Trek’s John Burke Tells Industry that Advocacy Is the Future

Trek's president John Burke told Taiwan's leading manufacturers they must shift a portion of their marketing and research budgets toward advocacy and promote the bicycle as a solution to fast-emerging worldwide problems.

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Published March 26, 2007 by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

TAIPEI, Taiwan –Trek's president John Burke told Taiwan's leading manufacturers they must shift a portion of their marketing and research budgets toward advocacy and promote the bicycle as a solution to fast-emerging worldwide problems.

Burke, speaking before a meeting of Taiwan’s A-Team, said a convergence of global issues positions the industry as a solution to obesity, traffic congestion, urbanization and air pollution.

Several factors, such as the rise of obesity levels in the United States and the escalating medical costs in Western Europe, make this a critical time to push cycling forward as a solution. “The U.S. is a microcosm of what is going on and the U.S. government can’t solve it. This is an epidemic,” he said.

Burke said that over the past 20 years the industry has focused on product innovation and marketing, but now it’s time for the industry to shift that focus over the next 20 years. “The bicycle industry is sitting at a place in history where we are at a crossroads,” he said, adding that bicycle advocates are the industry’s unsung heroes.

Burke urged the industry’s leaders to work harder to create a more bicycle-friendly world, to get involved with government leaders and to take greater responsibility for promoting cycling in their home markets. “The industry should try and change the world,” he said.