Peter McCracken (MSLS ’95), alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has begun using a non-traditional marketing technique to promote ShipIndex.org, a Web site McCracken created to make researching maritime vessels faster and more efficient than ever before. The site provides information for genealogists and historians which books, magazines, Web sites and more, mention the ships they want to research. Over 140,000 citations are freely available, and the premium database, available by subscription to individuals and institutions, contains 2.9 million citations and is always growing. Now, in addition to being featured in print and online ads, the ShipIndex logo will appear on the backs of jerseys through a sponsorship of the Carolina Cycling Team.
“I love bike racing, and wanted to sponsor a specific pro team, but even if they’d accepted my product as a sponsor (since it has nothing to do with cycling), I almost certainly couldn’t have afforded any of their sponsorship levels,” said McCracken. “I decided to go with teams at schools I’d graduated from, and that led me to the Carolina Cycling Team.”
Because college cycling is not an NCAA sport, cycling teams do not receive substantial funding from universities and rely largely on sponsorships.
“Our club is a diverse group of students, made up of undergraduates, graduates and faculty members,” said Ericka Malow, treasurer of the Carolina Cycling Team. “We work hard to raise money in order for our club members to have the opportunity to race. This year we were able to do something UNC cycling has not done in a very long time, which was to hold a race for other schools in our conference. One thing that has prevented us from doing this in year’s past was lack of funding. We are very grateful to have sponsors, like ShipIndex.com, reach out to the club and support what we do.”
The Carolina Cycling Team competes throughout the year with schools in and out of the state. They also give back to the community by assisting with charity rides, hosting bike skills clinics, and doing road cleanup for paths traveled frequently by cyclists. Now, whenever the team rides, they will proudly display the ShipIndex logo on their shirts.
“In this case, I expect essentially no financial return from the move, just good karma and psychic positivity,” McCracken said about the new sponsorship on his ShipIndex blog. “The folks on the Carolina Cycling Team know what they’re doing. They put together a great proposal, were quick with the information, plus offered great information about the team and its current status.”
To learn more about the Carolina Cycling Team, visit http://carolinacycling.org/.