October 25 - November 3 2019!
October 25 - November 3 2019!

Not just wheels turning at the Festival...

At the Rotorua Bike Festival, it's not just wheels turning.

The Festival is using a full range of communications to tell the story of biking in Rotorua and to promote all the individual events at the 10-day annual Festival that starts on Black Friday February 13.

The latest member of the media team is local digital producer, Dabhand. 

They are building a smartphone app that will help get information out before and during the Festival.


The media and marketing side of the first Festival was kick-started two years ago by a team of small Rotorua businesses.

Gary Sullivan from Nzo Industries, Graeme Murray, Nick Lambert from zeroseven and Graeme Simpson from bluedog media have over a hundred years of experience in all aspects of the media between them - from graphic and website design to journalism, social media, photography and television and video production.

“And they probably have more combined years on their bikes,” said Martin Croft, from Rotorua Events and Venues, who is coordinating the Festival’s 30 events.

“It’s wonderful to have another local company, Dabhand, added to that line-up.”


The Festival app will be free and available for both Apple and Android. 

It will provide a very convenient way for competitors and spectators to get easy access to information every day of the Festival.

“You’ll be able to carry the full programme and a venue map in your pocket, on your smartphone,” continued Croft. 

“We’re planning daily competitions through the app and some other very cool features that we’ll unveil when we launch it.”


bluedog media is sponsoring the initial development.

“It would be rude not to and tight budgets don't mean we can’t have some fun,” said Graeme Simpson, the Festival media and marketing coordinator

“The smell of an oily rag has often been a spur for innovation and creativity in the past work we've done together. 

We get involved in biking events because we love the sport and, in Rotorua, we can ride every day.” 


Pictures at a Festival. 

From action at the National Downhill Championships (Photo: Alan Ofsoski. HIGH REZ).


The app will complement the Festival's existing digital channels.


These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a comprehensive website.

“Facebook has been really successful, with all the numbers tripling from the first festival to the second,” Croft continued. 

“Our very hard-working photo team, Alan Ofsoski, Mead Norton, Peter Graney and Mike Vincent, provided images every day which meant albums were online almost immediately for people to view, world wide.”

A third of the page’s followers are from outside New Zealand.

The Festival also has it’s own TV ‘channel’ on Vimeo

Coverage will be enhanced in 2015 with the addition of another member to the team, video producer, John Colthorpe.


The Festival’s media partners are also crucial to success.
“The Rotorua Daily Post and radio stations, More FM Rotorua, The Edge, The Breeze and The Rock, are very valuable locally and online,” said Simpson.

There were over 4000 entries across all the events last year and a high percentage were from Rotorua. That will grow in 2015, with Sport Bay of Plenty coordinating the community events.

"Our good mates at New Zealand Mountain Biker, New Zealand Road Cycling and Spoke also help get the word out, nationally," Simpson continued.


Other domestic media are very supportive of the Festival.

“Home-grown media like NZ Bike, Sportzhub, Adventure, the Saturday Herald, Kia Ora magazine and the sports producers at TVONE, TV3 and Crowd Goes Wild are always receptive to good stories,” Simpson said.



To Frocks on Bikes (Photo: Mike Vincent. HIGH REZ). Biking for everyone.


It is the same outside New Zealand.

“Our core team worked together on other events like the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships and the Singlespeed World Championships in 2010 and we’ve developed really strong working relationships with international media over the last ten years,” said Simpson. 

“Flow MTB, Australian Mountain Bike, Enduro magazine, Mountain Bike Australia and Marathon MTB across the Tasman and all the international channels like Pink Bike, Cycling News, EnduroMTB, Dirt Rag, Mountain Bike UK, Dirt magazine, Wild Spirits TV in Europe and Asia and so on are all great to deal with.

They share our passion for two wheels.”