GS Trophy 2014.
16 teams from 18 nations competed in the Rocky Mountains. If you add the organization and logistics team to it, more than 120 people were involved in this motorbike event, for which more than 2300 kilometers were covered in the Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia.
The riding itself was simply outstanding, with a mix of fast, sweeping gravel trails, interspersed with challenging rock-strewn, mountain tracks, river crossings and seemingly impassible high-altitude passes through parts of Canada even few Canadians get to see. Plenty of drama unfolded over the seven days of tough riding and approximately 20 special stages. Along the way, friendships were made, punctured tyres were repaired, and rescues carried out, usually involving many team members working together and using a combination of motorcycle straps and brute strength, when the occasional overenthusiastic rider would fail to make the corner and plunge down a bank. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured during the entire competition.
The GS Trophy is more than just a customer event, it is also a worldwide celebration of the BMW GS lifestyle. However, there is no point in organizing this bi-annual gathering of elite teams of GS riders from across the globe without telling people about it. This is where the communications teams play their part. The interest in the Trophy is at an all-time high thanks to the long build-up via social media and the work of the teams, their fans in the various national markets and the event organizers in connecting online and helping spread the GS Trophy message via all kinds of different media platforms. At the actual event, the communication was ramped up even further, with teams of journalists, photographers and film crews all working together to ensure that the watching world had access to 'as live' updates via the gstrophy.com international website and the official BMW Motorrad Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube brand channels. Furthermore, each team brought its own designated journalist to ride, experience and report on the entire event from their perspective. Such is the nature of the GS community that most of the teams had already connected online long before they would meet face-to-face as competitors, which helped create a 'family' atmosphere from day one.
For those lucky enough to have been there, it was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share some of the best on- and off-road riding in the world – surely an experience they will never forget. In the end, there had to be a winning trio, which was Team Central and Eastern Europe (CEEU), followed by South Africa and France. But ask any of the other competitors from Argentina, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Latin America, Canada, UK, Germany, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Brazil and Italy, and they will tell you that they too feel like winners, just for taking part.