDs overwhelmingly gave the thumbs down to impersonal Christmas cards. Personalised ones are nice to receive, voted the clear majority of IBDs. Round-robin signed ones are a waste of money and may even reflect badly on the senders.

Some cycle suppliers spend a small fortune on getting graphic artists to produce cycle- and company-specific cards, spend hours getting all the relevant staff members to sign them but then don’t personally address them so those who signed had no idea which cards were going to whom. This smacks of conveyor-belt, knee-jerk, got-to-send-a-Christmas-card corporatism. Recipients of such cards feel like just a name on a database, rather than a valued customer, which is what the sender is presumably trying to convey.

Loads of Brownie points, then, to those companies who take the effort to personalise all their Christmas cards or who have made the decision to donate their Christmas card budget to charity or cycling causes.


29/11/01 – Fisher donates Xmas card budget to bike charities…/article.php?id=1802

Thanks to the debate on this site about the lacklustre marketing effectiveness of mass-mailed corporate Christmas cards, Fisher Outdoor Leisure has decided to split its £1500 Christmas card budget between Sustrans, Re~Cycle and the CTC’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund

31/10/01 – Shimano seeks best cycle advocacy scheme in Europe…/article.php?id=1737

For the second year on the trot Shimano Europe is diverting the £7000 it would have spent on corporate Christmas cards to the Shimano Cycling Concept Award. This year’s winner was the Scottish Cycling Development Project. Do you know of any non-sporting cycle advocacy schemes that ought to enter?

02/01/01 – Suppliers: here’s how to slash your Q4 marketing budget…/article.php?id=1115

Ditch your Christmas card mail-out, it’s ineffective at best, detrimental to your corporate image at worst.

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