Putting the communication in Sport Communication

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Sport Communication organise a series of big sportives every year in France and beyond. These include La Marmotte, probably the biggest European cyclosportive with 8000 entrants from across the globe. At 35 – 40 euros per rider, that’s a fair bit of cash sloshing around. I’ve now experienced one of their events, and was very pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome at the event centre, the free red wine, the quality of the post-ride meal etc. – but there was a stark contrast between this and my experience before the event. Why¬†is their electronic marketing so dire?

The Grand Trophee half of the Sport Communication website looks like a sad orphaned relic from the early 90s. Using it is a wasabi sandwich of pain. It’s not just the design:

  • the HTML is a horror story: tables, font tags, the lot
  • the back end is painfully clunky
  • signing up online is like groping in the dark
  • the non-French language support is incomplete and inadequate (and my French is OK)

When I initially purchased places on the Ventoux and Marmotte sportives, I didn’t receive a receipt by email for several weeks. When I did, I was sent the wrong details – they thought I was someone else. I emailed a dozen email addresses, with no response. Finally I called a number in France, pleading for clarity. Eventually my details were corrected.

I went to some lengths to get a doctor’s note, because I was told this was compulsory. I wasn’t even asked for it when I registered on arrival.

True, the complimentary bottle of Ventoux wine did smooth things over. It’s not so much the inconvenience though, as just not understanding how SC can have such a high profile without bothering to invest in their website, which is the single crucial point of contact between the organisers and the participants many months before the events themselves.

2 Responses to “Putting the communication in Sport Communication”

  1. Legs, Feeling No Pressure » Maratona dles Dolomites July 14th, 2009 at 7:42 am

    […] Now this looks like a promising option for 2010: a well-run continental sportive that will be quick without being grotesquely hard – and which can be extended into a sweet summer Euro-trip. And the Maratona website actually looks pretty good, unlike some big cycling-event organisations I could mention. […]

  2. Legs, Feeling No Pressure » Tour du Mont Blanc cyclo April 5th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    […] on Friday and Saturday. I received an email from Sport Communication – those friendly but tech-challenged purveyors of tough French¬†cyclosportives – and have been browsing their newest event: The […]

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