3 July 2012 | Tanya Goodin

Cycling retail brands lead British ecommerce pack

The latest infographic in Tamar’s BrandLove series takes British sports brands as its subject and, with the Tour de France kicking off this weekend, we have been fascinated to discover that the cycling sports brands are now leading the British pack as our table shows.

When we kicked-off Our BrandLove series last year we decided to measure ‘love’ by the degree of social interactions with the brand online. It’s a  transparent, easily trackable measure that’s still effective. This year we’ve been able to add some of the newer social platforms to our metric (like Pinterest and Instagram) as more brands have adopted them and we’ve found that online communities and brand success are showing a distinct relationship, as we set out to prove.

The Tour de France started this weekend and so it seems apt that we found that two cycling brands lead the table of best-loved sports retailers. The British have always seen themselves as a national of football fans but the discrepancy between spectating and participating is nowhere shown more clearly than in what they’re buying online.

Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle two highly successful cycling brands are clearly beating more ‘traditional’ sports retailers such as JD Sports and Kitbag and are testament to the phenomenal rise in the popularity of cycling in Britain in the last five to ten years. They are also testament, we believe, to the success of adopting a ‘social media first’ strategy as Chain Reaction Cycles and its  phenomenal online community size shows.

After the disapppointment of Euro 2012 maybe we need to stop looking to the past and regarding football as our national sport and focus instead on cycling as our sport of the future – and all get behind Team Sky in the Tour.  Allez les rosbifs!

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar

  • http://www.henrysblog.co.uk/ Henry Elliss

    Presumably the cycling is also going to be a bigger success at the Olympics too, with such well known athletes competing compared to the relative-unknowns of the football team?

  • Nara

    Such an interesting info graphic. Cycling is definitely one of the most successful and favorite sport in the UK.

  • http://Tamar.com Bunny Menra

    I feel another reason for cycling brands to be on top of the league is that it is so easy to adapt cycling in everyday life. Cycling to work (especially in this London traffic) is a great option. While football is more of a viewers’ thing.

    I would assume there is more passion towards football players but that spreads the customers’ expenditure on sports channels, football t-shirts or other merchandise (which are available in variety of retailers) and online games like FIFA. That can be a reason why more customers buy cycling kit than football kit.

    Community size is an interesting factor though. It is a surprise to see Pro-Direct Soccer so low on community size compared to Chain Reaction Cycles. As they say Not All That Glitters is Gold – and we can say Football is no more Britain’s favorite sport!!

  • Christine

    You’d think that football would’ve at least come in second place? We always just assume that football is the country’s most popular sport, but there is quite a gap between the leading cyclist retailers and JD sports on both revenue and community.

    Last year I think that a lot more Londoners became aware of cycling with the Boris bikes appearing… the sport keeps people fit, helps the environment, avoids traffic on the crazy commute into work and nearly everyone can ride a bike. It’s such an easy sport to get into and you obviously need the right gear for it (helmets, locks, fluorescent clothing etc) …explains the revenue!

  • http://www.tamar.com Liz Morray

    I’d suggest that for football fans the “brands” that they’d engage with in the social media channels are their teams, rather than equipment retailers. If football fans are going to express love for anything football related it’ll be the team they support not the retailer they bought their strip from.
    Also, cycling is a sport with a lot of kit compared to team sports like football, which I’d suggest might increase a person’s love for retailers like Chain Reaction Cycles – if they have a good range and can advise in an area where I imagine it’s easy to buy the wrong thing then they’re likely to inspire some brand love from their customers.

  • Simran

    It’s true, Social Media has always benefited early adopters.

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