How Rapha x Palace x Cannondale Generated 272K Web Visits In Two Days
Rapha, Cannondale and Palace collaborated for the 2020 Giro d'Italia and the 2022 Tour De France. The collab in 2020 successfully drove web traffic and generated social followers for Rapha and Palace. Here's how:
- Disrupt the Norm: These collaborations drew enormous attention by successfully disrupting the status quo of the traditional culture of cycling with vibrant colours, animated characters and off-bike streetwear.
- Partnerships: Cannondale and Rapha make an ideal pair of complementary brands, allowing each other to reach a broader audience in the cycling space. Palace's collaboration reflects a larger trend in streetwear, with brands partnering with mainstream sportswear brands to reach a broader audience. Additionally, Rapha and Cannondale benefit from Palace's cult-like following and reputation in the fashion industry.
- Strategic Launch: The Palace x Rapha x Cannondale collabs have been strategically timed to create a buzz in the media by coinciding the launches with significant cycling events such as the Giro d'Italia and the Tour De France.
- Selling Hype: The collabs hone in on drop culture by driving hype with product “drops”, creating a sense of scarcity by releasing limited quantities and a feeling of exclusivity by offering members priority access.
- Make a Statement: The 2022 switch-out kit was designed to "righteously celebrate the Tour Femmes" and "show the world what it's been missing" by featuring a venus symbol and two dragons front and centre of the jersey.
In October 2020, Rapha x Palace x Cannondale announced they were joining forces to create a unique and disruptive look for the EF Pro Cycling team to sport during 2020 Giro d’Italia.
The collab included a limited edition switch-out kit and an overhaul of the team’s casualwear, helmets and bikes. The collection took influence from early 90s club culture and video games with a flamboyant colour palette.
Rapha and Palace were the driving forces behind the collab, with the on-bike and off-bike gear featuring a co-branded Rapha and Palace triferg logo. The collection was teased on Rapha and Palace’s social media channels and websites before the official drop on October 9th / 10th.
The Cannondale bike was available only to the eight riders on the roster of the Giro d’Italia. Still, Cannondale used the custom bike as an opportunity to tease its upcoming collab with Palace, which was later announced on September 17th, 2021.
The 2020 collab drove record high* monthly web traffic to both Rapha and Palace’s websites, generating 1.6M and 953K web visits, respectively. The drops drove 132K web visits on Oct. 5th, 2020 and 139K on Oct. 9th, 2020.
In addition, Palace and Rapha experienced a significant increase in Instagram followers, growing by 16K and 13K, respectively, in October 2020.
Once again, the trio announced another collaboration set to drop on July 15th 2022, in celebration of Tour de France Femmes. This collection includes “Off-Bike” and “On-Bike” apparel and a custom fleet of racing bikes by Cannondale. The collection is set to launch with three three localised drops on Rapha, Palace and Cannondale’s websites.
1. Disrupt the Norm
Unlike skateboarding, the sport of cycling is traditional, conventional, and known for conforming to rules. Rapha and Cannondale are unique to the sport as their brand values focus on innovation and creativity.
These collaborations drew enormous attention by successfully disrupting the status quo with vibrant colours, animated characters (cap-wearing duck & little green dragon), and off-bike streetwear.
Break the Rules: The EF Pro Cycling kit was deemed non-compliant by the sport’s governing body, UCI which caused an extra buzz in the media and cost the team $4000. However, the team’s rider, Ruben Guerreiro, then claimed a stage victory wearing that very same kit.
What the Duck? The randomness of the duck on the 2020 EF Pro Cycling kit sparked a wave of excitement on social media and in article comments, with many people asking, “What is with the duck?”.
Cannondale and Rapha work well together as the companies complement each other. Rapha sells apparel, and Cannondale sells bikes and gear. Promoting their partnership allows the brands to reach more people in the cycling space and leverage each other's established audiences.
Palace's collaboration with Cannondale and Rapha reflects a larger trend in streetwear, in which many brands partner with mainstream sportswear brands to reach a broader audience. As cycling has grown in popularity, we have seen streetwear brands working with more cycling brands, such as Castelli's collab with Supreme and MAAP with Perks and Mini.
Additionally, Rapha and Cannondale benefit from Palace's cult-like following and reputation in the fashion industry. Click for More
3 Strategic Launches
The Palace x Rapha x Cannondale collabs have been strategically timed to create a buzz in the media by coinciding the launches with major cycling events.
In 2020, the Rapha x Palace announced their collabs on September 30th, the day before the the EF Pro Cycling team unveiled the new look at the the Giro d’Italia race. On October 5th they announced the drop of the collection to the public.
In 2022, Palace x Rapha x Cannondale released their collaboration on June 27th — three days before the start of the Tour De France. During the race, riders of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and EF Education-EasyPost will be seen wearing the collection on and off their bikes.
Big Events: Launch the new look in conjunction with the biggest events in respective sports and have the athletes wear it for those events to generate extra buzz.
4. Selling Hype
The collabs hone in on drop culture, focusing on exclusivity and hype.
Drops: To drive hype, the collections featured special releases at specific times and dates when limited products would be released.
Limited Availability: The collabs have been extremely limited, creating the sense of scarcity that is central to the appeal of drop culture.
Exclusivity: To shop the 2022 collection users must be Rapha cycling community members. In 2020 those who were members before October 4th were able to get priority access. This strategy not only creates a sense of exclusivity, but also encourages more email sign-ups.
5. Make a Statement
The collaboration in 2022 celebrates the first women's Tour de France stage race in 33 years. The switch-out kit was designed to "righteously celebrate the Tour Femmes" and "show the world what it's been missing", with a venus symbol and two dragons front and centre*. The men's and women's teams' jerseys feature this bold design to promote equality for women in cycling.
Add Purpose: Use special collections to take a stand on important issues to your brand in an authentic and genuine way.
6. Cross Promote
Palace, Cannondale and Rapha have each promoted the launch of their collaboration to their audiences across their social media channels, email newsletter and on their websites.
On Rapha and Cannondale’s websites, the homepages feature the collab and a link for more details. On Palace’s, the collab is linked in the third triferg logo.
Each brand sent out emails to their newsletter subscribers on July 11th to promote the launch of the collab. The newsletters reached approximately 476K subscribers.
Rapha and Cannondale posted about the collaboration on their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts, while Palace posted on their Instagram.
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