Dear Mr. Smith,
I have recently become aware of Team Garmin-Chipotle’s intriguing Argyle Club, wherein for the low, low cost of $995 I can get all of the following:
- Team kit, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat
- Tickets to the team launch
- Some sponsor tchotchkes
- Shop employee-level discounts on a pair of shoes and some bike clothes
- Not-quite-as-good-as-shop-employee-level discounts on a bike, a helmet, and glasses
- Super-secret insider race tactics straight from Jon Vaughters
- All the Chipotle burritos I can eat for a (freakin’) year!
Now Bryan (can I call you Bryan? Great!), I think you’re on to something here, but as the most awesomely popular Sports Blogger in the Whole World, I think you need to make a few changes if you ever want to get anyone to sign up. For your convenience, I have numbered my ideas, although this numbering scheme should not be interpreted as a ranking of importance, nor of an order of implementation.
Because they’re all really important, and they should all be implemented right now.
#1: Rethink that Chipotle Offer
First, let’s address the main reason I will not join the Argyle Club: the fact that I would have access to a free Chipotle burrito every day for a year.
Why don’t I want this benefit? Because I would use it. Every day. For a year.
You see, my office happens to be one block from a Chipotle, and I love the place (Chipotle, not my office). So it would be no problem for me to go there for lunch every day. Which means the following would happen:
- Financial Problems for You: Before June ended, I would have eaten more than $1000 worth of burritos. If the “free” includes the guacamole upgrade, I’d have eaten $1000 worth before the end of May.
- Weight Gain Problems for Me: Since Chipotle burritos — the way I like them — come out to be just under 1400 calories with 60 grams of fat, I’d almost certainly gain 208 pounds by the end of the year, which would mean I’d have to buy all new clothes at best, and would probably spend some time in the hospital at worst. Either way, I’d be coming to you to reimburse me for these expenses, since I clearly should not be held responsible for my own actions.
To tell the truth, though, I find myself considering buying three of these club memberships for the family (I’m the only one in the family who can eat an entire Chipotle burrito, and even then I’m just doing it to show off). That $3000 up front buys three burritos every day for a year, and three burritos is easily enough to feed everyone in my family for the entire day. Since my family’s food budget is currently around $1000 / month, this Argyle club membership could pay for itself by the end of Q1.
Perhaps you should consider marketing the Argyle Club that way.
#2: Add More High-Value Items to the Membership
Apart from the never-ending (never-ending for a year, I mean) fountain of burritos, Bryan, there’s not a lot in your Club Argyle membership kit that really grabs me. Apart from the team kit, it’s mostly just discounts.
That’s an expensive coupon book, Bryan.
What you need is more free stuff. I have some suggestions:
A free tattoo: Cyclists love to show their dedication to the sport, their teams, and their favorite consumer products with tattoos. And since anyone joining the Argyle Club is clearly sold on team Garmin-Chipotle, you should give them a coupon for a free argyle tattoo.
I happen to know that my friend Kenny is still on the hunt for a good tattoo; maybe this would fill the bill. Here’s what I’ve got in mind:
Admit it: this is the most awesome tattoo idea ever.
And if your team ever disbands or if you — heaven forbid — ever abandon the argyle conceit, this tattoo still gets Kenny about 80% of the way toward becoming either a superhero or professional wrestler.
An afternoon with Jonathan Vaughters as an image consultant : I have to admit that until he surfaced as the director/CEO of Garmin-Chipotle, my primary mental image of Jon Vaughters was of when he had to bail out of the TdF because he got stung in the eye by a wasp, his eye swelled shut, and the race officials wouldn’t let him have a cortisone shot so he could see again.
That just sucked.
If something like that happened to me, I am not certain that I would ever get over it.
Anyway, imagine my surprise to see that he’s gone from looking like he’s just gotten punched in the face to this:
There’s no other way to describe it, Bryan. Jon Vaughters looks dapper.
OK, there probably are other ways to describe it. For example, I could describe him as “looking like a member of Haircut 100.” I probably won’t, though.
But my point is that Jon’s got a look together, whereas every article of clothing I own I purchased either from Twin Six or REI.
No, that is not an exaggeration. Sure, I’m always comfortable, but I also always look like I’m going camping very soon.
If I could get an afternoon of Jon helping me buy clothes, refactoring my sideburns, and maybe working with me on some more urbane eyewear, I would get right in line for the Argyle Club.
A surprise drug test: While pro cyclists almost certainly consider it an intrusion into their lives to get an out-of-competition drug test, the rest of us dream about having somebody — anybody — care enough about our unremarkable race results enough to make us pee in a cup.
So, as a perk for the Argyle Club, how about having the Agency for Cycling Ethics show up at some random time and demand a complete blood workup. I promise that I will find a way to let all my friends know about the event, and will furthermore do my best to act miffed, as if it were an insult to my honor and dignity, rather than the most awesome thing that has ever happened to me.
#3: Rethink the “Race Day ‘Insider Info’ Thing
One of the benefits you offer to Argyle Club members is “exclusive info on team tactics and race day updates from Jonathan Vaughters.” Are you sure you want to do that? Well, OK, but I’m just going to say this once: you may want to look into the background info for all the people who buy the membership.
You know, just to make sure none of them are fronting for Johan Bruyneel.
#4: More Money-Making Opportunities
Bryan, the Argyle Club idea is great, but if you really want to make money with this idea, you need to have different levels of membership, with accompanying increased benefits. For example:
- Argyle Club Basic: Everything you currently have in the membership, plus my helpful additions.
- Argyle Club Bronze: Everything in Basic, but this time the race tactics info you get emailed are for real and can be used to win considerable sums of money at intrade.com.
- Argyle Club Silver ($2500): Everything in Basic and Bronze, plus you get to ride in the Race Director’s car during one of the races.
- Argyle Club Gold ($5000): Everything in Basic, Bronze, and Silver, plus you get to yell “Venga venga venga!” over and over, as much as you want, into the race radio.
- Argyle Club Platinum ($25000): Everything in the above levels, plus you get the Guacamole upgrade in your daily Chipotle burrito, at no additional charge.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you, Bryan. I look forward to seeing them implemented, and look forward to the Platinum-level membership you are almost certain to offer me, no charge, as a sign of your gratitude for my efforts on your behalf.
The Fat Cyclist
PS: Beast Mom, thanks for pointing me toward the Argyle Club.