The mission of UpShift Sports Consulting is to help ambitious sporting or utilitarian brands scale themselves; To share experience, methods and motivation to get to their goals. To help clients face the challenges of international growth, product development and management, business process improvement, sales, branding and marketing, all to achieve their full potential.
Finalized project, in which I assumed General management of Eddy Merckx Cycles USA. The major focus was transitioning the brand from a consumer direct European drop ship, to a multi-channel domsetic stocking and service, sales model.
Business development project in the BeNeLux, generating new direct retailer accounts, press exposure and developing distribution leads.
European Area Management, helping Boyd expand its B2B and B2C business model into the European marketplace.
Finalized project, in which I re-branded Velocomp, while developing B2C, B2B + OEM markets and generating notable global press exposure.
I have been lucky enough to have forged a professional path spanning a broad scope of roles (engineering, operations, sales, marketing, general management) in 5 countries and in 4 languages.
The Netherlands based UpShift Sports Consulting is my vehicle for helping others get ahead. I currently have room for more clients and would be eager to hear from brands with a big vision.
How can I help you grow, differentiate, manage or accelerate your brand?
Spending my early years riding BMX bikes in Australia and growing a keen interest in Mountainbiking in my early teens in France, I cut my teeth in the cycling industry in a very concrete manner. I jumped into the deep end; starting my own bike building project - from cutting the frame tubes, to building the wheels, just after moving to The Netherlands in my mid teens.
I worked in Dutch bike shops, as an assistant to a French bike distributor and finally, as a USA West Coast Sales Rep as I studied Management and Mechanical Engineering, confirming the sports bug.
I then launched my professional career as an engineer and product manager at a small Dutch bike manufacturer, Optima Cycles. During that period I was lucky enough to put a number of designs into production and do operations work, also helping to implement the first Asian supply chain items.
From there I transitioned to sales and marketing while living in Spain, playing a key part in the globalization of ROTOR Bike Components. I added and equipped global distributors and OEM customers, helped create marketing content and drove growth any way possible. I even got in on other fun stuff like helping as liason to professional racing teams.
Most recently I have worked for a few years in the USA; based in both Boulder, CO setting up my first Subsidiary as ROTOR's U.S. Brand Manager. I then moved to New York, where I grew into General Management as VP of Eddy Merckx Cycles USA.
I am currently accepting new clients, and I am glad to meet in person. Drop me a line via the contact form to the left, or by meeting me at one of the events I'll be attending (see calendar, below).
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
I've moved around quite a bit, so am happy to communicate with you in the language you prefer.
Feel free to contact me in English, Nederlands, Français, & Español.
You can also write in German as long as you are OK with a response in English.
The section below includes a few snapshots of previous work and projects I executed alone or in groups (I dont pretend to know how to do everything, but can engage the people who do, in your project).
As you will see I have singled out promotional work. With business process content being harder to present and more sensitive in nature, I have reserved that type of content for face to face meetings.
Finding a logo to communicate your brand values is critical. I helped velocomp form this logo to reflect the broad public the technology speaks to and the multifaceted analysis capabilities. The spectrum bar also reflects the 7 training zones known to power training enthousiasts.
Explaining why a technology is relevant to your users clearly is important. This table shows how Velcomp technology goes beyond classic bike metrics to quantify technique and efficiency.
Engaging customers where they are is key to making technology easy to become accustomed to. Recognition of your brand leads to realization of your solutions, giving a pathway to research and finally, a consumer purchasing decision.
Finding a new ancgle to take when you have a new message can be challenging, but is key to getting a clear and differentiated branding message across.
Succesful fan engagement does more than just help you get your message out to the world: it allows your fans to tell you and the rest of the world what your brand is. Classic one way marketing is only part of the pie nowadays.
Relationships are the first step to succesful press exposure. Let me help you get your messgae out there to the editors and test riders in countries that are strategically relevant to you.
Knowing the industries individual communication channels and the people behind them, helps you build a coherent and relevant story - that gets passed on.
Trade shows are critical for branding exposure but can quickly inflate to a considerable percentage of your budget. Allow me to help keep the impact high, but expenses low.
In a marketplace with so many competing messages, finding your core, unique message is key to chiselling out a brand territory. Allow me to help you find yours.
Allow me to help you reach key players with a relevant message. Sometimes directly but oftentimes, this will be through third parties: individuals, events, etc.
At stage one, your brand is what you tell the market it is. At stage two, it is what the market tells you it is. This design was the result of a project group of talented designers and marketeers, and was surpringly affordable.
The core content of a message needs to be simple for designers to make something of it. This table was a huge relief to customers struggling with bike compatibility issues. Thanks to Morato + Infinito for the graphic design.
Business development implies sell in, but the key to sustainable and self driving growth is to ensure sell out. That requires a strong customer relationship. With that done, finding a marketing message true to your core values but adapted for the region, is key.
Consumers don't like to read instructions, so products need to be as self explanatory as possible. Especially when technology is new or distruptive, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your smartner product will prove itself. Let me help you achieve stable growth.
Consumer direct and indirect strategies require different approaches, investments and focus. Which is best for your product? I have workled in both environments, and in the grey space imbetween.
Dont run astray thinking size is key. A well executed, smaller presence leaves a deeper, lasting impact.
Not all messages should go to the same channels, to the same individuals, or recieve an equal budget. How do you decide?
With a background in engineering and product management, I know how key it is to prepare products for market. Focusing only on product or only on marketing, rareley gets a brand ahead.
The right channel for exposure and testing is paramount. Knowing who you're working with and knowing how to then present a product and its philosophies are key to setting a test off in the right direction.
Doing front end work is only the start. Solid paperwork, easily followed instructions and clear messages cannot be overlooked. Skipping this can scuttle the best planned marketing campaigns.
Chosing the right promotional partners is key to succesfully establishing a reputation. Who best suits your product and brand?