It is no surprise that a rider’s number plate is one of the most overlooked items on their bike. One glaring mistake about skipping over one of the many thousands that are strapped to handlebars is the prime real estate they can offer for sponsors. That is partially why the guys over at BOX have taken the number plate game by storm with major events such as the UCI BMX World Championships.
Most recently, they released their designs that are exclusive for the 2016 World Championships as well as the 2016 Olympic Games that will be held in Rio come August. So what led to their world takeover? Here are a few answers behind the BOX number plate madness that has taken the world by storm.
BOX has been the main name for number plates for some very large events in the past, like the UCI World Cup series. What led to BOX becoming the sole supplier of plates for both the World Championships and other various events?
MG: Well, you pretty much nailed it. Our relationship with the UCI through our work with GSX and the UCI World Cups put us in a good position to add the World and Olympic plate sponsorships. We have been approached by every Worlds organizer since 2012, but for various reasons it didn't work out until last year. Gil de Vis, who put on the 2015 Worlds, approached me in Aukland about supplying plates for Zolder. He really, really wanted our plates. I think our success supplying Worlds last year helped solidify our abilities in the eyes of the UCI. Supplying plates and side plates to the BMX Worlds is a huge undertaking, something Kevin MacCuish at the UCI understands and appreciates. By the way, we'll be making an official announcement with more info soon.
You guys took another big step by the recent announcement of being the official number plate for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Let us in about how that came about and what went into the final design…
MG: The design process for the plate started with me doing a few renderings for the Rio organizers to consider. Using the official Rio style guide and color pallet, I created several designs and submitted them. They chose the dark green plate with light green rivet colorway. Their designers designed the sticker and numbers. The font for the numbers is actually called Rio.
Number plates are usually one of the most overlooked items on a bike. Why did BOX go after becoming the official number plate supplier for these large events?
MG: We see it as a great way to promote the BOX brand. And we like doing it. As I mentioned before, supplying plates and side plates to these events—World Cups and World Championships—is complex and expensive. Not everyone can pull it off. Or would want to try. We have been doing it since the THE days, so we have a system that works well. Most of the time.
Will these special plates for the World Championships and Olympic Games become available for public purchase, or are they exclusive to the competing athletes?
MG: To my knowledge, they will only be available to the athletes. We'd like to sell them, but it's tricky.
What else can we expect to see from the BOX brand as we continue on the road to Rio and beyond?
MG: We will supply each #BOXRider going to Rio with a special one-off component kit. The kits are done in national colorways and are laser-etched to commemorate the 2016 Games. We had about 25 made, but we won't know who gets one or how many we'll send out until the teams are named.
Product-wise, we have a few new things. The Jet bar, named after Jared "the Jet" Garcia, will be available soon. They are a 31.8 Maximus Taper System™ bar with seven degrees of back sweep and four degrees of upsweep and a v-bend cross bar. Jared has a unique and low riding style that led to him crushing his voice box on his cross bar a number of years ago. In Sweden last year, I noticed he had a red mark on his throat. I decided a handlebar with a lower cross bar was in order. The V improved throat-to-bar clearance. Trent Jones is using them, too. He just likes the way they look.
We also will be selling aluminum bars that feature the 31.8 Maximus Taper System™ later this summer. Super stiff and lightweight.
We'll start selling our first tires this summer, too. Initially, 20 x 1.75 and 20 x 1.95. We'll add 20 x 1 1/8″ and 1 3/8″ soon. Trent and Sean Gaian have been testing them and the feedback has been very, very positive. Trent got third in Rock Hill and Sean won in Grand Junction on them.
Finally, the BOX M30-S cranks in 145, 150 and 155 lengths will hit later this summer. They are a super durable crank with a stiffness/strength-to-weight ratio that destroys all other little ripper cranks on the market.
Around Interbike, we'll have some big announcements about the branding and product line-up, too. So check back around late-August/early-September.
The guys over at BOX have definitely been busy, and I for one cannot wait to see what else they have in store for both the 2016 Olympic Games and their hot new product releases that will touch ground in the near future. For more information be sure to visit www.boxcomponents.com.