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Pre-Proposal: Dash US Domestic Elite Cycling Team

Would you support the creation of a Dash US Domestic Elite Cycling Team?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • No

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters

Mr. Money Meerkat

New member

My name is AJ Robertson and I have been a competitive cyclist out of Austin, Texas for nearly 7 years. I started my journey in cycling as a triathlete back in 2011, completing 4 Half Ironman’s and an Ironman after only 2 years of racing. I began focusing on road racing in late 2014 after failing to complete Ironman Florida in November 2014 when I nearly got hypothermia during the middle of the run leg in one of the coldest temperatures that race has ever recorded. The experience humbled me and made me dial my efforts toward the sport I enjoyed the most. That was cycling. I quickly progressed through the ranks of the USA Cycling categories, obtaining my Category 1 classification in under 2 seasons. To give you an idea of the level Category 1 cyclists compete at, USA Cycling categories range from Category 5 (lowest) to Category 1 (highest) and Domestic Professional Cyclists are simply Category 1 cyclists who have obtained a pro contract.

During that time, I managed a local 7-man team for one full season while obtaining funding for that team by hosting a 6-day road race series on the Texas Bicycle Racing Calendar. I have since handed that race series off to another promoter when I was signed to a Dallas based Texas Elite Team by the name of Giant Lakeside Audi McKinney p/b ROKA which is the team I currently race for. I have attached a .png file of my resume and experience in the US racing scene (a .pdf was too big of a file size).

Click to view

My contract with Giant Lakeside ends November 1, 2018 and I am not looking to renew. That is why I am making this proposal. For the 2019 season, I would like to start a new team that is registered and operates on the National Domestic Elite level that is wholly owned and title sponsored by the Dash community.

Besides cycling, I have 8 years of experience in the finance industry (started trading/investing at 16 and have worked for 3 years in Investment banking) and extensive experience regarding financial markets, market cycles, market psychology, and investment management. In addition, I have over 10 years of experience with Photography, Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop/InDesign/Light Room, and Web Design, all of which I taught myself. I also know how to write HTML, CSS, Javascript, and some Swift. I’ve been involved in the crypto community since 2013 following Bitcoin ever since. Only recently in early 2017 did I start exploring alts and discovered there was a lot more to crypto than just a lightweight, secure store of value. Through my research, I set upon several projects that I wanted to invest in and support that I think have the potential to change the world, each in diverse ways. Dash is one of those projects.


The sole purpose of this proposal is to request (Dash) funding to create and maintain a US Domestic Elite Cycling Team paid for, wholly owned, and title sponsored by the Dash Community for a contract term of 1 season (1 full calendar year from start date). Should everything work out as planned (detailed in “The Strategy”) and the Dash community feels it has benefited from this investment after the first season, my hope is that we could continue the existence of the team and Dash sponsorship further into the future.

The purpose of the team itself is this:

1. To Raise Awareness and Promote the Use of Dash as a Payment System

2. To create a Domestic Elite Team that gains the National attention and credentials to move to the UCI Continental Team ranks (1 level above Domestic Elite).

Before I get into the specifics of how the requested funds would be used, let me first outline the benefits of the Dash Community owning and title sponsoring a US Domestic Elite Cycling Team.


Short Term:

The short-term benefits (one season) would include, but not limited to:

- TV appearances of Dash team cycling kit at televised races
- Podium appearances of Dash team cycling kit at races in which riders podium
- Website dedicated to Dash Domestic Elite Cycling Team
- Distribution of Dash cycling team marketing material via social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) such as TV appearance videos, podium pictures, individual rider’s personal training photos, team photoshoots, and local publicity
- All riders on the team roster would be required to wear the team kit during all training and racing rides providing publicity and visibility to everyone who sees the rider
- Team car would be wrapped in Dash logo (This car goes to all races and sometimes, when applicable, acts as the follow car in the caravan. This is the car that holds all the spare bikes and wheels that you see in races like the Tour de France)
- Listed on USA Cycling Domestic Elite Team list for 2019
- Team hosted events at local coffee shops (where cyclists meet for rides) where the team educates businesses (said coffee shops) and other people about Dash cryptocurrency and its viable use case. (We could host these events, such as a “Ride with Dash Pro Team”, at places other than just coffee shops)
- Business adoption of Dash as a payment system

Long Term:

The long-term benefits would be looking much longer into the future. These long-term benefits would hopefully be achieved should the Dash Community be satisfied with the first season investment and would be reached by renewing ownership and title sponsorship of the team for the subsequent seasons in the foreseeable future. (I would be happy to discuss a multi-year contract with the Dash Community when that time comes)

I envision these long-term benefits to include:

- A continuation of all the short-term benefits into the subsequent seasons
- Eventual UCI Pro Continental status (should funding be approved) – with that comes invitations to International UCI sanctioned races like the Tour of California, Tour of Utah, etc. rather than just the Domestic UCI races we would have access to as a Domestic Elite Team
- Long standing team name branding in the pro cycling community giving further ethos to the Dash brand name
- Long standing team relationship with Dash Community to eventually become a staple part of the Dash brand name (Think Team Sky, as Sky is a UK television network and it has become such a known and familiar name in cycling that it is almost ubiquitous throughout the cycling community. Everyone knows what Sky is.)
- Eventual emergence of Dash as “The One” cryptocurrency payment system that gets adopted by the general public, hopefully due in large (or small) part to the Dash Pro Cycling Team and the marketing, branding, and advertising that we can provide.

The Team

The remarkable thing about this team proposal is that we already have a proposed roster of Elite Category 1 cyclists based primarily out of Austin, Texas that will sign contracts upon approval of this project by the Dash Community. This is not just a pie in the sky idea of mine. The talent, skill, accolades, and professionalism of the riders on this team have already been hand selected and are ready to go to work in the 2019 season.

Some of the accolades that this group of riders (including myself) bring to the table are State Championships, National Championship podiums, many career wins, even more podium finishes, and a broad range of talent and skill across the board from incredibly light climbers, to wicked strong sprinters, to super high endurance time-trialists.

I want to make one thing clear here. This is not an amateur team. As I have described throughout, this will be a Nationally Registered Domestic Elite Team. This is essentially the equivalent of being a “semi-pro” because you are racing with professional teams but the team that you race for is not paying you a salary.

The Strategy

Race Calendar – Currently, the 2019 NRC (National Racing Circuit) and PRT (Pro Road Tour) racing schedule is not released. However, once the calendar is released we would decide upon the races on these circuits that we would attend as a team and travel to those races as one team, always seen as a very professional, tight knit group of well-organized and intelligent athletes. Of course, if the whole team is wearing team casual gear at the airport and we’re all waiting to board a flight, someone is bound to be curious and ask about what Dash is. It is moments like these that we will take the opportunity to be intentional with people and take the time to explain to them what Dash is and it’s viable use case. But it’s not just the riders explaining the use case here. The real selling point of Dash to the community will be the friendliness of the people who represent it. Our riders will always act with the utmost integrity and kindness, as to portray the best image and be the best representative of the Dash community as possible.

Marketing – This is where we can really shine. Cycling teams are very brand and color oriented. If the design of your kit or your car wrap is not that well thought out and catchy, you don’t really stand out and define your brand/team. Luckily, I am also a graphic designer and have designed kits for 3 different teams during my cycling years. Each one of those teams established their brand and recognition very quickly in the local community and everyone knew exactly who you were talking about when you were talking about “So and so” who races for “said team.” I will not only design the Dash cycling kits to be the best-looking kits in the peloton, but also the car wrap, the advertising material (video/image), and any clothing accessories we decide will provide a decent ROI on marketing when worn in any given place. We will be using a company called Jakroo for the cycling kits, which makes some of the best quality race kits in the industry AND has a 2-week turnaround time so the team will not go long without the branded material to ride in.

To summarize in bullet points the mediums in which we would have marketing material made visible:

- TV (kits in live televised races)
- Social Media (video/image)
- Cycling Kit
- Team Car Wrap (this car is frequently in the public eye)
- Vinyl Decals on matching Team Bikes
- Athletic Casual Wear (for travel)
- Bidons (water bottles) – these are especially good for handing out to fans at races
- Business Adoption of Dash à Therefore advertising through the businesses that adopt it

Equipment – In confluence with looking organized and professional, the team will be riding matching bikes with matching equipment such as shoes, helmet, sunglasses, gloves, etc. All this equipment will be obtained through a local bike shop/local product rep who can provide significant discount on these team items.

Outreach – One of the goals of the team is to educate people about Dash and its viable use case as a currency used for day to day payments. This education will be done through the team’s outreach events and philanthropy. These events would include things like hosting a bicycle safety workshop for kids, hosting a “Ride with Team Dash” event at a local business meetup, sending riders to be keynote speakers in college classes at the University of Texas and Texas State University, setting up booths at race expos around the nation when attended, and even sending some Dash to people at these events to encourage them to get started with using Dash after helping them set up a wallet. This provides the community the opportunity to hear about cryptocurrency in general (specifically Dash) from a source other than the cryptocurrency community itself. By hearing it from the cycling community, it adds ethos to the Dash project in that the public sees that people other than “those crypto folk” are using the technology. This is HUGE for mainstream adoption and I think we currently have a lack of that dynamic in the cryptocurrency space. Our advocates for cryptocurrency and alternative payment systems need to also be people who aren’t primarily associated with the cryptocurrency space, because I feel as if we are currently seen as a community that is just in it for the “lambos.” The technology is an afterthought by the general public.

The Budget

We are asking for a total of 200 Dash (+5 Dash Proposal reimbursement) to fund the team for the entire 2019 season. I have included a detailed overview of the budget proposal below showing exactly how the funds will be used, not only for purposes of transparency, but also so you as a Dash community can determine if the ROI on this project is acceptable.

Budget Overview

100 Dash - Marketing (see all Marketing mediums above in the Benefits and the Strategy sections)
40 Dash - Philanthropy & Community Outreach
30 Dash - Business Adoption Assistance and Education
20 Dash - Travel Reimbursement
10 Dash - Race Fees
5 Dash - Network Fee Reimbursement
205 Dash - Total

Budget Tracking/Transparency

All expenses will be detailed in a Google Excel Doc made publicly visible at all times and receipts for each expense will be attached in the document via a link to a picture of the receipt or attaching the receipt file to the document in a cell.

Budget Timeline

I would be requesting the payout of the funds around the October-November timeframe so that I can get the necessary marketing materials created and ordered for riders to use come January (typically the very beginning of the road season).

Progress and Project Tracking

Any and all updates/publications will be posted to the team's website and linked through a post on the Project Updates Forum to ensure the information is all collected in one place for the community to see the progress and media attention.

Conclusion – Overview

To summarize, the purpose of the Dash US Domestic Elite Cycling Team is to raise awareness and promote the use of Dash as a payment system, utilizing an angle of marketing not yet tapped by the cryptocurrency community. By having Dash inserted into a community completely unrelated with and entirely unbiased to the cryptocurrency community, the general public will get to see cryptocurrency in a new light, one unrelated to lambos and stories of people making millions. Instead, they will have the opportunity to see the practical use case of Dash first hand by the riders representing it.

Thank you for reviewing and I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Hello, @Mr. Money Meerkat , and thank you for your pre-proposal. In the past we've funded various cycling and other sport-related clubs, teams, and projects with Dash-branded attire and marketing materials, and while they've been well-liked as diverse examples of what the network can do, we haven't really seen much in the way of benefit to the network over all by any available metrics. Furthermore, due to the market downturn and the increased costs of development and expansion, there's very little in the budget right now for any proposals besides Core Development, and the little that's left will likely go toward developing critical infrastructure or integrations. If we see a major market upturn, we might have room for more marketing-based proposals like this, but until that happens, finding funding for projects like this is unlikely.
Hi @Arthyron , This is valuable feedback coming from a Masternode Owner. I too saw previous cycling proposals that were funded by the community (of which were amateur teams), and I thought a Domestic Elite Team that has a lasting relationship with the Dash community and eventually becomes pro would be a great opportunity for lasting brand recognition.

However, being a previous business owner, I completely understand the necessity to only invest in core development from a budget standpoint. Bear markets are rough for everyone. We all definitely feel it. Thank you for your feedback and I will keep this in my back pocket for the next bull market (which I hope comes soon), and I am still looking forward to hearing other's feedback on this project in general (whether it is funded this year or some other time in the future).