The Vital Blog

#letfinnin

Posted by Todd on August 19th, 2014

While residing in Whistler before Crankworx, Vital editor Brandon Turman caught wind of Finn Iles. Finn is a 14-year old BC local who grew up riding Whistler and the surrounding areas. What makes Finn unique is he absolutely rips on a bike. Specifically, he loves to hit the man-sized Crabapple hits that the Whip Off World’s are hosted on. After finding out Finn was barred from Whip Off World’s because he’s ‘too young,’ Brandon got to work. Vital filmed the video below, launched it on the site and promoted it on social media with the hashtag #letfinnin. The video quickly went viral with over 4,700 Facebook shares, hundreds of tweets, and thousands of instagram comments.

The result? They let Finn in! We were stoked at this point, but it got better when Finn won the contest! It was an unbelievable start to what looks it could be a great career.

Check the video that started it all:

14-Year-Old Finn Iles is a Future Whip-Off World Champ – #FinnIsIn

Following Whip Off World’s we received this awesome note from Finn’s Mom:

I really need to write to everyone at Vital and pass on a HUGE thanks for the #letfinnin rally video. It could not have played out any better and I’m not sure anyone could have predicted how all of this went. Thank you for getting behind him, believing in him, shooting the video, and rallying your readers. YOU made the difference (as well as Whistler locals Adam and Katrina). It is an awesome story and I want you all to know how much we appreciated the effort you made to #letfinnin. We will never forget your support.

Cheers,

Alison

Vital MTB Ditch Day

Posted by Todd on April 24th, 2014

For those of us in SoCal, the reopening of the Snow Summit bike park in Big Bear a year ago was a big deal. Most Mondays in the Vital office last summer consisted of all kinds of chatter about it: how fun it was, how conditions were, how much our hands hurt, “You only did how many runs?,” how fast so-and-so was going, etc. You get the idea.

To kick off this season, we created the first-annual Vital MTB Ditch Day. The goal was to get some friends together and create a fun industry event. We like riding, you like riding, everyone likes riding. Good idea, right? It was, actually–people were stoked. We had over 110 VIPs attend: numerous industry people, top riders, retailers, and more. We even had some of our throttle-twisting motocross friends attend, including the Vital MX staff. We scored with a mid-day rain that rewarded those who waited it out with epic conditions.

All in all, it was a great event, a great kick off to the 2014 season, and a great idea that we can’t wait to do again.

Below are select photos. Check out full coverage here, including more photos, video, and an Instagram feed.

Kyle Strait showed up to get Westridge runs in. #westridgeallday

During the rain the park looked more like the Northwest than SoCal.

Those who waited out the rain scored epic conditions!

Andre Pepin was looking good all day repping Ellsworth and One.

Until next year......

Now Hiring: Vital MX Ad Sales Rep

Posted by Todd on January 23rd, 2014

Vital Media Network is looking for a sales representative to join our growing team. You will be responsible for bringing new advertisers and sponsors to Vital MX. You will be a key part of a small sales team that is responsible for all sales development and account management functions.

Requirements:
• Prior sales experience with proven success prospecting and closing new business
• Passion for motocross
• Enthusiasm for the web and digital media
• Strong written and verbal skills
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
• Comfortable working in a small-business environment
• Interest in BMX and/or mountain biking is a plus

The job is full-time and based in Irvine, California, near John Wayne airport. Some travel is required. We offer competitive compensation (salary and commission) and benefits.

Tell us why you’re the ideal candidate for this position. Please submit cover letter, resume, compensation history, and compensation requirements to jobs@vitalmedianet.com

About Vital Media Network:
We operate sites focusing on action sports such as BMX, motocross, and mountain biking. Our atmosphere is casual yet professional.
www.vitalmx.com
www.vitalbmx.com
www.vitalmtb.com
www.vitalmedianet.com

Vital BMX UK Traffic Update

Posted by Brad McDonald on December 26th, 2013

Vital BMX has always had a solid following in the UK, but a combination of factors has seen it grow considerably over the last year. First, we launched a UK edition of Vital BMX this past summer. Not surprisingly, more UK-specific content has helped grow our audience in the UK. At the same time, the BMX slowdown seems to have hit the US much worse than the UK.

The graphs above show unique visitors in November 2013 compared to November 2012. Total unique visitors from the UK grew from 48k to 71k (+46%). Unique visitors from the US fell 8%, from 135k to 124k. Worldwide unique visitors were up 9% to 389k.

The numbers are more interesting if you consider the population difference between the US and the UK. Even with five-times the population (313m vs. 63m), traffic from the US is less than double the traffic from the UK traffic (124k vs. 71k unique visitors). This per-capita difference suggests that the BMX scene in the UK is much stronger than in the US.

If you are interested in marketing your brand in the UK via geo-targeted ads or content, give us a shout.

Christmas + Bikes + Vital = Awesome

Posted by Bryce T. Maxwell on December 23rd, 2013

Once again, the elves here at Vital decided to offer Santa a helping hand. Much like in years past, the Vital crew took some time to buy and assemble a handful of bikes with the hopes of spreading two-wheeled joy to those in need. Working in conjunction with Toys for Tots, the Vital elves look to provide 10 lucky children with an awesome Christmas. Let’s hope they find as much enjoyment on two wheels as the entire Vital crew.

Now get out there and enjoy the holidays. On behalf of everyone here at Vital Media Network, we hope you have an awesome Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year.

Vital elves... assemble!!!!

 

The finished product ready to put smiles on faces.

Santa's Vital helpers

Vital Launches Email Newsletter: The Spotlight

Posted by pmale on December 4th, 2013

Vital recently launched an e-newsletter: The Spotlight. Emailed biweekly to registered Vital users, The Spotlight helps our fans stay up to date with our top content. Considering the high volume of quality content constantly flowing through Vital’s sites, The Spotlight provides a useful tool to help our audience catch up on what they might have missed.

Carefully designed to look great on both desktop and mobile, The Spotlight delivers popular content to our audience even when they’re on the go. Our focus on mobile design is paying off, with more than 50% of clicks on The Spotlight coming from mobile devices.

Looking to connect directly with registered Vital users? Talk to us about ad opportunities within The Spotlight. 

 

Vital BMX Game of BIKE Returns!

Posted by Brad McDonald on November 11th, 2013

Woodward West was the scene for the 3rd annual Vital BMX Game of BIKE. We took a hiatus last year, but with other events scaling back, and with BMX sales generally sluggish, we felt it was more important than ever to hold the event. Events like ours create excitement and help energize the scene. This was proven all week through video views, comments, Facebook likes, and social media chatter.

32 amazing riders went head-to-head for $6,300 in prize money. With no live webcast or outside spectactors, the event was made for video. This let us maintain a loose structure, which riders appreciated. Even with money and bragging rights on the line, riders kept it fun and generally didn’t play cut-throat (although some of the best moments were seeing riders pull tricks in that they had never even tried before).

Big thanks to our sponsors: Dan’s Comp, Pro-Tec, and MovieTickets.com. We could not have done this without them!

See all the videos here. Photo gallery from day one. Photo gallery from day two.

Left-right: Tyler Fernengel (3rd, $800), Logan Martin (1st, $4,000), Colin Varanyak (2nd, $1,500)

Vital BMX Content Director Kyle Carlson MC'ed the event

The battle for third was between Tyler Fernengel and Drew Bezanson

Morgan Wade congratulates Devon Smillie after their match

Chris Hughes

Morgan Wade

Connect Your Products With Vital’s Audience

Posted by pmale on November 7th, 2013

It’s that time of year when consumers begin anticipating the arrival of next year’s products. More and more, they are coming to Vital to research, compare, and review what’s available. Vital’s product guide is one of the few sources for consumers to find info on nearly all bike brands.

Fueled by both professional and user reviews, the Vital MTB product guide generated more than 572,000 pageviews in October alone. Helping to generate those pageviews were 159,000 visits from search engines. Traffic to the Vital MTB product guide has grown by more than 90% year-over-year.

The Vital BMX product guide generated over 235,000 pageviews in October. Over 69,000 visits to that section came from search engines.

Visitors who come to Vital’s product guides via search engines represent an attractive audience to connect with your brand and products, as their search behavior indicates they’re likely getting ready to buy. Now is the time to ensure your 2014 products are loaded and ready to connect with these self-qualified consumers.

Getting your products listed is free. Drop us a line to get started.

Already have your products listed? Contact us to request a report detailing the traffic your product listings have received.

Vital MTB Product Reviews: “Best Ever?”

Posted by Todd on November 7th, 2013

With so much product research (and purchasing) shifting online, we want earn user trust and be the source for credible MTB reviews. We routinely see positive user feedback letting us know we’re on the right track. Then came an email last week with the subject “Best Ever?” The email was from someone in the bicycle industry about a recent Vital MTB review. The email praised the quality and thoroughness of the review. I did a double-take because the review was for one of his competitors’ products.

Wow. We have devoted time and resources to doing quality reviews, so it’s encouraging to get recognition from such an informed user. While the “Best Ever?” note addresses our review quality, I did some digging for some quantitative Vital MTB product data:

  • 122 in-depth, long-term Vital reviews have been published in the past year.
  • We have over 1,300 user reviews. Vital reviews are important, but user reviews are also a big component of the Vital MTB product section.
  • There are 7,807 products in our product guide.

We all know that trust is something that takes time to earn. Once earned, it becomes very valuable. With emails like “Best Ever?” it’s nice to know we’re achieving our goal of earning user trust and building an environment where advertisers can benefit.

New Motorcycle Show: AIMExpo

Posted by Bryce T. Maxwell on November 1st, 2013

2013 marks the first year of the American International Motorcycle Expo which took place in Orlando, Florida, October 15-19. Vital was there to check it out. Initially the show seemed small, but with many brands and exhibitors opting for 10X10 or 10X20 booths, the number of exhibitors that attended the show seemed pretty good.

This is what welcomed everyone when they entered the convention center.

The new show on the block spanned 5 days, with 2.5 days set aside for retailers, distributors, and industry types, and the other 2.5 days for consumers. Some exhibitors expressed mixed feelings about having a mixed consumer and industry show. Several brands enjoyed the one-on-one time with the public, allowing them the opportunity to educate the end-consumer about their product line.  The industry-centered part of the show didn’t seem heavily attended but one comment I kept hearing was how well the show catered to exhibitors. While it would have been nice to see more retailers, brands looking for international distribution seemed overwhelmingly positive with the show. According to information provided by the show, 49 countries were represented. I also heard support for the location of the show, although timing it the same week as a major off-season race and annual bike rally was one of the few negatives I heard from exhibitors. Finally, in an effort to make the show better, show representatives consistently circulated among exhibitors asking for feedback. Here are some additional show statistics:

Total Show Square Feet:  732,644

Exhibiting Companies: 392

Total Attendance:  13,219

Dealer/ Industry Professionals:  2,417

Exhibitor Attendance:  2,798

Countries Represented:  49

Credentialed Media: 223

 

Öhlins took full advantage of the 10x10 booth size with this super clean layout.

After the retailer’s show ended midday on Friday, the consumer show started. This break in the action allowed exhibitors time to switch their booths in preparation for the masses. Friday night was pretty tame but attendance Saturday and Sunday seemed much busier. Exhibitors were ready with giveaways, games, autograph signings, and product literature. While some didn’t like dealing with consumers, others realized its value. Too often, many of the key decision makers are removed from the end consumer and this format allowed that interaction to happen.

 

FMF had a larger footprint than most which helped them stand out from a majority of the brands that opted for a 10x10 or a 10x20 booth.

Weighing all the factors, I’d say the AIMExpo was a success. Catering to exhibitors and media, having the trade show in a warm climate just before winter, while allowing the consumers to participate, sounds to me like the AIMExpo got more right than they did wrong. In fact, many of the current exhibitors reserved their spot for next year which is always a good sign. As for site traffic on Vital MX, the AIMExpo feature ran on the homepage and generated 79,964 pageviews with the average pageview per photo hovering around 1000. Not bad considering this was a new show. From square footage alone, this show was much smaller than the more established Dealer Expo. Additionally, the new AIMExpo hosted a little over 390 companies this year while the 2013 Dealer Expo hosted over 500. Looks like there’s room to grow. While success is subjective for such a young show, over the next few years, we’ll see if all the hard work pays off. If you’re interested in more of Vital’s show coverage, check it out here:  Vital MX AIMExpo Coverage.

VonZipper had one of the best booths at the show and even invited Wil Hahn along to sign autographs during the consumer show.