Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Piaggio Group of Americas to tentatively Sponsor Scoot! Italy trip and buy ads again

The intern at Scoot! Magazine today sent me an email, letting me know that Piaggio Group of America has decided to not only continue its support of Scoot! Magazine ( they never stopped they just wanted to negotiate it seems, but odd choice of timing ) and I must say - THANK YOU PIAGGIO GROUP OF AMERICAS. Mr. Martinez, good call. Bien hecho Caballero.
Piaggio - Vespa stepping up to the plate is exactly what we needed. I have to say its something good in a sea of people that don't get it. Anyone can sell a scooter, but few people can lift an industry. This is about lifting this segment of the motorcycle industry up and to build it up so that it's sustainable. Several Chinese companies have pulled out of Scoot! Go luck to you guys. Seriously you're going to need it since the market is not going to get any easier. I expected that. I didn't expect the whole Piaggio thing to go down and make a turn for the better in 24 hours. Companies like Kymco, Jonway, Genuine they all signed up and will help keep Scoot! alive in the new digital age, I was there supporting Josh all the way this year making sure we keep this Scoot Industry alive.
Now I haven't spoken to Josh Rogers, he's a hard man to get a hold of lately ( I know he will call me shortly because he always calls me when I turn on my bat signal in the shape of a hamburger.) I am assuming he's happy about this and if its all true then the industry has actually done a really good thing.
Sometimes you have to give people a small push. I'm just as human as everyone else and we all make mistakes. At big companies sometimes you want to cut the small things thinking you will save money or negotiate with someone to save the company money. This is not one of those cases this was about the core of the American motorized scooter scene. The one percent of motorcycle riders who make a lot of noise. For better or worse even I have found myself at odds with what the industry needs, what consumers expect, and what the realities of the economy are, but regardless we must all have a center of communication and for the last ten years in my world that has been Scoot!
When I was in college and saw my first issue of Scoot, the magazine was almost 100% Piaggio and Vespa riders. You saw the small Derbi or Italjet ads since thats all the market had at the time, but it was about Vespa. Before the Scooter Maven even got into the industry, before the first Malaguti Moto ad appeared you saw Piaggio in there. As an industry insider again I repeat my call for leadership at the brand leader to not loose that support at the grass roots level of the people that support the brand. Thankfully someone out there is paying attention. Someone must have read my blog yesterday.
Piaggio / Vespa and now Aprilia have advertising power, they have 200 plus dealers, and a budget to help push the scooter lifestyle in the Americas. Scoot! has always had a strong working relationship with Piaggio so now that there is new management hopefully we will continue to see more support with test bikes ( stop offering them only in LA and NYC ) and send Mr Rogers some vehicles. Also, the MSF bikes still a great idea I know three employees at Piaggio agree with me on that one.
Great thing about Scoot! is that the magazine doesn't change. The owners have been there for a long time and they have worked through staff changes in the past. Here at MRP and the Scooter Maven we look forward to a New Digital Scoot! with the Scoot! club at the core of what they are doing. I think its a brilliant idea and I have to say again thank you Piaggio for moving so quickly and supporting them. Hopefully given the right budget Scoot! will be printing that buyers guide for 2012 and all the other companies that have dropped like flies will look up and say why didn't we support Scoot! the same way Vespa, Kymco, Genuine, and others did.
Make no mistake Piaggio has consistently advertised with Scoot! for over 10 years. If I wrote anything at all yesterday its because I was upset at the state of the industry. If we were to build a pyramid of brands and I will say it again Vespa is the top brand, they are the class president not by choice sometimes, but because they are the brand that is synonymous with the word scooter to every America. Nobody ever says wow Jincheng that means Scooter, nope they say Vespa from Japan to Singapore that's the name that everyone understands. It's the brand we all want to be. I know one or two people in the industry that their only goal in life is to make their company look and be Vespa, but that is a futile dream. Piaggio is the leader of the band, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't call a spade a spade and tell them what their responsabilities are. It's like if Superman decided to miss all the Justice League meetings nothing would ever get done. What you expect Aquaman to put out a volcano? I own a Vespa. I own a lot of Vespa parts. I make a living selling parts and accessories for Piaggio and its brands. I expect a lot out of them and sometimes that passion isn't in the heart of every employee at every company, but thats where the leadership has to step in and say you know what we need to do the right thing here.

This in my opinion is leadership in the right direction. I am finally impressed.
Mr. Martinez, good call. Bien hecho Caballero.
Now hopefully I will not get thrown out of the next Piaggio dealers meeting while I am stuffing myself on free food. Maybe its wishful thinking, but I was hoping for an invite.

The Scooter Maven

No comments: