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Reaching new heights for MiWay's 2013 Big 5 MTB Series

Published on: 01 November 2013

Another successful year has passed with MiWay at the helm of the MiWay Big 5 MTB Series in Zululand, KZN. The Series covered 5 races from May to September, with a final prize-giving event in October.

Comparing this year’s statistics to 2012 showed favourable results – participant numbers grew by a steady 12%, with almost 40% of participants traveling from outside Zululand. And numbers have nearly doubled since MiWay came on board as headline sponsor in 2011.

One of the main drivers for the growth of the 2013 Series was the introduction of the timed 10km Series Challenge, along with the usual 25km and 50km races on offer. This gave youngsters the opportunity to compete in all five races for a Series medal.

The decision to introduce this format was two-fold, “As a beginner, there’s nothing more exciting than taking part in your first timed race, looking for your name on the results sheet, and then getting motivated to do better next time,” says Shane Webster of series organiser, Big 5 Marketing. “It’s also a great way to ensure consistent participation growth in all five races.”

The 10km Series also complimented the family-orientated atmosphere the organisers looked to create. “We found that the whole family was able to enjoy being outdoors in a fun and social environment,” says Webster. Kidz Zones were also set up at each race, with activities to keep the non-biking kids busy while mom and dad were out riding.

Other factors that contributed to the Series’ success included MiWay’s marketing efforts on their online platforms. The MiWayMTB Facebook page hosts over 3,200 followers, complemented by the MTB website, YouTube page and @MiWayMTB Twitter account. MiWay’s continued sponsorship of the MiWay Mountain Biking show on SuperSport gave the Series a boost with MiWay producing all five races for TV for both the 2012 and 2013 Series.

Max Huggins of MiWay reflects on the Series’ success over the last three years, “As headline sponsor, we’ve been incredibly happy with the growth of our brand’s awareness in a part of the country that our traditional advertising hasn’t always been able to reach.” Huggins says,

“However, as mountain bikers, we’re happy with the huge boost in participation numbers ensuring the continued growth and development of mountain biking in South Africa – making the sport of mountain biking the real winner.”

Highlights of the 2013 MiWay Big 5 MTB Series included the ride through the unspoiled iSimangaliso Wetland Park in race 3 and the extreme wet and muddy conditions in the last race of the Series.

For all photographs, results and YouTube videos of the 2013 MiWay Big 5 MTB Series, visit www.facebook.com/miwaymtb or mtb.miway.co.za.