The multi-sport, multi-country adrenalin website kjerag.com (pronounced “che-rak” after the 3,000-foot sheer-rock cliff in Norway, popular with basejumpers) ceased to update its English-language site in the middle of August and the whole pan-European site was soon mothballed.
However, citing the fact the site was too good an idea to let die, the UK editor is taking on the running of the UK part of the site. Dave Smith was formerely employed as a freelance editor by Kjerag founder Raymond Dulieu, a former Tour de France rider.
On 21st August, Dulieu told bikebiz.co.uk he was mothballing the site because it did not generate sufficient revenues.
“Kjerag [generated] its revenues from online registration and became quickly the leading online registration site in Europe. Despite those good results, a pan-European endurance sports audience is not perceived as a sufficiently lucrative market segment to the various investors we approached so far,” he said.
However, Smith believes he can run the English-language part of the site as a one-man business.
Dulieu still owns the site’s software and servers but, said Smith, “he has moved on,
and the responsibilty for the entire UK site - in terms of both content and
income, lies with me.”
Unlike other dotcom failures, kjerag.com did not implode, owing money left, right and centre. It did, however, run out of cash to continue.
Smith, a freelance sports training writer for Cycling Weekly and other titles, and a former Olympic coach, said he’ll take the site back to basics.
”Whilst the news and features was a strength of the site, it's reason d'etre is online registration, and that is what I will be pushing hard - initially via local council recreation departments. I'll also be targetting endurance sport governing bodies to have kjerag as a partner offering our services free to their accredited race organisers.
“The concept of online event registration was too good to allow it to fail at such an early stage - we know that our system releases organisers from considerable promotion and administration time and in addition reduces their banking costs.
“With 90 percent of entrants to the 2001 New York Marathon choosing to enter online, and 30 percent for this year’s BUPA Great North run doing likewise, it is an area which we are already ahead of the rest of the online sports community in terms of our technology, and is a unique service on offer to any event organiser.
“We can easily adapt our entry forms to suit any outdoor endurance sport and any entry fee structure. We can even enable competitors to reserve and pay for their event merchandise online.”
The Kjerag.com opt-in newsletter goes out to 1800 English-language recipients. The site is said to get 100 000 unique visitors per month.
“These figures provide opportunities for advertisers wishing to reach and young affluent audience of endurance and adventure sports athletes,” said Smith.
“Site advertising can be filtered to cover news, newsletter, individual sports, content sections such as nutrition, and event pages - allowing companies to target specific groups within the Kjerag.com community.”
21st August 2001: Bike trade’s dotcom bubbles burst