Dennis Publishing to dip into cycling books, holidays and more events

Hot on the heels of our recent round up of the Audit Bereau of Circulation’s figures for the consumer cycling press, CI.N caught up with Dennis Publisher Dharmesh Mistry to find out more about a hinted expansion beyond traditional print…

The Cyclist brand is moving into territory outside of print, what’s on the calendar for 2017?

There’s real mix of print, digital and experiential activity planned for 2017, as we continue to grow the Cyclist brand. Last year’s successful (and sold out) Track Day at London’s Olympic Park demonstrated the appetite our readers have in wanting to engage with the brand. To satisfy the demand, as well as bringing all the best bikes to London for the public to try in April 2017 (nearly sold out), we’ve added a second Track Day in York in May.

The Track Days are clearly popular and beneficial for all involved parties. If we gauge the interest is there, then we will look to host them more frequently.

Elsewhere, we’re working on a glossy book, merchandise, a Cyclist holiday to name a few activities outside print planned for 2017.

What demographics within cycling are you focusing on with these events and what value does the visitor gain from the ticket price?

The Track Day presents many opportunities for us and our partners to engage with our audience and to grow it. Based on last year’s attendance, there’s a real mix of visitors, from those who have a clear budget and intend to make a purchase once they’ve tried a selection of bikes, to those who dream of owning a high-end bike one day.

We want visitors to enjoy spending the day trying out the bikes at their own pace. We include quality lunch and coffee and everyone will take home a Cyclist goody bag worth over £50.

What else is Dennis doing at present to engage the reader for the long-term? cyclist

Transforming Cyclist in to a 360 brand is the target, allowing readers to engage not only with the brand but the team in different ways. Ultimately, the audience is crucial to the development of the brand.

With the ABC figures released, what readership trends are present across the Dennis cycling titles?

Cyclist has shown solid growth since launch four years ago. As we approach our 5th anniversary, the brand has exceeded all expectations. Against a tough backdrop that saw two rival cycling titles close, Cyclist very much remains stable, with the website and events helping to grow the brand. Meanwhile, BikesEtc continues to buck the trend, showing a fantastic increase of 9% year on year on the newsstand.

Magazines aside, you mentioned a venture into a heavier weight book, what can we expect here? 

Our readers said they would love to see a Cyclist book. So we have taken the best of our riding photography from more than 50 issues of Cyclist and presented it in a beautiful hard-bound book that will not only provide inspiration for anyone planning their next cycling trip, but will be the perfect addition to any cyclist’s coffee table. It should be available to buy online and in selected stores towards the end of April.

Is this the start of a move into book publishing?

We see it as another extension to the Cyclist brand and something we are keen to develop.

What can we expect to see from Cyclist online? 

The website is still relatively new, but growing. We recognise that road cycling is a niche market within cycling, and that many cyclists are interested about developments in the wider market. It is with this in mind that we will look to cover a wider range of news and reviews, as well as engaging readers via social channels.

What appetite is there for the Cyclist brand around the globe and where might we see the title pop up overseas in future?

Cyclist is now the world’s biggest cycling media brand with licenses in five territories: Australia/NZ, France, Italy, Turkey and the Middle East. The unique content and aspirational nature of the brand means we are always talking to potential partners, so you can expect we shall expand the footprint going forward.