In late 2015, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose Bentonville, Ark. and the trail systems located throughout Northwest Arkansas as the location for the 2016 IMBA World Summit. Prior to this, Northwest Arkansas devoted significant time and resources to developing the trail systems. With the IMBA event in place, 2016 was the perfect time to show mountain bikers across the country that NWA is a best-kept secret when it comes to a biking destination with miles of world class trails.
Ghidotti joined the team to brand the trail systems (branded as Oz Trails) and create national buzz leading up to the IMBA World Summit in November 2016. A media content analysis and interviews with dedicated mountain bikers showed that places like Colorado, northern California and Utah were among NWA’s biggest competitors. We also knew from our mountain biker interviews, that the tone and voice of the brand needed to be casual and fun – similar to how mountain bikers talk in real life. Research also showed that year-round riding would be a key differentiator for the trails given that many major mountain biking communities are only rideable three seasons out of the year.
The crux of the campaign were four, high-quality videos featuring professional mountain bikers Tyler McCaul, Joey Schusler and Ryan Howard. The videos were filmed throughout the year, during all four seasons, to illustrate the ability to ride in Northwest Arkansas year-round. The videos were posted on newly created and branded social media portals (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) and immediately distributed to major mountain biking and outdoor publications with personal notes and trail statistics on Northwest Arkansas.