SHIMANO | Loyal MTB community thanks to cross-channel approach

What could be more honest and reliable than real stories from real MTB’ers? Together, we built a loyal mountain bike community thanks to a cross-channel approach.

About the case

International market leader SHIMANO produces components for various sports, including cycling, with one of the key categories being mountain biking (MTB). A popular sport that continues to gain traction worldwide. Not just for the challenge it offers, but also because it’s something you can easily do together, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For us, this presented an excellent opportunity for a compelling concept that brings together the camaraderie and thrill of the sport.

SHIMANO approached us with a question: How can we engage mountain bikers (consumers) with the SHIMANO brand and create an online community with long-term value? In other words, how can we build interesting customer profiles that gather data such as name, preferences, usage, and trends? After all, a frequent MTB rider can become a valuable customer in the long run.

Since SHIMANO doesn’t directly sell to consumers but provides bikes through dealers with parts, brand preference is crucial. In other words, we want to engage mountain bikers with the brand in such a way that they ask for SHIMANO parts in their next bike purchase or maintenance session.

Our approach

We started with an insight: While some mountain bikers enjoy riding alone, the real magic happens when you ride together. Cheering each other across the finish line. Climbing that mountain together. Enjoying that well-deserved drink afterwards. Cycling groups are the heart of the mountain biking sport!

And what could be more honest and reliable than real stories from real mountain bikers? That’s why we asked the target audience to share their best cycling adventures on a User Generated Content (UGC) Platform. Cyclists often capture their stories with photos on their phones, and social media traffic comes from mobile devices for 94%. This was a perfect fit. But you’re asking something from your audience, so we wanted to give them something in return: share your story and get a chance to win a personalized MTB outfit for your cycling group.

We developed….

  1. The UGC platform for and by MTB enthusiasts: a lead generation tool for 1st-party data where MTB’ers shared stories and photos
  2. A 2-step form on the UGC platform: we first collected the stories and then the data
  3. Social media campaigns for 13 countries. With Google Display, we retargeted visitors who didn’t share a story
  4. Video ads on META: the focus was on the connection between people and the connection with SHIMANO MTB components
  5. Action-oriented ads on META: join and win a personalized team outfit
  6. Tell-a-friend email: we encouraged completed uploads to invite their buddies
  7. Mobile-only retargeting campaign via Google Display

Didn’t win? Then we offered a discount on an MTB outfit for your cycling group




“To be honest, we were quite nervous about asking so much action from a target audience. Unjustly so, because mountain bikers turned out to be incredibly loyal to the sport, their community, and the brand.”

Samantha van Alphen


The decision to appeal to the sense of community among MTB enthusiasts proved to be the right one. We reached a tremendous number of MTB lovers from various countries, and we even surpassed our objectives!



Enthusiastic mountain bike enthusiasts

🏆 Award

Beste user generated content campagne - Dutch Search Awards 2021 CMTA-Award B2C Brons - Content Marketing Awards 2022

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Rowan Zomers

Online Marketing

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