September 15, 2009 9 Comments AUTHOR: brucemarler CATEGORIES: Domains Tags: , , ,

Back And Inspired After First Media Event for

Tour Of Missouri Podium
Tour Of Missouri Podium

Well, yesterday I made it back from following the Tour of Missouri for the week, as mentioned in previous posts it was a large marketing event and press event for us. The results far exceeded our expectations and I could probably come up with blog topics for a month from the one week of travel and the experience we gained from it. Do not worry though, I will keep it to just a few.

One thing that was very nice to see was that in two different stops I had domain investors come visit our booth, we were working hard to cover the event but I made it a point to get some domain discussion time in, its not often we get out in public and meet in such an ad hoc manner as domainers so it was absolutely great to meet some the people that read my blog and talk with them about their perspective on domains and how they build their business from them. What I found most interesting about this was that new domain investors are still coming in. Even though the economy has shrunk many peoples budgets people are still looking at ways to get in. One thing that was great to hear from both individuals I ran into was the focus on quality rather than quantity. I think the recent comments by fellow domain bloggers and myself are starting to resonate with new people coming in. This is great news for all (although not necessarily for registrars…).

Next thing of note, I gained both major respect for some media organizations but also lost it for others. Excluding some of the top TV media organizations we had the same access as anyone else in the “media pits” as I liked to call them, also had access to the free food and gifts each city gave each day to the press (note to self, that does not mean its calorie free). But it was funny seeing legacy media teams feel entitled and not hustle for their position, it was the web centric folks that were smart about their access and made sure they got in position first. Seeing old-school newspaper photographers have to fight for position when it was obvious they normally had the upper hand was actually quite entertaining and became a nice discussion point between ourselves and some others.

We actually had the first videos and pictures up on some days at Tour.Missouri.Me, in a couple cases we had pictures and videos up within 10 minutes of the video being taken. We made it a point to be raw and uncut, that had been our plan initially (to put out pictures and videos as fast as possible)  but after discussing with a few other cyclists and one of the media representatives from one of the teams it became even more apparent that would be the smartest move. Well, it worked, one of the team press officers actually pulled the team owner over and said “Did you see what these guys are doing, its like an AP news feed except faster and its pictures and video.”  We are new at this obviously, but to get compliments and kudos from these people who deal with the press everyday it was pretty cool stuff.  It was also nice to be in one of the team cars (Thanks Team Type 1) and be sending out tweets with pictures from the car real time.

Another nice thing was seeing the amount of links and comments we got from other websites, at the beginning of the week we had actually put together a Google Adwords budget to drive initial traffic, by mid week it was only 20 percent of our traffic/pageviews just based on links from other cycling sites and traffic from type-ins and search engines (another note, galleries of podium girls on sites do well in cycling events).

And for the biggie for us, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder of Missouri took a liking to us early and our story. During the Ste. Genevieve stage 2 start we had the opportunity to meet him and talk a bit, we discussed the fact we are cyclists and thanked him for supporting the continuation of the event (a whole other story). We informed him of the link we were adding to our site to directly contact the governor to petition for the event to be held next year. Well, the rest from there on was great, he pulled me aside on stage during a stage a couple days later and asked how traffic was, and indicated he had been telling everyone about and asked me to connect with his staff to discuss further what we were doing. Obviously something we are very excited about.

Back to media organizations, I read daily, it was actually quite fun to sit in a Paneras in Rolla, MO and chat with them while they posted their pics and stories on their site (which is the de facto cycling news site on the web) while we were sitting right there with them posting on ours. The Internet has changed media, although we all realized it before, once you realize that the newspapers are still working on getting printed for the next day, and the TV organizations are trying to figure out what 30 seconds to show, we were posting 10 stories a day and getting traffic because of it. Velonews is the best of both, they have the top cycling news site but also have their print magazine. It was nice to see them working hard to get their stories up fast (although we did beat them a couple days on pics).

As a fan I gotta say that it was nice to get to actually spend some hang-out time with some of the guys I watch in the Tour De France yearly, that alone helped us get exclusive access on team buses during the event and get some video and pictures others did not. Not something we really expected but it turned out great.

After all the effort was put in to put out behind the scenes pictures and videos it was nice to see the reaction across the web, we could see links popping up on various high traffic cycling sites, some nice comments on a few actually stating that was the place to go for fast coverage which was interesting since we had never really covered an event before, looks like guerilla reporting may actually work….. What is even better is the more than 80 posts (and dozens of videos on we made stay as content and the links created from other sites stick around as well, content is king.

As far as the marketing side of the event, we handed out THOUSANDS of brochures to people coming to our booth, had great reaction from people across Missouri and a ton of people asking about when we will be launching in their states. The water bottles we passed out went quick, probably could of had a thousand more or so but we exceeded expectations so no need to dwell on that.

Well enough rambling, just a lot of stuff in the head rolling around after the past week, and as luck would have it we just signed a new intern on today that graduated with a journalism degree from a top University, more reports to come…..

UPDATE: Funny little thing I just noticed, I was watching the Versus coverage of the first day of the race which I had recorded on DISH, the first couple minutes of the coverage has me in it next to the Team Type 1 team car with my shirt on, free logo branding:) Got lucky:)


  1. Morgan 7 years ago says:

    Congrats Bruce – you’ve done an amazing job covering the event. Really shows how a domain name can be much more than a flat website – it can be a living breathing entity! You have created an incredible online destination!

    Looking forward to reading about your future adventures!

  2. bruce 7 years ago says:

    Just updated the post with this, funny:)

    UPDATE: Funny little thing I just noticed, I was watching the Versus coverage of the first day of the race which I had recorded on DISH, the first couple minutes of the coverage has me in it next to the Team Type 1 team car with my shirt on, free logo branding:) Got lucky:)

  3. bruce 7 years ago says:

    @Todd – Thanks much and no problem, I enjoyed it quite a bit, no bother at all. You could see we were all over the place though, it was quite a chore trying to do the booth and cover the event from a media perspective, a fun challenge though.

    @theoretical – Thanks much on the compliments. I do have geo targeting setup. As far as rankings, I appreciate the link on Wikipedia, I wondered who did that, I actually got some traffic from that. I never expected to rank in google for just the term “tour of missouri”, the race has been around for a few years and a lot of sites have had content around it for years so I knew getting ranked for that term in only a week would take a miracle, that said thought we got ranked for a ton of terms around it that drove a ton of traffic. Things around video, pictures, podium girls, etc we ranked high in a short amount of time. We were actually ranking above who ran the live coverage of the event for many video terms. All in all we could not of been happier with the rankings we got in the search engines.

    Appreciate the support much and feel free to put the links in Wikipedia anytime:)

  4. theoretical 7 years ago says:

    Great job on the coverage. I’m glad you got plenty of traffic from links but I was watching Google and for some reason never got very high. I got so frustrated for you I threw a link in wikipedia’s tour of missouri article to you. Hope you don’t mind :)

    Have you set up the Geo Targeting yet in Google for the US? I saw a press release the other day that .Me was opened up by the Google Webmaster Tools so that you can specify the relevant geo location.

    Looking forward to the rest of your articles.

  5. Todd 7 years ago says:

    I was one of the newbies you spoke with in Kansas City. Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to speak with me for 30-40 minutes while being busy working your booth. I learned a lot in that short amount of time and hopefully I wasn’t a bother.

    It goes to show that domainers are just a great bunch of guys and willing to talk shop to the new guy.

    Great job on covering the tour and good luck with I will be following your progress.


  6. Dan Bell 7 years ago says:

    Bruce, thanks for giving us up to the minute updates. It was cool to watch and read what was happening during the tour. You guys did a great job!

    • bruce 7 years ago says:

      @Dan – Thanks much! It was a blast doing it, did not get much sleep and there was not much other than focus on the travels and race, but at the end of the day it was a blast and it was nice to get comments from people who enjoyed it. BTW ,great email address:)

      @Kevin – There is more coming, I ended up with a list of over 10 different posts I could make out of the one trip but have it narrowed down a bit,

      @Brian – The traffic has already carried over which is great, part of the work was making sure we linked from the posts to the local communities we were in, at least most of the time, that has worked quite well.

  7. Kevin Jackson 7 years ago says:

    Well done Bruce! This is what branding is all about: getting your name ou there!! Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading more stories like this.

  8. TeenDomainer 7 years ago says:

    Sounds like a great week, I think it is really cool how the old and new media were fighting. Hopefully the traffic will carry over to your main site I can’t wait to hear all about the growth.

    Brian Diener