Team of the Week: The Two-Wheel Group

Team of the Week: The Two-Wheel Group

By day: the team's ready to tackle anything on two wheels

It's not exactly an easy ride for the ad team in IPC's The Two-Wheel Group, despite being the market leaders, or near to it, in their specialities.

The group, part of IPC's Calm Media and based at Focus House, in Croydon, comprises Cycling Weekly (sales of 30,000 copies per week); Cycle Sport (20,000 per month); Mountain Bike Rider, (40,000 a month) and Superbike, (73,000 per issue).

Despite its success, the ad team has to stay several steps ahead of the opposition. Creative ideas abound and the highly-organized department has been successful in creating new business opportunities in each specialist market.

The 10-strong sales team is divided into two, with one section looking after the three cycling titles, while the other deals with Superbike. With so many titles, they are constantly going to press (87 press deadlines per year).

"Although the team's clearly split between Superbike and the three cycling titles,  we all sit together in one office and often help each other out. It's a fun place to work and creativity and idea-sharing is rife," explains senior sales exec on the cycling titles, Simon Elias.

"Targets are constantly hammered home and the team is constantly reminded of how it is performing against that figure. There's no escape - but it works well and morale's very high within the team."

Although the team prides itself on creating a wonderful team environment, there are clear lines of responsibility. On Superbike, display is shared between Richard Boggia and Neil Handley, while Sue Bann looks after a healthy classified section.

On the cycling side, display is dealt with by Simon Elias, who deals with the manufacturers and agencies, and Paula Harrison, who is responsible for the larger retailers. The telesales team has even more manpower, with Jonathan Emery, Vicky Palmer and Marina Lazaris dealing with the largest group of advertisers (retailers) and also working on the numerous new features that appear within the titles.

The lynchpin of the two teams is group sales manager Ian James, who sits with his team (rather than in an office), so that he's always on hand to offer his experience and market insight - and who is also willing to "get on the phone" to help out.

The team faces numerous challenges over the next year, but the most exciting is growing their core advertising business, by expanding further into the non specialist area.

"We've already had some great clients like Landrover, Kenwood, Renault, Oakley, Coca Cola and Nike and we want to grow that side. It's my remit for the next few months," says Elias.

By night: two wheels might be out of the question, "Sorry, Croydon"

The team has been celebrating a lot recently in Croydon with every one of the four titles achieving record ad revenues. The old adage of "work hard, play hard" comes to mind and on occasion they will really "go to town", with disgustingly copious amounts of alcohol being consumed. "We apologize, Croydon," says Simon.

Ian James, group sales manager; Fiona Warren, telephone sales manager; Simon Elias, senior sales executive (cycling); Richard Boggia, deputy advertising nanager (Superbike); Neil Handley, senior sales executive (Superbike).

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