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Biking Buddies Offer Mobile Interactive Billboards

In Sacramento there is a public relations guy who is obsessed with cycling. Max Mack, at age 43, rides about 450 miles a week. Recently he organized a bunch of his biking buddies into a nine member team to sell advertising space on their jerseys.

Mack is the owner of Epiphany, a small media relations firm. Because of that background, he is the front man for the group. He offers potential advertisers various-sized ads on the group�s jerseys and shorts. (The group still has ad space available on its shoes, socks and helmets.)

The ad prices range from $1,200 to $5,000 per ad annually. They don�t make a lot of money yet...but enough to buy their high-grade bike outfits, which typically run about $400 a member per year. Their small business advertisers think it�s great, as they don�t have the budget to put their name on Formula One race cars.

Mack�s living billboards zip along city streets, passing cars slowed by traffic and giving bored drivers an eyeful of striking red jerseys scripted with ads. The group�s efforts go even further. When they break at coffee shops they hand-out their clients� discount cards to some of the customers.

Mack has greater ambitious goals...he and his middle-aged buddies want to purchase a professional racing team. He estimates they�ll need to raise about $1 million to get a team started by 2008.

Editor�s note: From billboards on bikes to targeting the eye in the sky, advertisers are finding new ways to get their message out. The latest aerial imaging services of Google Maps and Windows Live Local, for example, enable companies to create ad messages visible to satellite-based cameras.

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