In Events, News, Off-Topic by JP Drake

The Tour de France Grand Depart Goes into Over Drive…

It’s an exciting time in Leeds right now with the Grand Depart almost imminent! So, we’ve headed out on to the streets of Leeds to check out how the city is getting ready for and more interestingly for us, marketing the event and engaging the city’s new visitors.

First up is the efforts from The Living Room directly opposite our office on Greek Street and we have to say, out of the many, many, many yellow bikes we have stumbled across this week, we think this is certainly one of the better efforts! The added touch of yellow balloons with business cards attached is another excellent marketing tactic too. And above all else, this vision in yellow has been helping brighten up our mornings for the last couple of days.

Yellow Tour de France Bike

However, while this may be one of the better yellow bikes we have seen, we have to say it’s not a patch on the beauty of a bike they’ve got in the window a Louis Vuitton! So okay, a Louis Vuitton bike is hardly practical, you’re never going to actually cycle it for fear of scratching it and as for leaving it d-locked to a railing, not a chance! But from a marketing perspective and heck, from an aesthetic perspective, it’s a stunner… Louis Vuitton Tour de France Bike …and it certainly made us stop and stare while we were wandering up Briggate so it’s certainly doing its job as a marketing strategy. Here are some other bikes we happened upon around Leeds… Tour De France Bike   Inflatable Yellow Bike

This blow up bike stands proudly in Leeds City Square Plaza (guarded at night by two security guards – seriously) and is surrounded by a plethora of Tour De France branding, marketing and promotional efforts making it currently one of the most vibrant parts of the city.

Someone has been busy down in the Plaza, adorning a few of the famous statues with their very own yellow jerseys. We think Thomas Brock’s Black Price looks more dashing than ever in his new attire, and the nymphs aren’t looking too bad in theirs either! Yellow Jersey Black Prince in Yellow While these statues seem to have been decorated more for the general fun of it, there is another statue in Leeds that has been adorned with decorations fit for Le Tour, that most definitely works as an simple, yet effective form of marketing and advertising. The statue of Dortmund Drayman outside the St John’s Centre has been draped in teapot shaped bunting by the team at the Dementia Day Centre to raise awareness. It even features lovely photographs of the people that spend time there. Dortmund Drayman                                 Yellow Teapots                                 Dementia Day Centre

Moving on from statues now and more towards beverages! Not only have we been the proud recipients of serveral boxes of specially branded Taylor of Harrogate’s Yorkshire Tea, we were also fortunate enough to stumble upon The Magic Spanner Thursday night while Leeds was still relatively quite and the crowds for Le Tour had yet to descend. First up the tea, this has been handed out at both Wakefield Westgate train station and Leeds train station each morning this week and no doubt other establishments or indeed stations have been getting in on the act too. Let us know if you have managed to pick up a free box. Yorkshire Tea

As far as effective marketing strategies go handing out a freebie is always going to be a winner so we take our hats of to Taylors of Harrogate for keeping it simple and making us smile. As for The Magic Spanner, you wont be finding tea here but you will be finding beer and some really cool lighting, music and atmosphere. We recommend you visit! Pop Up Pub   Magic Spanner Lighting This pop up pub can be found in the cellars of the Leeds Town Hall right up where all the action is for the Grand Depart. They bar has been “popped up” by Yorkshire based brewery Magic Rock Brewing Co and has created a new beer to celebrate the Tour De France named, you guessed it, The Magic Spanner. Leeds Town Hall Interesting fact, the beer and the pop up pub has been christened The Magic Spanner after a tactic in cycling known by the same name.

A Magic Spanner in cycling is when one of the mechanics in the support team pretends to make an adjustment to the cyclist’s bike but really, this is all a distraction while the cyclist holds on to the car for a quick rest before receiving a nice big push start! These are just a few of the things we have stumbled across going on in Leeds this week in honour of the Grand Depart and Le Tour De France. We know much more is happening all over the county and indeed country as well. We will certainly be taking more photos over the weekend as we settle down to watch the race and sharing them with you here. If you have taken any pictures too we’d love to see them too so drop us a comment, or a tweet with your pictures!

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