Planet Propaganda: Takes “Trek U” to the Web for 24/7, Self-Guided, Interactive Training

Madison, Wis. — Planet Propaganda has created an on-demand, self-guided, interactive training tool for Trek Bicycle Corporation. Launching in November, the new web format builds on three seasons of live “Trek University” dealer seminars, and replaces them with 24/7 online access to inform independent bike shop employees worldwide. Dealers’ staff members learn about new products and technologies, as well as the research, engineering and people behind Trek’s brands.

The site welcomes its visitors to a homepage that resembles a classroom setting under the Trek U crest and describing itself as “Your Homeschool Homebrew of All Things Trek… coming to you straight from the individuals that cooked it up.” Logging in, users select courses and complete a short quiz to demonstrate their new knowledge and have the opportunity to win “a cavalcade of fabulous prizes.” An online forum and contact links also allow users to exchange ideas with other dealers and directly connect with Trek’s staff.

According to Rob Sax, president of Planet Propaganda, Trek and its dealers have come to consider Trek U a staple in their communications and training programs. Similar to the road tours of its in-person predecessor, Planet designed Trek U’s online format to engage dealers’ staff with a fast-paced multi-media presentation of informational and entertaining material. Using simple navigation, voiceover explanations, motion graphics, animation, illustrations, video clips and even home movies, users quickly learn about product updates and brands, company history, sales tips, and such complex theories as aerodynamics.

Sax explains, “Consumers in the market for a new bike priced at $2,000+ rely heavily on the expertise of their local bike shop and the people that work there. Shop employees are generally very passionate about biking. They love the sport. They’re active riders. They’re in front of customers every day and they take tremendous pride in knowing as much as possible about the equipment and accessories they’re selling.”

Contributing to this effort, Planet has helped shape Trek U since the program started in 2003. Sax says, “Trek saw an opportunity in better educating bike shop salespeople. Their core dealers have always been believers, but dealers on the whole tend to have a fair amount of turnover and lots of seasonal employees. Trek wanted to figure out a way to reach and make faithful followers out of as many of them as possible, in the most effective manner possible.”

Trek’s in-house marketing team will be able to maintain the site long term via a custom content management system developed by Planet.

Planet Propaganda is a design, advertising and interactive company committed to shaping passion-based brands. Founded in 1989 in Madison, Wis., Planet’s national clients include Gary Fisher mountain bikes, Bretford furniture and workspaces, PunchStock images, and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. For more information, please visit