FOR SOME PEOPLE, getting into the motorcycle business is a mission; others just kind of stumble into it. Libby Vevers, associate publisher and advertising director for Bonnier’s Motorcycle Group, didn’t start out in the business but has accelerated to be one of its media leaders.
Libby entered the motorcycle business in 1991, when she was hired as a temp on Cycle World. Over the years, she moved up the ladder to advertising assistant, marketing coordinator, marketing manager and sales rep. When Bonnier Magazine Group purchased Cycle World and nine other motorcycle consumer publications, she ascended to her current position.
Libby wasn’t totally without motorcycle experience. She had a general knowledge of how to ride, and she says she “has the burn scars to prove it.” Life at Cycle World included learning how to ride properly on the several motorcycles she has owned over the years, mostly dual purpose and off-road bikes.
Over the past two decades, not only has her job title changed, but so has the job. When she started, it consisted primarily of selling pages of advertising in Cycle World or one of its sister publications. “We had basically a single solution for all our clients’ communication needs: print ads,” Libby said.
Cycle World’s expansion online offered clients another avenue to reach potential customers on a timelier basis, and it challenged Libby to assist those clients in developing the best mix of advertising.
In 2011 Bonnier Corp., publisher of more than 50 lifestyle magazine titles, bought Cycle World, and in 2013 added an additional nine titles through the purchase of Source Interlink’s motorcycle magazines, including Motorcyclist and Sport Rider. With this acquisition, the sales deck reshuffled, and Libby moved ahead to lead the new group’s sales team.
She now leads a nine-person national sales staff responsible for developing, as Libby put it, “marketing solutions across multiple media platforms, which includes events, as well.”
The biggest challenge? “Keeping current,” Libby said. “The media landscape changes every day. Our biggest challenge is knowing where consumers will be seeking content and making sure we’re there, engaging them in a meaningful way.”
If Libby wasn’t doing this, she has a Plan B: “I’d like to be in a rock band…but I can’t sing, and can only play the first eight bars of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’”
Read all the 2014 Women Who Roll profiles here.