twmp:In our last cyclevox interview in january of this year, you said that first and foremost, you and brian were a commentary team. that's not quite so true nowadays is it?
Anthony: What a difference a year makes! I guess we are known more widely for being involved in the business of cycling and making things happen now, but we remain and will always remain a commentary team. It just means that we now combine our love of this with a host of other projects, plans, clients and of course our teams of staff who make it all happen. We love being in the commentary box, the Premier Calendar commentary is fun, we enjoyed working with Eurosport this year and we also learned from going off and working with other people. By keeping the voices trained and keeping a close eye on the races, we can also help our commentary teams - Marty and Magnus, Dan Jarvis too. Dan Jarvis was a mountain bike commentator until this year and now he has called a stage of the Vuelta!
Brian: We would love to do more commentary and have built a great team to accommodate what is thrown at us in the future. We are trying to expand other areas of our business and use our expertise in these areas to help cycling generally.
twmp: has this first year in tandem with the scotsman been as successful as you'd hoped?
Anthony: This year has been more successful than we envisaged. We had a set plan, an idea of where we wanted the business to be, and a keen business forecast - we beat all of that ages ago. We have had many opportunities put in front of us this year, some we have turned down, others we have helped bring to life and enabled them to happen. Just to give you some headlines - we made 17 cycling television programmes, we commentated on hundreds of days of racing, we helped bring the Tour Series to reality, we worked with Cyclescheme who won the Sunday Times Fastrack 100 companies list, and sat and watched the Cervelo Test Team that we played a role in, be extremely successful - that's an exciting year and that's just part of it.
Brian: It's just like being a competitor....you get out what you put in. Joking aside....i think we have worked harder than most to position Cyclevox where it is. This is not a 9-5 job, five days a week. We are very passionate and committed to making Cyclevox a success and will keep driving forward in the big ring! Hopefully many others will come along for the ride...
twmp: does the continued success of cyclevox depend on it achieving a higher profile within the cycle industry, or with the public?
Anthony: A bit of both. A lot of what we get involved in hits the public directly and enables them to understand and enjoy cycling. So we have to keep their interests at heart. We really want to bring more external money into this sport, thats what we are working hard on. We want cycling to be mainstream and exciting for huge brands.
Brian: Definitely both. We have not succeeded in everything we have done over the last year, but this keeps us learning and trying to improve what we provide within the industry and what the public experience at events we are involved with.
twmp: has there been an increase or decrease of competition within your chosen sphere of business over the past year?
Anthony: A slight increase - but competition is healthy. It keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking. We have also worked hard to link with some of our competitors for the better good of a project - it happens in other industries so why shouldnt it happen in cycling? If you have a closed view on expansion, then you won't go anywhere.
Brian: Definitely an increase in competition, but that means if others are upping their game, then so must we, which is a healthy environment for cycling in general. I have spent my life in competition even if it's a wee sprint for the cafe sign and it gives you a buzz to succeed and more determination when you lose.
twmp: any prospect of morecambe and mcwise reforming for a world tour of commentary boxes?
Anthony: Don't worry - we will be back in the commentary box in 2010. We are followed by lots of fans on twitter, we like to commentate and we hope more people will get to hear our style.
Brian: We decided early in the year that we would be stronger going forward as a team. That's why we are now six amigos. Sometimes a step back can take you two steps forward in the future. We have built some good foundations....now we need to build our castle.
twmp: i notice that the podcasts have disappeared from the cyclevox website and videos are now in their place. any particular reason for this?
Anthony: Honestly? The podcasts just never got done! And we make video and film all the time - so we decided to go with that. It is now much easier for us to shoot a short clip or put a film of our work on the site, compared to a podcast. We generally have cameramen with us at events, launches etc so we can always ask them to record something for us. The podcast just became another thing to get done, although I did work with Ned Boulting on the Tour Series one and enjoyed that!
Brian: I think it was about prioritising our time and the podcasts etc took a back seat. We are currently looking at a few exciting ideas in these areas.
twmp: during the past year you have initiated a library of after-dinner speakers. has this proved successful?
Anthony: This is a growing part of the business. Matt Ward created it and is developing it. We have some great speakers. Stephen Roche has been at events, Magnus Backstedt has been popular, even the Scotsman has been requested!
Brian: I think, like any arm of our business, it needs time to develop. It is up and running and we had some great interest at the Cycle Show in London. On the build up to 2012 i think more people will have an interest in cycling whether through motivation or just story telling. You will find a great selection of proven people who can deliver what they are asked.
twmp: is there any conflict of interest in representing the endura racing team, as well as being the strategists behind the very successful tour series, and one half of the television commentary team?
Anthony: We don't think so. We are aware that some of the cycling world think there is. But we helped to build the Cervelo Test team and no one batted an eyelid. We have handed the Endura team to its management now - Brian advised on some riders, we brought some sponsors on board and Matt is designing a launch (the likes of which you will not have seen yet) so come the Tour Series and start of the season, we wont have any direct involvement.
Brian: Some people within the UK industry may think this but Endura is not different to cervelo. They have a brand new product line that they want to put out worldwide. They used our experience to build a team to be able to deliver what they required. Everyone thought it was great that cervelo had four UK riders. A british company now wants to do battle with some of the major world brands in its category through a UK team. I personally have no influence on the team selections for the Tour Series however I am the Director of Racing and as most people who know me I am not biased when it comes to helping all teams.
twmp: are both of you riding the 2010 london-paris? i'm told this the real reason you instigated mavic support, to leave graeme and nigel free to concentrate on everyone else.
Anthony: Ha ha, I must admit, in 2010 I won't be riding - it clashes with Tour Series and the National Championships. Brian - riding?
Brian: I love L2P but like Ant it clashes with a very busy part of the year for us. Like last year I may do the final leg into Paris.
twmp: how are you both coping with the increased celebrity status (both of you having appeared in the comic in recent weeks)?
Anthony: The autograph queue hasn't appeared at the front door yet - so there are no worries there!
Brian: As an ex-pro I have seen a little bit of status before, but I think this is just testament to what we are doing within the industry.
twmp: is matt ward the cinderella figure in cyclevox; the one who always has to stay behind and mind the shop?
Anthony: I think we should ask Matt that. We were all talking the other night and we all agreed that Matt joining forces with us was the best move we ever made. He is knowledgeable, hard working and credible and brings a lot to the company - the feeling is that with Matt's trade angle we now have many of the required bases for a cycling media company covered. Additionally, Matt brings insight to opportunities that Brian and I sometimes may not see. He also helps us keep our feet on the ground in many instances!
Brian: You trying to say we are the ugly sisters?! Matt wouldn't have it any other way. He's like a Yatesy figure...can't get him off the front of the bunch but all his hard work provides the success to the rest of his team.
twmp: any plans to increase the staffing level?
Anthony: We will see how client needs and plans develop - we will have some more consultants working on projects that we have coming up, so watch this space.
Brian: Definitely. Our goal is to keep winning business and provide others with opportunities with the cycling industry. We lose some of our talent to other industries. We often get resumes from good people looking to work within cycling. We just need to keep expanding our business and opportunities will come.
twmp: cyclevox seems to have acquired an ever-increasing roster of clients during 2010. has success bred success?
Anthony: Once clients see that you can deliver and deliver successfully then yes - you get more enquiries. Our client list is growing and we seem to be writing hundreds of exciting proposals. Look at the clients we have though - exciting and forward thinking.
Brian: We think long term rather than short term and this has helped win us some business. The way you look after your clients is paramount to your future partnership with them. As a team we provide a unique blend of expertise that few other businesses can provide, plus we enjoy what we do and i think that shines out to others.
twmp: are there any nice surprises in store for 2010?
Brian: I'm full of surprises...
twmp: have those cyclevox caps ever appeared?
Brian: Don't like my hair getting messed up!
twmp: you've stated before, that you thought it more important for cyclevox to bring money and investment into cycling, rather than becoming sponsors yourselves. is that still the case?
Anthony: Yes - we will never be the sponsor of a team - our business is there to bring sponsors in. We represent teams and events and are talking to many many companies each week. So from time to time you might see our logo somewhere but it will be for an attraction reason, rather than sponsorship.
Brian: Definitely. I have spent a lot of time trying to bring companies outside of cycling into our sport. It's a battle but the time and effort we have put in will hopefully reward our industry in the near future.
twmp: was 'muc-off' the first product based client for cyclevox, and do you see more joining the fold in 2010?
Anthony: Yes it was, and hopefully we will have more on board by the end of the first six months of 2010.
Brian: Enquiries...proposal...enquiries...proposal...more companies are noticing our work.
twmp: what are the plans for 2010 and beyond?
Anthony: Keep working on innovative, exciting and groundbreaking projects. That's what we have established ourselves doing and that will remain core to what we do.
Brian: To keeping thinking big and outside the box!
twmp: are there any moves outwith cycling?
Anthony: Not at the moment - we are a cycling company and thats what we love doing.
Brian: Our passion and expertise is cycling but would consider a special project if it suits all.
posted wednesday 30 december 2009..........................................................................................................................................................................................................