After years of travelling there and back, Kenny Belaey has now set his heart on making it in the States. The world famous trial biker already shot to fame because of several NBA shows and media gigs, but this time he is chasing a real breakthrough in the US. In doing so, the Belgian nine-time world champion gets some help from an unexpected ally.
In the land that invented show biz, Belaey’s breathtaking bike stunts already are a huge hit. He always succeeds to win the public over, with shows for over 20,000 spectators not being an exception. “It was now or never”, the East-Flemish entrepreneur explains (a big grin on his face). “I am 35 now, by no means written off yet, but I shouldn’t wait until I am 65 either to make this leap. In fact, I have been looking to set up my own structure to do even more gigs and pimp my shows so they are even more spectacular. Until now, the modules have always been supplied by local organisers, which isn’t ideal. Luckily I no longer have to jump on pallets or perform in smoky dance halls. The Rolling Stones don’t have a cattle cart as a stage either, do they!”
For years now, Belaey has been travelling the world with his bike. In Europe he gained fame thanks to the massive ‘Pedal to the Medal’ spectacle, where also BMX riders showed their tricks. However, travelling around the States with such large infrastructure would have been merely impossible. But then, a solution arose almost out of nothing. “Last summer, in a local summer bar in Aalter, I was introduced by a mutual friend to Edwin (red. Van der Vennet, co-CEO of beMatrix). Not only is his business top class in smart solutions for stand builders, they also have an office in the USA. The ideal combination.”
Just over half a year later, the collaboration was solidified. In the beMatrix headquarters in Roeselare, the set-up for Belaey’s American show was built and tested – a similar set-up to be then produced by beMatrix in the USA. “Last week, Kenny launched his new stage during the NBA Toronto Raptors - Orlando Magic game. It looked absolutely fantastic, even if we say so ourselves”, stated CEO Edwin Van der Vennet happily.
“It is a great honour for us as a Belgian business to contribute to Kenny’s success in the USA. Even though in our niche industry we are active all over the world, the USA is by far our largest export market. We have been conducting business in the States for over 20 years now, so we totally empathize with Kenny’s ambitions. To make it out there, you really have to go for it 100%, you have to give it your all. Well, ‘our’ Kenny Belaey has that same fighting spirit.”
Americans, like no other, know a good show when they see one. There is no business like show business, but Belaey, apart from the simple, professional appearance of the beMatrix systems, had a couple more requirements. “I do not (yet) have a team of local roadies. That’s why it is important to keep logistics lean and mean, as they say in America. The set-up I use now will stay in the US and is quickly assembled and dismounted. All the frames are alloy, which makes it light, hence cheaper to transport. Quite important when you pay, as you do in the US, transport per kilogram of weight.”
Since the frame system is modular, the set-up is easily customised to the location or the client’s requirements. Also important: this strong construction is rather robust, withstanding even the impact of the spectacular jumps of the most famous trial biker in the world with ease. Pieter Lecluyse, Marketing Manager beMatrix: “Obviously, Kenny’s shows are a great billboard for beMatrix, but we couldn’t have wished for a better ambassador of beMatrix’ values. It is highly possible we will call upon the services of ‘The Magician’ when we have a stand at a trade show ourselves.”
This is a great example of how a Belgian top product is marketed with passion and brio.
To be continued!