Brand on the Run – Rides Again – Review.

Lance Armstrong. Ivan Basso. Songezo Jim. More tales of the extraordinary from last week’s Brand on The Run®.

Richard Gorman engaged a full house at Brand on the Run with stories from behind the scenes or, in his case, behind the bike sheds. No choppers, BMXs or Bromptons. This was the serious end of competitive cycling, at its best and at its ugliest. As one time Head of Global Sponsorships at CSC, Richard, founder of Cosaveli, enlightened the crowd with what it takes to run a Tour de France winning team. The blood, the sweat, the tears. All quite literally.

Team CSC is the most successful pro-cycling team of the 21st Century, and was the best team in the world for 4 consecutive years. Beyond cycling, Richard has worked with Richard Branson on his Virgin Racing F1 team, attempted world records with multi-gold-medal winning Olympian, James Cracknell, and has raised over $6.5m for charity. He’s taken down the leadership of a sports governing body, made sure Aussie cycling legend Stuart O’Grady won a pro-bike race by staying up all night getting thoroughly shit-faced and knows more about Class-A drugs and controlled substances than Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and Pete Doherty combined.

It’s difficult to talk about professional cycling and not talk about the doping. Whilst Richard was able to enlighten a room full of B2B marketers on how cycling teams got away with it for so long, it was Richard’s commitment to ethics and brand values that revealed how the good guys don’t always come last.

Winning takes serious investment, but handled expertly and progressively, can generate serious ROI. And not just financial. Corporate social responsibility was and is a part of his remit. In putting money into good causes, dreams really do come true. Ask Songezo Jim.

As to the rest of the juicy bits and salacious stuff? As always you had to be there…what goes on in the Tour stays on the tour. See you next time.