enthuse wanted to develop its own gala event that combined our experience with media, events and entertainment. We were focused on delivering a world class event featuring personalities and content not seen in New Zealand before – the result was the Legends of Cycling gala events in Auckland and Napier.
enthuse managed the entire process – from concept and planning to delivery and media managment
- Event management
- Brand development and design
- Audio visual
- Audio visual
- Venue management
Event elements included:
- Sponsor activations
- Legends logistics
- Sponsor functions – included Hauraki Harbour cruise, Waiheke Island function and welcome dinner.
- Sky City Tour de Fed breakfast and bunch ride
- Evening gala functions
SOMETHING LONG OVERDUE FOR NEW ZEALAND THAT EXCEEDED EVERYONE’S EXPECTATIONS IS HOW THE VOICE OF CYCLING PHIL LIGGETT DESCRIBED THE RICOH LEGENDS OF CYCLING DINNER ORGANISED BY ENTHUSE HELD IN AUCKLAND IN 2016
It was an initiative long overdue in New Zealand cycling,” Phil says. “It brought the sport and pastime together to celebrate its achievements. So many great Kiwi riders have passed into history unnoticed, and I hope the dinner returns for years to come as it was an outstanding night that celebrated all things cycling.”
Phil joked he initially agreed to come when organiser John McKenzie from enthuse media & events asked him, because he thought it wouldn’t happen: “But I didn’t hesitate to say yes as John was just so enthusiastic about the idea, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised he pulled it off with such success.”
Phil was joined by one of the greatest cyclists of all time American Greg LeMond, a three-time Tour de France winner and two-time world champion, and New Zealand’s most successful professional cyclist, Julian Dean, in a night that was without doubt the highest profile gathering of world famous cycling identities ever seen in this country.
“Everyone was just so relaxed and friendly,” Greg says. “We were so well looked after and loved getting out on the harbour as well as having the opportunity to have breakfast and ride with some of the sponsors and their guests; it was great week capped off with a fantastic night.”
John says the seed was planted for the dinner when he first pitched the idea to Phil at the Santos Tour Down Under, and it just grew from there: “I had a few ideas about who I wanted to bring to New Zealand,” John says. “And once Phil agreed to come it gave me traction to approach Greg to join Julian.
Greg was an obvious choice as I’d met him and Kathy in Australia and was really impressed by how approachable and likable they were. Greg’s story is a fascinating one as well, so I was pretty happy he agreed early to come.
“We had such positive and encouraging support for the function and had some great sponsors on board who really shared our passion and enthusiasm for the event, and for cycling – without their support we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off.”
Ricoh CEO Mike Pollok says he was thrilled to be involved as the naming rights sponsor for the Auckland event. “For John, it was always going to be a monumental task to fulfil, let alone over-deliver on the expectations of every one of the guests. However, from the minute the evening started it was clear that it was going to be an evening the likes of which nobody had previously experienced here in New Zealand.
“The visual presentations that accompanied the stars of the evening were quite simply of a world class standard. The number of emails, texts and phone calls I have received since the event has been quite unprecedented for Ricoh. It was truly a very special evening that people will hold in their memory for the rest of their lives and something I am personally very proud to have been a part of.”
The dinner also recognised some Kiwi legends, including Jack Swart, who had raced against Greg. Jack was invited on stage with three-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist Graeme Miller to kick the evening off before Phil chatted to John and then interviewed Julian and Greg.
The event attracted a large amount of media coverage with both television networks running stories and Greg and Phil were interviewed by a range of media.
The following year John then took the event to Napier to wrap up the the Hawke’s Bay Summer Cycling Carnival that included the New Zealand Elite Road Cycling Championships. The evening featured triple winner of the Tour de France’s green jersey, Australian Robbie McEwen and Julian Dean.
“It was just a fantastic week,” Napier City Council Events Manager Kevin Murphy says. “We had a number of family friendly events to support the elite road racing championships and is was great to wrap the whole week up with the Legends of Cycling Dinner.”
“I had a fantastic time visiting Napier and Hawkes Bay during the New Zealand National Road Cycling Champs,” McEwen said. “I was lucky enough to experience the best the region has to offer from top notch wineries and restaurants, Napier’s historic art-deco architecture, scenic riding along the coastline, pristine nature and world class mountain biking trails plus my first speedway experience.”