RAGBRAI, its just a name Gannett owns

When it comes down to it. Its really all about the riders and citizens of Iowa. No matter what you call the ride. People from all over the world come to Iowa to enjoy its hospitality. Wither its RAGBRAI or Iowa Rides or any other name. People are not coming here because Gannett promotes and owns the ride. They come here to enjoy Iowa on two wheels. What makes the ride so successful isn’t Gannett (DMR). Its the people of Iowa. The tradition does not lay with a company name. The tradition is meeting Iowa and Iowan’s on 2 wheels. I’m sure Gannett has fired up its PR, marketing, and special events staff. The spin doctors are spinning like tornado’s. They will make something up and throw a ride together. Iowa Rides has an A plus team. I have no doubt TJ will have an excellent event. As he has always. I hope the riders from near and far. Choose Iowa. I love my state. I’ve traveled the world. I choose Iowa. I want riders from near and a far to come visit and enjoy a week of riding in Iowa. Wither it’s a name called RAGBRAI or Iowa Rides. It doesn’t matter. Iowan’s will welcome you. Choose Iowa.

15 Replies

Sandaltan ., October 21, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Two thumbs up Tony. I hope reading your post can raise the curtain of gloom that has kept some from seeing any upside to the establishment of a second multi-day ride in Iowa.

RIDE RIGHT

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David C., October 21, 2019 at 1:36 pm

I see IR doesn’t have a forum where RAGBRAI devotees can cross post. Maybe they should get one.

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bugs11, October 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Let’s change the name to Gannet’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – GAGBRAI.

#1312219

Ben There, October 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm

If RAGBRAI Needs an owner, why not us, I mean All of us riders.
Like the Green Bay Packer fan that owns one share of the team, but he’s still an owner.
Somebody get a Kickstarter thingy going on the inter web, where folks can commit to a certain amount of investment. Buy the Ragbrai name from DMR. Issue voting shares to all the shareholders, elect Board of Directors to hire staff…. From there on out the ride runs like the majority of shareholders want it to run.
Just throwing numbers around. If 10,000 people will pay $195/year to ride, it shouldn’t be hard to find 10,000 investors to put in $500 to Own Ragbrai, well at least a piece. 10,000 x $500=$5 million.
How much is Ragbrai even worth? probably lots less than that.

This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Ben There.

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“Bicycle Bill”, October 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm

Well, if I was selling, it’s now worth $5 million since that’s the number you just threw out there….

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David C., October 21, 2019 at 7:36 pm

So this is the RAGBRAI website and forum. The IR website is down the hall.

#1312223

klkoopman, October 22, 2019 at 7:51 am

There is no Forum yet on the IR website, but the IR Facebook page is downright giddy. You may want to post this essay there.

#1312225

Ben There, October 22, 2019 at 10:31 am

So this is the RAGBRAI website and forum. The IR website is down the hall.

You seem to misunderstand, the purpose is to save a ride called Ragbrai.

#1312226

klkoopman, October 22, 2019 at 11:51 am

David C can speak for himself, but I believe he is talking about the original “RAGBRAI it’s just a name” post. It’s obvious that the post is advocating “Iowa’s ride” (who is run by an A+ team while Gannett PR “spins like a tornado”). If that’s Tony’s opinion, that’s fine, but David C is suggesting that it should be posted on an IR website instead of the RAGBRAI forum. That’s a reasonable idea, it will get all sorts of praise over there. No one is addressing the crowdfunding idea.

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David C., October 22, 2019 at 1:39 pm

David C can speak for himself, but I believe he is talking about the original “RAGBRAI it’s just a name” post. It’s obvious that the post is advocating “Iowa’s ride” (who is run by an A+ team while Gannett PR “spins like a tornado”). If that’s Tony’s opinion, that’s fine, but David C is suggesting that it should be posted on an IR website instead of the RAGBRAI forum. That’s a reasonable idea, it will get all sorts of praise over there. No one is addressing the crowdfunding idea.

Correct. IR doesn’t have a forum where we can cross post requests to cancel IR to “save” it.

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Tony, October 22, 2019 at 9:37 pm

I will speak for myself too. My loyalty is to Iowa. I have stated I wish and think both rides can survive. TJ and his staff are A+. Gannett will have a hard time replacing them. But they will. They will also have a hard time starting the logistics from scratch. In the long run. Having two rides. Will benefit the state. I hope they bring even more tourists to the state. Gannett is spinning the story. All TJ wanted to do was distance the ride from Gannett’s problem with the King story. He wanted to reassure the RAGBRAI Nation all they were doing was making a donation to the Children’s Hospital. Gannett PR was in crisis mode and told TJ to say nothing. TJ was trying to keep RAGBRAI transparent. Gannett was in cover-up mode. They still are. I don’t like it that TJ picked the same dates. But that’s his right to choose. RAGBRAI can always change the date too. It’s been 5 years since my heart attack. I have corraled my bikes since. If I was in shape and capable of riding. I would do both. I want to reiterate. I want to see both rides succeed. I worked with TJ and his staff with logistics for many years. He is a very fair man. His staff is top-notch. We were always able to work through any issues that came up. So yes I’m partial to him and his team. I don’t have a clue what or who Gannett will come up with. I hope it is top-notch too. When Iowa’s Ride starts a forum. I will no doubt post something. My intent with this post. Was to point out RAGBRAI is just a name. What makes the ride. It is the riders and Iowans. Gannett Just owns the rights to RAGBRAI name.

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David C., October 23, 2019 at 7:00 am

I consider that the Register has invested 50 years in the brand equity, public perception, and intellectual property that is RAGBRAI. Color me grateful but I think that tradition and *all that RAGBRAI has come to mean* should be worth something to the Register. They have done an excellent job stewarding it. If you doubt that, then you must doubt the last 16 years where they employed TJ.

You also must believe that all the charitable gifts RAGBRAI donated to build good will over a half century, including the latest $50K pledge to the children’s hospital, were personal gifts from some one other than RAGBRAI as an organization. Unless I am mistaken, TJ did not donate that money personally.

This idea that 4 people who used to work for RAGBRAI can take the value of 50 years of the premier statewide bicycle ride with them without calling it RAGBRAI upon the unilateral decree that “this ride belongs to Iowa” begs the question: is it really true that all RAGBRAI stands for *except* for the trademark belongs in the public domain? The trademark appears to me to be part of, but not the sum total, of the value in which the Register has invested and which Iowa, indeed, the world, has come to know as *the* ride across Iowa at the end of July every year.

Until two weeks ago, *every* fervent RAGBRAI booster would have agreed that RAGBRAI wasn’t “just a name that Gannett owns.” Please.

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KenH, October 24, 2019 at 9:22 am

TJ nuked the RAGBRAI nation last week, he no longer speaks for us. He is the one now spinning like a tornado in an attempt to explain the un-explainable, to justify the un-justifiable. If he represents the A team then I am proud to be a member of the B-team! I have no doubt that he is a fine man but he is not acting true to character when he does this. I hope that he repents and either comes back (if that is still possible) or changes IR so that it complements a great Iowa tradition rather than bids to tear it apart.

#1312264

cyduke, October 24, 2019 at 10:30 am

Just an FYI, Gannett bought the DSM Register in 1985 months before we were getting ready for and epic RAGBRAI XIII.
I’ve ridden 36 of the last 37 RAGBRAI’s, and this entire situation has driven me nuts.

#1312266

reedkennethia, October 25, 2019 at 9:17 am

Just an FYI, Gannett bought the DSM Register in 1985 months before we were getting ready for and epic RAGBRAI XIII.
I’ve ridden 36 of the last 37 RAGBRAI’s, and this entire situation has driven me nuts.

Amen. To these people who don’t want to ride RAGBRAI now because it’s gotten too corporate, I’ve got a couple things:
1) Technically it’s been a corporate ride since 1985 when Gannett bought the DMR. That never stopped anyone from riding in the last 34 years. And..
2) T.J.’s been in charge since 2003. In that time the sponsorships have exploded. So, if you think his new right will be less “corporate”, you’re wrong. Rides like this just don’t organically come together with magic.

This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  reedkennethia.

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