DENVER, Colo. (February 13, 2020) — The Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation today announced the continuation of its innovative TV streaming model and the launch of a new 2020 video series to celebrate and empower female athletes while furthering conversations about social change.
“We believe that the key to advancing the business opportunities and consumer engagements for women’s cycling is through increased exposure,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of RPM Events Group, the organizers of the Colorado Classic.
“As we continue to develop the defining elements of the Colorado Classic and the supporting media platform, broadcast coverage is a major focus — in a way that is both free and readily accessible for the consumer while also financially sustainable for the race.”
Ahead of its women’s only debut in 2019, the Colorado Classic set out to explore and invest in new ways to create and stream content. Pioneered and put to the test last season, the race organizers used cutting-edge and cost-efficient bonded cellular technology to capture the live coverage, which was streamed for free each day in its entirety, from the start line through the awards ceremonies.
The multi-dimensional live stream was distributed through 30 different outlets —including social media, strategic partners like Global Cycling Network, Altitude Sports, Kiswe simulcasts and the event’s TourTracker mobile app— and received more than 350,000 views from fans in 144 countries. When viewed on social media, the live feeds had more than 35,000 engagements as fans liked, commented and shared the live coverage.
Not only did fans get to see the live content when, how and where they wanted it, this model also eliminated costly airtime on networks. In 2019, the total production costs of the race broadcast were approximately one-third the cost of the TV production and distribution of past races.
“By applying these new cost-efficient cellular technologies to capture the live coverage, and then streaming it through a strategic network of partners and social media outlets, we’re able to put our race on a global stage for a fraction of the cost,” said Rob Simon, Executive Producer and CMO of RPM Events Group. “This approach makes cycling events more financially viable and sustainable while giving our fans a high-definition, immersive and social TV experience.”
To put it in numbers, in year one of the Colorado Classic (2017), the cost-per-view was $3.10 while in 2019 the cost-per-view was five times less expensive, at only $.63 per view.
The Colorado Classic will continue to evolve this model in 2020 and is committed to sharing their learnings with the industry to help reduce financial barriers for the broadcast of fan-based athletics everywhere.
Additionally, a custom content video series titled “HERoes” will be released throughout the year, profiling women cyclists, teams and staff as they tell their real and unfiltered stories about the sport.
“We realize it’s not enough to just provide four days of competition, we have to develop a platform that celebrates the sport, the athlete and creates meaningful connections in the community,” said Diaz. “We are committed to telling the stories beyond the race and will amplify our original content HERoes video series.”
All this is part of a year-long initiative the Colorado Classic will launch in the spring, which takes their commitment to women’s cycling far beyond its four-day race. Centered around the pillars of exposure, opportunity and equity, the initiative will include media appearances, community engagements, corporate dialogs, a Women’s Advisory Committee, targeted engagements with business and community leaders, and this innovative global streaming network.
“Change doesn’t happen because someone wants it. Change happens when people commit all their energy to getting the world to take notice. Our entire organization and business is focused on delivering and demonstrating our message of opportunity and equity,” said Diaz. “We are proud to lead the charge and will look to like-minded organizations and individuals to join us in this powerful change to culture.”