I'm not really sure it's a first, although Google doesn't inform me otherwise. But that's really irrelevan,t as everyone loves to say they're first at something whether or not they actually are. Now I'm not saying they're not but Minneapolis-based Solve is very excited to announce they are, yes, the first ad agency to form a cycling team.
As Solve Director of New Business Roman Paluta tells me: "We’re all aware of agencies having rock bands who compete in an annual ‘Battle of the Agency Bands' event. Agencies also routinely compete in their local markets with softball, flag football and even bowling teams. But to our knowledge, we’ve never heard of an agency cycling team -- until now."
And there you have it; another ad agency first. This past weekend the Solve Cycling Team -- a team of six agency staffers -- participated in their first event; a 100k race that took place in Cable, Wisconsin. The race is called the Hungry Bear 100, a race through the rugged back roads and wilderness of Bayfield County and the Chequamegon National Forest.
Solve team member, and agency CEO, John Colasanti finished the race in 4:12:02. The winning time was 3:15:49. Not bad, John.
Just like Indy 500 race drivers, Solve team members arrived at the race decked out in uniforms emblazoned with client logos including True Value, Porsche, Bentley, President Cheese, Lemond Cycling and Founders Brewing.
Of the event, Colasanti said, “It’s a wonderful way to support an employee passion. It was pretty cool riding with our clients' logos plastered all over us on Saturday. Thankfully we had a strong showing and didn’t tarnish their brand reputations.“
Cycling runs through Solve's blood. When the agency opened its door in 2011, its inaugural client was Circuit Sport, owner of the Optum Pro Cycling team for which the agency created the "Human-Powered Health" campaign.
At least they didn't create some virtual cycling race on Snapchat whereby winners could earn the right to apply for an internship at the agency by posting selfie clips of themselves in full cycling regalia while riding atop a mountain ridge.