STANCE x METTLE CYCLING
Sometimes a shot in the dark proves to be the most fruitful idea; as far as shots in the dark go, reaching out to an amazing brand like Stance certainly fits that description. I won’t try to overstate the “opportunity” of crossing over into a niche market. Mettle is a small brand with a lot of inertia coming into 2019 and lots of eyeballs looking to what we’ll do next. We’ve moved past the “low-hanging-fruit” stage of ideas and are aspiring for a larger step up in visibility and the growth of our platform to do more within the cycling industry and grass-roots activation. We think the visual concepts of this year lend themselves to something incredibly fun and congruent with which Stance is known. Fun design and quality products.
ELITE AMATEUR RACE PROGRAM
Mettle Cycling is tight knit squad powered by a passionate brand, both with a commitment to the local cycling community. Over the last 3 years, we've built a reputation for being strong, tactical, and worst of all... "a group of really nice guys." As the team leader and "owner," my goal has been to build it the same way as the brand. Purposeful and slow; including riders that understand how to win on their own and apply that to a team effort.
-Randall Fransen, Owner/Operator
As we head into 2019, preparations are underway for this season’s partners (race team) and longer-term product development (both unilateral and with the below partners). The immediate consideration is for the Road Racing kit and how socks would conceptually fit in with that.
Mettle is bringing it’s most conceptual design to life by creating a Spirit Animal and accompanying Fable/short story. The concept is still taking shape but the visuals are entering their final iterations and the below imagery should help to illustrate where we plan to take this:
PLANNED PARTNERSHIPS FOR 2019
We’ve been lucky to attract the attention of some of the best companies and brands in the PNW and are working on a very special year with the racing program as well as some collaborative product ideas.
SCOTTIE’S PIZZA PARLOR
Scottie’s values align closely with Mettle’s on a community level. While creating a place for inclusivity, Scottie’s pays his workers a living wage and pays forward much of his earnings to community programs and for the first time dove into local sports, helping our team with pizzas at local races as well as a small cash donation to offset the cost of race entries and nutrition.
CryoPDX provide recovery options for our riders. NormaTec Compression Therapy and Cryo Therapy have been essential to keeping the gains from training over the long run. Sid and Deb not only gave our team a significant discount but a generous check to help cover a lot of costs for the squad this road season.
Specialized has a custom division for kit and accessories. In exchange for photography and consistent mentions/tags on social channels, Specialized Custom offered the squad this year's kit at cost, significantly decreasing the financial requirement for the squad. This was a huge benefit to our riders who are still in school or working part-time jobs as well as younger riders fresh out of school with jr. positions.
WHO GIVES A SHIT?
More and more people, it turns out. Mettle’s reputation is growing beyond social platforms and local community involvement. We hope to continue this momentum into a bigger premium brand with taste making moves and greater initiatives for athletes.
We pride ourselves on having the most noticeable kit design wherever we race and compliments from our competitors and fans on the interwebs confirm it. We pay attention to what’s coming instead of emulating what’s out there. Our seasonal concepts are growing in intricacy and forming big foundations for our aesthetic and approach to the bike.
Perhaps more valuable is the content generated and any added value we can provide for your brand like what we did for CryoPDX and Specialized Custom for their own channels. GIFs, videos and a gallery of photos to use for free.
Mettle’s Instagram channel is dedicated to the brand and the team, almost 50/50. With 5300 followers and growing (as well as a recent cover photo for Bicycling Magazine), the polish of our photos and IG stories are far beyond almost any amateur racing team. Plus, podium shots galore. Stats? why yes:
@mettlecycling | 5300 - averaging 800-1000 profile visits & 5000 impressions, per week. Core audience 25-44 (age, men/women)
@fransencomesalive | 6000
@adamkachman | 6400
@benguernsey / @mckenzie.sampson / @xandurrr / @zoogore / @zach_rots / @philfr0mthefuture | 6650
This is a special blend of riders that have been pulled from many disciplines and experiences to form one of the most dominant amateur teams in Portland.
Cat 3 | Xander recently graduated school with a Bio-Medical degree and has been racing collegiate for the last 4 years. Voted most likely to be DS, Xander brings team experience from stage racing with previous teams.
Cat 4 | Team Mascot? Maybe. CX racer and max Chilleur? Definitely. Can't imagine a race without Phil cheering, drinking, then cheering some more. Then drinking some more.
Cat 2 | Ben is the current SSCX Oregon State Champion and a Designer, Photographer, and Puncheur. Like an onion, Ben has many layers and will at some point make you cry.
SS Extraordinaire and actual human father. Beyond Boy Scout Preparedness.
Vegan Straigh Edge and not an asshole about it. A Cat 4 on the rise with luscious locks.
Cat 3 | Previously racing the midwest Crit scene, Weston joined Mettle this year and has contributed more than his weight in gold for team members both by chasing down breaks and metric tons of positive encouragement.
Cat 2 | Oregon State TT Champion (Cat 3). McKenzie won 4 races this year & helped other teammates run through upgrade points like Haribo Gummy Bears..
Cat 2 | Currently the team's resident "injured guy" and KOM holder for some tough local Strava segments. A roadie with a new found love for CX, his mustache is the source of his power.
Mikey "Buddha" Ward
Cat 4 | Living in S. C. and splitting time between Triathlon, CX, and interpretive dance.
Professional XC MTB, 3rd at State RR championships and gunning for Elite CXNats.
Cat 2 | An accomplished CX racer, Adam jumped back into racing road with the squad this season and quickly upgraded to Cat 4 by winning. He's usually found on a vision quest 9 hours into a 16 hour ride.
Cat 2 | Owner of Mettle Cycling. Mediocre at all disciplines. The one to blame for anything that goes wrong with this potential partnership. Most likely to ask about your tyre pressure.
Dr. Dave Aurich
The "Tri-Guy" residing in the SE...of the country. Dave embodies #onmymettle achieving life-long goals and being mediocre at 3 sports when he could just be good at one.
Cat 5 | "The Points Guy" and kit model with more power than he really knows what to do with.
Cat 3 | Panache ratio on the team is now disproportionally provided by Zach.
1st Overall Mt. Tabor Series (2/3) | 1st Oregon State TT Championship (3) | 5th Oklahoma City ProAm Classic (3) | 4th Chico Stage Race - Stage 2 (3) | 5th Modesto RR (3) | 4th Oregon State RR Championship (3) | 2nd Overall High Desert Omnium (3) | 3rd Overall High Desert Omnium (3) | 1st & 3rd One Horse RR (3) | 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Montinore RR (3) | 5th Overall Baker City Classic (3) | 2nd Overall GPCD series (Elite) | 3rd Overall GPCD series (2/3) | 1st Overall GPCD series (5) | 1st Overall Blind Date Series (Elite) | 1st Overall PDX Trophy Cup Series (5) | 3rd Overall High Desert Omnium (2018) | 2nd Overall Cross Crusade (2/3) | 2nd Overall Cross Crusade (SS) | 1st Overall Cross Crusade (4)