Interview with founder of biggest BMX Bike Media Channel: Dominik Wrobel
woozyBMX, an online BMX video channel, has recently achieved a new milestone. The YouTube Channel just reached more than 60.000 million views.
woozyBMX YouTube was started by Dominik Wrobel in 2006, while the company itself begun in 1999.
Dominik started the online magazine with one goal – to promote BMX freestyle and its athletes. In that regard, woozyBMX produces varying contents such as how-to’s, action clips, interviews and events to bring publicity to the sport. Since BMX freestyle is now part of the Olympic Games and the sport is growing in popularity (Their most watched video has more than 16 million views on YouTube alone) we catched up with Dominik to find out more.
WHY DID YOU START A BMX YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
I guess i need to give a little bit of a back story here. I always loved filming and riding BMX bikes. When i was 15/16 i was filming my friends and myself riding BMX & Skateboard and we edited VHS videos. After a while i got the chance to work for BMX DVD magazines and bike brands. In the early days YouTube was a good way to upload some of my filming work and it naturally evolved from there.
SO YOU ARE A BMX RIDER YOURSELF?
Yes – i still ride here and there. Back then i even had a bike and shoe sponsor for a short time but realized if i want to make a living with that sport i would need to produce media content. So i moved behind the camera.
I GUESS IT WAS A DIFFERENT INDUSTRY BACK THEN? HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I am 38 (laughs)… Yeah for sure. It was more of a freelance-production only world when I first started doing filming work for BMX brands. Then I started working freelance for Red Bull, Vans and Carhartt since they needed content of their athletes & events. Vimeo was big for quite some time but I also always uploaded some clips to my Website and YouTube just for fun. That was way before any YouTube partner programs, etc
AND THEN THIS GREW INTO A BMX MEDIA CHANNEL?
Yeah kind of. woozyBMX was a clothing company in the early days just for fun. Then we did videos and it somehow became an online magazine. Today it still has that magazine character with editorial content but its also very focused on the brands & partners we work with. Without them we can hardly finance bigger video productions. Licensing to mainstream media or other sports outlets is just on the rise.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EXPOSURE OF BMX IN MAINSTREAM (SPORTS) MEDIA? DO YOU LICENSE YOUR CONTENT?
Exposure is way too low and most don’t know that BMX is a well established sport & entertainment content world that has a huge fanbase online. Its also quite often not really portrayed in a realistic way or in a way that the audience would like to watch it. We do currently focus on licensing our most viral content to other platforms to change that. But today working with brands/sponsors/partners helps us most to finance content production. Might change soon?
WHAT BRANDS ARE YOU WORKING WITH NOWADAYS?
Nikon, Snipes, Sony Action Cam, New Era Caps, Getsafe, Monster Energy, Ultimate Ears, Levi´s and quite some more have run campaigns and started partnerships with us lately. Very thankful to all of them.
THAT SOUNDS GREAT. SO THIS IS A MIX OF INFLUENCER/ATHLETE MARKETING, CONTENT PRODUCTION AND SPORTS SPONSORING?
Yeah exactly and thanks! Quite often we simply connect brands with BMX athletes/influencers and produce content and publish on our channels. Sometimes we solely produce content/commercials for brand channels and more often we build up a whole BMX team for brands and produce plus distribute content regularly on all social Channels (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc) …and sometimes we help brands to manage their own YouTube Channels and social media, too.
SO IF I HAVE A BRAND AND WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH WOOZY BMX. WHAT DO I DO?
First think about if you only want to run a campaign or want to get involved in the sport long term. Our 4 week campaigns usually go from 100.000-1.000.000 video views and are pretty effective and suit most needs. You can target countries and preferred platforms. If you can i would usually suggest to build a team of 2-3 BMX riders as a start that exclusively represent your brand long term and produce content regularly.
ENOUGH BUSINESS TALK! WHATS THE MOST FAVORITE PART FOR WORKING WITH WOOZY BMX FOR YOU?
Agreed! (laughs) I love filming. I love being out in the streets creating good stuff with good people around me. I also really enjoy opening new opportunities to young riders and established professional athletes. Giving them a media platform and financial support. Thats what I believe most athletes need to develop and grow personally and as a rider.
SO YOU FILM EVERYTHING YOURSELF?
Luckily not anymore. For the premium brand content productions I am usually on set though holding the main camera. We have a bunch of contributors all over Europe and the US. We also started giving a few selected professional riders their own video series. Lots of stuff is in the works. Stay tuned.
IT SOUNDS LIKE BMX RIDERS ARE QUITE DIVERSE SPORTS-PEOPLE?
Definetly. I also honestly think that they are the perfect influencers/ambassadors/athletes/creators/whatever you want to call it. Perfect for almost any brand that somehow wants to reach a young and active audience. Since they actually „do something“. The BMX scene is full of talent and the content motivates fans/viewers to go outside and get active. Don’t get me wrong: Every YouTuber and Instagramer has their place – But to me humans with an urban-outdoor-talent on social media are way more interesting than people that just look cool. Or hot. (laughs) I think its kinda sad to see that most media and marketeers think of beauty, fashion and gaming only when they think of influencers. Its just simply not the case.
IS THERE AN ALL-TIME FAVORITE VIDEO PRODUCTION YOU EVER DID?
I was really happy with most Carhartt branded entertainment videos. Great team and always pretty much stress free and fun.
Lately I was pretty stoked with our Nikon, Snipes and New Era Caps Roadtrips. Can´t really nail it down to one but have a look at this one maybe:
WHATS NEXT FOR WOOZY BMX? ANY LAST WORDS?
We will keep producing content and hopefully get even more brands & licensing media outlets involved in these strange times. So many BMX riders out there that are motivated to create.
We developed quite a few good ways to keep producing content in a safe way and looking forward to some good times. Thanks for your time, stay safe and see you soon!