Zwift’s marketing push takes virtual cycling to the masses

Zwift has taken over transport hubs and a local pub with unmissable marketing in a bid to take its virtual cycling platform to the masses.

On display as part of Zwift’s UCI World Championships activation in Yorkshire, the marketing drive is, by bike industry standards, quite unique.

Locations secured and turned orange include the Cold Bath Brewery, which is playing host to a series of live events with pros, riders and fans. The hoardings outside of the pub have been altered to read ‘Zwift Draft House’ in a nod to the takeover happening within.

Directing people to the draft house, Harrogate’s train station is again adorned in the bright advertising.

Zwift marketing man Chris Snook told CI.N: “Week long we have stations to try, our first pop up physical store with Zwift merchandise to buy, and we have events taking place each evening. The entire event is to reinforce Zwift’s affiliation with the professional peloton and to bring the brand in front of the thousands of cycling fans here in Harrogate this week.”

Inside the brewery fans can cycle a ‘real-life’ (virtual) loop of the Harrogate course on which the pros are going head to head.

The design came from Zwift’s Art Director Tony Yruegas, who pays homage to the course with five distinct routes, including the Harrogate Circuit. A further ‘event-only’ route is also available. Inspiration was drawn from Simon Schofield, a long-time Zwift user and Harrogate local.

The courses include:

2019 UCI World Harrogate Circuit
Distance: 13.8 km // 8.6 mi
Elevation: 245 m // 804 ft

Duchy
Distance: 10.7 km // 6.6 mi
Elevation: 204 m // 669.3 ft

Queen’s Highway
Distance: 5.7 km // 3.5 mi
Elevation: 82 m // 269 ft

Tour of Tewit Well
Distance: 10.7 km // 6.6 mi
Elevation: 204 m // 669.3 ft

Royal Pump Room 8
Distance: 27.5 km // 17.1 mi
Elevation: 490 m // 1,607.6 ft

Harrogate Circuit Reverse
Distance: 13.7 km // 8.5 mi
Elevation: 245 m // 803.8 ft

This time last year Zwift acquired running technology business Milestone Sports signaling a wider aspiration for the virtual world specialists.