Posted by Editor on 05/1/07
Brodie Signs Norba 4-Cross Champion
Courtesy Brodie Bikes
2006 Norba overall 4X champion Joanna Petterson surprised a few folks at Sea Otter ripping down the DH and DS courses sporting b team colors and piloting a pair of splashy new Brodies.
The surprise move sparked a bit of a new beginning for the talented South African born Hawaiian, whose 2006 campaign ended on a bittersweet note. After locking up the overall Norba 4X championship, she broke her ankle in the final practice run before attempting to wrap up the matching DH title which she'd led the points race for all season long. The injury also cost Joanna a well earned trip to the World Championships.
"Signing with Brodie is the most exciting step I have taken in my career. I had bigger offers, but everyone at Brodie is a class act and is absolutely committed to make the 2007 season a success in both racing and business. On the lighter side, you know it's going to be a fun year when your team owner insists on taking the team out for dinner and proceeds to have the restaurant sing you happy birthday (even though it's not your birthday for another 6 months) and your ice cream gets dumped all over you! Along with racing, I am looking forward being a part of the Brodie community and the commitment they have to expanding the sport of mountain biking, particularly the gravity side, in hopes of growing their business and peoples passion for two wheels and dirt."
After qualifying 8th at Sea Otter, Joanna was disappointed to be eliminated in the round of 16 in Dual Slalom. Coming off a winter of surgeries, rehabilitation, riding only her Brodie rodie, and finally getting on her new mountain bikes in pre-race runs, the rider was content with a pair of top 10s (including a 10th place in the DH). For the duration of the season, however, she'll be aiming for nothing short of the podium.
For the Brodie camp, the signing signals another step in commitment to improvement and a buck in the trend with the company's sponsored rider program. From a sponsored rider standpoint, Brodie's been more of a stepping stone for many of the top riders on the planet. There are a lot of riders in videos and on podiums that started out on Brodie's when they had to buy their own bikes, but jumped shipped when offered some paychecks elsewhere.
In addition to signing Petterson, the b-team re-signed all of its talented riders from the previous season. The Canadian crew re-signed budding dirt jump & slope stylers Kyle Hansen and Jarret Moore, BC Cup Champ Amber Zirnhelt, and the stylish Darcy Turrenne. The US based crew also re-signed BC born and Tucson, AZ resident Jackie Harmony, who went to the World Championships for Team USA, and ultra smooth Jr. Expert Chris Myers who capped a season of turning heads (and busting his own at Crankworx) with a 4X podium at US Nationals while still a few years younger than his competitors.
Brodie, the little known BC based company, has been around for 20 years, but has never really invested much in marketing, sponsorship, or brand development. The company has historically invested more in product development and trail development, and had relied on word of mouth to spread the Brodie gospel. With some new blood in key places committed to solidifying the company's brand, signing a world class rider with a world class attitude seemed like a logical place to spend a few bucks according to Ernest Vogel, president of the US division. "What impressed me most about Joanna was her professionalism and attitude. She is just as concerned about growing women's participation in the sport as she is about winning World Cup races. But instead of just talking about it, she's totally committed to helping Brodie dealers across the continent with running events like women's clinics and rides. Like right now she's at a dealer doing some Princess Training Clinic where she's showing ladies how to do bike maintenance."
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