He’s the guy with the moustache, the tache-tastic Magnum PI of the peloton. But what if he had no facial hair, would you have heard of him? Maybe not. What I’m trying to say is that simply by growing a moustache, he’s getting loads of free publicity. He even has a sideline in T-shirts.
Only this morning cyclingnews.com have a piece saying he’s heading for the Tour of California – but no mention whether Vandevelde, Farrar or Martin are going.
Now I’m sure he grows it for fun but in PR terms, it’s a clever move. A strong helper for his team, he’s come back from injury earlier this season to the front of the bunch and you notice him thanks to the visual clue. People remember him working more than… well I can’t recall the other riders who were pulling with him in the Scheldeprijs.
It’s also good for this team, Garmin-Transitions seems to be a place where individualism is encouraged and riders are not squashed into a mould. If cycling is marketing, the moustache is a masterstroke.
Other riders could take note. Before they leave the razor behind, Cozza seems to have trademarked this look although there’s room for a peloton goatee or, dare I say it, a handlebar moustache. Perhaps riders in want of recognition need to consider other avenues, maybe a special haircut or some other personal signature. But within reason, Cozza’s style is fun but a mohawk haircut might not suit the corporate image of a sponsor, the same for facial tattoos.
- All this brings to mind Mario Cipollini. Many will know him as a super-sprinter with a playboy lifestyle, but I’ll write something about how much of the image was just that, an image crafted for show and not necessarily the reality. In private he could be quite modest. Cipollini realised his looks and legs would propel him to success but by adding a third component, celebrity, he would boost his earning power and popularity exponentially.