TIME TO TELL YOUR STORY: Meet BMX Rider Jack Fahey

Stührling launches TIME TO TELL YOUR STORY series with world-class BMX rider & all around Renaissance man Jack Fahey.

“He’s the art, precision, and performance that resonates with our market.”

https://youtu.be/4LqsZSjWfTk IRVING, TEXAS/BROOKLYN, NY: What does a 28-year-old, world-class, Australian-born BMX cyclist have in common with a 20-year-old, Brooklyn-based watch brand that’s best known for mechanical watches that disrupted a 200-year-old culture? A lot more than you’d think, according to management at both Stührling and XSM Global—the team behind top-ranked BMX rider Jack Fahey and a number of other high-profile extreme athletes.

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"XSM was founded by athletes for athletes," explained Spencer Bass, XSM’s CEO and a former top-ranked BMX cyclist. "Because everyone who interacts with our talent has 'been there' themselves, we view them as 'brands'—rather than just products or trends. The difference? Brands are iconic, they’re there for the long term because they constantly build and expand off their core attributes. Treating a world-class athlete like they’re someone with a limited or cyclical 'shelf life' that keeps them relevant only as long as they can perform is not the vision that inspired XSM, nor does it do justice to the class of athlete we deal with. We prefer a more boutique approach, one that begins by defining the client's brand—both for the near- and long-term—then building on that via a curated suite of possibilities. Basically a 'bespoke' vs. 'off the rack' level of thinking that conveys a more insightful level of management that’s become our trademark."
The Bridge 976 When asked to illustrate XSM’s thinking in action, Bass pointed to the recent alliance formed between Jack Fahey, a top-tier BMX rider, and Stührling, a well-regarded watch company that was also one of the first purely internet-based timepiece brands to disrupt the 300 years of Swiss watchmaking tradition. “In Jack, we have the ideal client,” Bass emphasized. “Professionally, he’s at the top of his game, plus the fact he’s originally from 'Oz' means he’s known in both hemispheres—a real global presence. In addition, he’s a presence even when he’s not riding, because he’s also a seriously talented DJ/Producer/Performer. And aside from the arts like music (and riding), he’s also known for his art—as in the tattoos that cover pretty much his entire body. In short, he’s basically a living, breathing and breathtaking gallery.
"Combine all that and you have a new breed of renaissance man—one capable of connecting across multiple demographics and doing so on a level that leaves most of his 'BMX only' peers quite literally in the dust. To approach him with the typical low hanging fruit like energy drinks, apparel, and cycling accessories is in fact selling him short on the all important ‘personal brand’ level,” Bass said. As Jack’s personal brand is “a renaissance man with visceral authenticity”—connecting him with a typical over-the-top, extreme watch shows a lack of understanding as to what he’s really about. As Bass explained, "When Sam Ash, Stührling’s CCMO, came to us with an idea to connect him to their 976 Series Bridge watches, we listened to his idea and saw we had a real marketing partner—a brand who understands the value of a curated approach." What was it about the 976 conveyed all that? The fact that it's a bridge watch—which means the movement that powers it is rectangular and about 1⁄4 the size of conventional movements (if you need perspective, it’s a bit smaller than a stick of Trident gum). This allows the wearer to “see through” most of the case, which meant Jack could wear it and still admire the art on his wrist. “At first, people thought we were crazy approaching someone like Jack with a mechanical watch—and a specialty mechanical at that,” said Ash. "But the more you get a sense of who Jack is in terms of his art, music, and of course BMX, the more you realize you’re dealing with someone whose whole persona is about an appreciation for details and precision. Sure, it would've been easy to pitch a racing-inspired chrono or extreme dive watch... but we built ourselves into a 15 million-wrist brand by understanding who our customers are and what works for them. The 976 series worked for Jack because it doesn't get in the way of his art. Making this a part of our process told him and everyone at XSM we understood that for this to work, we had to show we were ready to work—not just take the easy way out."  
 
In honor of our collaboration with Jack Fahey, we're offering 20% off all watches in our Legacy Collection. Use code "JACKBMX" at checkout to score this limited-time discount.
 

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