Hastings distributor MD discusses sponsorship, trends and brand additions

Seventies Profile: “don’t fear BMX,” says Dawkins

"We often hear about dealers scared to invest in BMX, because they feel it moves too fast."

That’s something Seventies managing director Stuart Dawkins tells BikeBiz is totally manageable when working alongside a firm with as much experience as his Hastings team. Read on for his thoughts:

You’re having great success with sponsored riders in competition – how is this benefiting business?
Although we sponsor a lot of riders (around 50) we have never put a huge importance on riders winning contests, or even entering contests. That said, we’ve recently had some really good results with Ty Morrow (Federal) coming second in last year’s X-Games Street and Dan Lacey (Federal/Primo/Lotek/Dub) winning the best trick contest in Estonia.
We actually have signature Federal frames for both Ty and Dan launching in May and the increased coverage from contest results and web and print media will ensure both of these are big sellers.

In your opinion, what’s the next big thing in BMX?
Nothing as drastic as front brakes just yet. We don’t see any big differences for the immediate future, however we’re constantly monitoring sales patterns so we can react quickly if the market is changing. Often you’ll see Pro riders unknowingly start trends that then go on to be the next big thing in six to 12 months time.

Can you highlight a few items retailers should look out for in 2011?

We often hear about dealers scared off by BMX because they feel it’s so fast moving with too many products to choose from. We have experienced staff who are more than happy to advise about trends, which products sell in certain areas and the market in general.
We’re not looking for quick sales, but rather to build long-term relationships that will benefit both sides for years.

Why should retailers choose Seventies for complete BMX bikes?
We try to offer everything we feel will be beneficial to retailers. This includes high dealer margins, competitive retail pricing, holding large quantities of stock, protected dealer areas, free shipping on two or more bikes and flexible payment terms. Also, our catalogue (30,000 print run), promoting the bikes, print ads, sponsoring riders and producing web videos helps to create the demand from the end users to buy the bikes.

When, if at all, is the next Seventies branded DVD due?

Right now we’re not working on a DVD project. However we are always releasing exclusive web videos from trips and will also be sending the Primo team on Ride to Glory and the Federal team on Soulatour (Soul magazine’s French road trip). Both will be made into cover-mount DVDs and then released online.

Tell us about your latest brand additions, Cult and The Make:
Both are essentially new start-ups, but with huge followings in their respective countries. When Robbie Morales left Fit to start Cult many top pro riders left with him. It sent shockwaves throughout BMX and propelled Cult to a level of demand that many companies never reach. Demand is now so high that it’s hard to supply all our backorders, but we expect to have a steady flow of product in the coming months.
Many dealers won’t be familiar with The Make, but it has been around for years building a strong following with T-shirts, DVDs and a unique approach to riding and trips. It’s only now that it has expanded into hard goods such as frames, handlebars and sprockets.

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