Crankworx Rotorua: A tourism event bringing benefits to all of Aotearoa

Trust and confidence are important in any partnership – but in tourism and events, where your business incurs costs every day while only being open for business a few days each year – an extra level of understanding is required.

This has always been the case for the New Zealand Crankworx team – who deliver an annual multi-disciplinary mountain biking festival held in Rotorua. The event is unique in that amateur and emerging athletes compete on the same courses alongside the world’s best. As Ariki Tibble, Crankworx Rotorua Event Director, says, “it’s amazing because it allows people of all levels to rub shoulders with the pros.”

The Crankworx World Tour consists of four world tour events across three continents including Rotorua (New Zealand), Cairns (Australia), Innsbruck (Austria) and Whistler (Canada).  Now in its eighth year of operation, Crankworx Rotorua is recognised by the New Zealand government as an official New Zealand Major Event due to the festival’s scale and the range of benefits that it delivers for Aotearoa across economic, social, cultural, and sporting domains.

Crankworx brings a range of benefits to Aotearoa. (Photo by Jay French)

“Often while planning we find ourselves discussing everything but mountain biking, as we are so focussed on all of the myriad other benefits that the event brings to our communities,” explains Ariki. “For many of our partners, Crankworx isn’t just a Mountain Bike Event, but a mechanism for destination marketing, an economic impact, and a community engagement.”

After facing significant COVID-19 disruption, the Crankworx team are looking forward to returning to full-scale World Tour events for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. Each festival reaches a global audience through the global event broadcasts (via Red Bull TV), Crankworx and athlete social channels, and traditional media. Unlike many other global sports event, Crankworx broadcasts are renown for carrying a distinctly local flavour, thereby serving the purpose of being the ultimate destination marketing tool for Rotorua and Aotearoa.

Tourism event organisers must partner with other organisations that truly understand their industry in order to succeed. (Photo by Clint Trahan)

The value of a trusted partnership

Crankworx is highly beneficial to Aotearoa – however as with any tourism event, there are significant risks. “The event environment is complex and nuanced, and if we relied on desktop risk assessments, events such as Crankworx, as well as the myriad benefits they bring to a community, may not ever be realised,” says Ariki.

“Over the past 24 months I have come to really understand and appreciate the importance of building trust and confidence with partners in the good times, so that an organisation can remain resilient and nimble in the hard times”.

Getting your business structure and processes right

For an event like Crankworx, which has multiple vested interests from across the globe, the business structure is essential to get right. “BDO were with us right from the beginning and helped us set up our structure, which has been critical over the years,” explains Ariki. “We are a partnership with public and private shareholders, and our constitution and structure has served us extremely well”.

Eight years into its operations, the Crankworx team is focusing on processes to ensure the company can continue to improve. “Each year, we select an area of our operations that we would like to take a critical eye to in order to continuously improve our systems. This year we’re working with BDO to undertake some process audit work,” says Ariki. “From my perspective, it’s not just about the external event, which is critical but is also just the tip of the iceberg in many respects. For me, it’s about getting the fundamentals right behind the scenes– when you can achieve that everything else falls into place so much more easily.”

Crankworx Rotorua 2022 will be held from November 5 to November 13 – learn more and purchase tickets here.

If you need help with process improvement, business structure or simply want accounting advice from someone you know truly understands your business, BDO’s specialist sports, tourism and leisure advisers can help. We have offices in 19 locations, including all of New Zealand’s key tourism destinations – so no matter where you are, we have the local understanding and passion to help see your business succeed. Reach out to your local office today to learn more.


Article cover image by Jay French.