Rapha and Passionate Branded Content

If the Tour de France is leaving you hungry to see crazy cyclists pumping up unforgiving terrain and crashing in ways that leave most of their skin on the pavement, you might want to check out the web site of cycling apparel company Rapha.

Rapha is a testament to creating great content to connect to a small but passionate audience. Rapha’s content is not chasing after page views or “likes.” It’s not even there to pitch Rapha’s clothing line. It’s there to inform, entertain and thrill die-hard cyclists. Just take a look at the collection of short films Rapha commissioned — certainly at no small expense.

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Die-hard cyclists have responded by embracing Rapha as one of their own — and buying Rapha’s clothing.

Rapha was founded in 2003 by a couple of cycling fanatics, Simon Mottram and Luke Scheybeler, who still run the company and lead product design. Interestingly, one of the company’s key members — listed on the company fact sheet right below Mottram and Scheybeler — is a veteran cycling journalist, Guy Andrews. He now runs a magazine Rapha created, Rouleur. Notice that nothing on the web site’s front page says Rapha. Nothing! The way it identifies itself is, “The world’s finest cycling racing reportage.”

Passion, dedication and authenticity are keys to branded content. They’ll build an audience, and the audience will buy because they love you.

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