I am _________. 

I've always thought that "personal websites" reminded me of online dating profiles.  You get a few hundred words to tell people who you THINK... you are,  but the person you describe is really who you aspire to be... not who you really are. 

If I had to be honest, I'd say i'm a 30year old kid who occasionally has a good idea.  No promise that they'll always be the best, just that once I'm committed to making something succeed I'll help my team pull it off every single time. 

I'm often overly passionate, I want to work with people that care about what they're doing. I think agencies get bogged down in politics and I think that a committee is the quickest way to lose a point of view. Leadership and direction, whether from me or my client, should be sharp and direct.  I think that projects should make you choose a side and that if you don't have someone saying they disagree you are playing it too safe. 

Hi.  I'm Chris. 


Current Projects 


Specialized / Red Hook Crit

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The partnership with the Red Hook Crit throughout 2016 was aimed at creating a bridge between bike racing and art.  

We selected 4 members of the design team at Specialized to develop a complete head-to-toe concept for our 2-man wrecking crew of Aldo Ino Ilesic and Colin Strickland to race in each of the 4 international events. 

Each designer was then highlighted as they moved through their process to develop the concept showing off their unique and style in a short video. 

This approach saw the highest traffic that Specialized has ever seen from the 18-30yo age group.  

Continuing in to the 2017 season, the race team has grown and will see the product raced by the athletes merchandised globally. 


The Specialized Digest

The Specialized Digest was created to connect the Specialized brand with individuals throughout the world who create their own stories.  

We work with riders in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia that shoot images, write words, and inspire their communities to get out on the bike. 

Each member of the Specialized Digest works with their local Specialized market to help maximize their reach and help build relevant content based on the market's goals. 


Deux North

 

 

The cycling industry has seen a shift over the last 3 years.  A move from racing to riding.  We've seen a large portion of the consumer base stop caring about what the pros ride and  have seen a refocusing on where their bike can take them. 

In 2014 I led the introduction of our Diverge adventure bike. Unlike traditional product launches, we sought out a new way of building excitement and hype focused on the experience first and told the story via social media. 

Without ever speaking to the bike via the media or mentioning racing, we worked with the cycling collective Deux North to lead an expedition along the California Coast and document it via social media.  Over the initial 3 day trip we saw nearly 7million impressions and media outlets throughout the cycling and mainstream world clamoring to learn more about the new bike. 

This approach allowed us to speak to where you could go on the bike rather than its specifications and helped to position the Specialized brand as a leader in this new market space.  

 


How Specialized's Chris Riekert Photographs His Rides 

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I've said it before, the landscape of marketing for has changed.  Consumers have the opportunity to choose what they read and when they read it.  Connecting with a customer needs to feel personal and special when they are being bombarded with ads, tweets, and messages with people wanting their attention.  

Creating a brand that focuses on inclusion and connection is just as important for a big budget brand as it is for a person.  Over the last few years, I've worked very hard with my own brand to take people on the ride with me.  My work and hobbies have given me amazing opportunities to meet great people and see beautiful places.  I've used my photography to tell the story and let people join in.  

 


5 Minutes 

As the PR and Marketing Manager for Specialized Bicycles my responsibility has been to maximize the exposure as we introduce products to the world.   With the introduction of our "5 Minutes" package, we brought a set of 5 products (Bicycle, Apparel, Shoe, Helmet, and Tires) that would save the competitive focused rider 5minutes of time over the existing industry status quo. 

In sport, 5 Minutes is an absolute lifetime.  So making a bold claim that simply purchasing a set of products could totally alter the way a weekend worrior's race finishes is something that requires a fair bit of explaining.  So often companies fall victim to explaining their brilliant ideas with charts and graphs and strip the emotion and fun from the idea. 

At the end of the day... Saving time and going faster should be about fun.  Our objective with the 5 Minute introduction was to help our customers and journalists get a feeling for the speed that the product offered together as a package and all the while, give them the dorky scientific facts needed to back up their feelings... you know, if an ear to ear smile wasn't enough.