45 Years of Sales, Marketing, and Media with Jim Ryan in Episode 69


Marketing and Sales Director at SCORE, Jim Ryan, previously publisher at Dirt Sports and various Peterson publications gives us some insight into how a driven young man has put eyes on so much media over the years. From Cycle News to SCORE, and the ups in between.

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4:06 – Cycle News, the internet of Motorcycle Motorsports World

7:16 – Senior project was to sell myself

10:28 – getting really organized, really fast

15:03 – Mr. Peterson’s publishing banner, he had done everything he could possibly do

21:02 – the Mickey Thompson series was a galvanizing entity expanding the marketplace

26:22 – a total blanket across North American in terms of sports and enthusiasts

35:40 – Dirt Sports and Masterpiece of Metal

43:28 – the Score Journal has a global media presence

47:08 – jumped into SCORE 7 years ago, Roger was taking it to the next level

1:00:21 – good cadre of leadership every year


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.




[00:01:20.160] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Jim Ryan for those that don’t know Jim well. Dirt Sports was his baby before that, he worked with the others in the magazine industry and now he’s the marketing and sales director at SCORE and we are really happy to have Jim Ryan on board.

[00:01:42.500] – Big Rich Klein

He’s got a wealth of knowledge, and I can’t wait to get this conversation started. So, Jim, thank you so much for coming on board.

[00:01:50.710] – Jim Ryan

Thanks. Big Rich it’s great. Great to talk to you again.

[00:01:54.850] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Didn’t get a chance to talk to last year because of covid and all the shows that I normally see you at. They were shut down. So hopefully this year we’ll get to see you at either SEMA or I won’t be going off Road Expo. But maybe at SEMA like you

[00:02:11.110] – Jim Ryan

We’re planning on being a back up and operating and all those operations right now.

[00:02:16.810] – Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Well, let’s explore your life and share with our listeners about Jim Ryan. Where did you grow up? Where were you born and raised?

[00:02:28.300] – Jim Ryan

Sure. Well, yeah, it’s been a while, but a Northern California to start with until early teen years my dad got promoted and transferred back to the Midwest, of all places. So the corporate headquarters where he was working and went to finished high school and college back there and then came back out with the motorcycle industry as soon as I graduated from college.

[00:02:55.120] – Big Rich Klein

What town in Northern California? Because that’s a big area.

[00:02:58.870] – Jim Ryan

Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek. All right. Creek, born in Berkeley, raised in Walnut Creek, was still a little town, although sort of pretty rural areas at the time. I know they’re not now, but it was it was a great, great time.

[00:03:15.040] – Big Rich Klein

You said you it early teens. Then you went to the Midwest.

[00:03:19.210] – Jim Ryan

Your your dad got transferred to Canton, Ohio.

[00:03:22.960] – Big Rich Klein

Canton, Ohio.

[00:03:23.890] – Jim Ryan

Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yeah. So that’s the corporate headquarters or my dad my dad got kind of promoted and we moved from San Francisco office to Canton, Ohio, which was good. It was a good place to grow up. Good people, good, good, good way of life. So was good. So that kind of started. That’s where my my first interest in anything off roading was started to happen back in those days. OK, as you can imagine, most kids back then, we’re looking at mini bikes and things like that, and that’s that’s where I got started and then into motorcycles.

[00:04:01.900] – Big Rich Klein

And you went to then high school, then in Canton.

[00:04:06.550] – Jim Ryan

Yeah, I went to high school in Canton and then went to University of Ohio in Athens, which was a great time and was very formative years. But yeah, as soon as soon as I got out of college, I got a job. And now in California with the motorcycle industry, which is where I was trying to work, I was trying to accomplish so that I got me back out to California and stayed with some friends for a while. I got I was hired by cycle news, OK, which used to be like the Internet of Motorcycle Motor Sports World.

[00:04:44.230] – Jim Ryan

It was a great place, very high intensity. We were still putting out a newspaper ish tabloid magazine once a week based on race results. Back then, it was quite the experience should be it should be a movie on how all that work. But a lot of great people went through that system. And it was a it was a really good, really good friends of mine still from those days.

[00:05:13.030] – Big Rich Klein

So while you were we’ll jump back into that here in just a minute. But while you were in high school, the question I ask everybody, were you scholastic athletic or did your own thing?

[00:05:28.150] – Jim Ryan

A little a little bit of all of that, I would say bookish, I did decent the athletics track and cross-country was the captain of those teams. Excellent for junior and senior years. And from the well, forget your third option, but.

[00:05:50.350] – Big Rich Klein

Oh, do your thing.

[00:05:52.090] – Jim Ryan

Yeah. Now, we basically went from mini bikes to some initial dirt bikes from Honda World that were kind of dual purpose. So we were riding those on the weekends. And in terms of general transportation, that’s what kind of got me started on the anything off road I went from. Not too much straight ever. Just solid off road from the beginning.

[00:06:16.930] – Big Rich Klein

And see, I did just the opposite. I did more street and no off road. Yeah. Until I got like nineteen eighty one when I got out. There it is. So there it is. Yep. So where did you go to college. And what was your major then. Media.

[00:06:33.640] – Jim Ryan

Yeah it was, I went to the University of Ohio in Athens, ok. A great, great college in the middle of nowhere. So it’s kind of a it doesn’t the whole city is the campus and they specialize in a lot of areas, which I didn’t know about at that time. But I ended up in the school of journalism there, which was one of the highest ranked area schools of that. So I just kind of fell into it. And they had fantastic teachers and professors and they had a pretty a unique, unique program where advertising was a major and it was the school of journalism, as opposed to being a subdivision of marketing in the school of business.

[00:07:16.060] – Jim Ryan

Wow. So I kind of fell into that and have major guys from all the agencies in New York that were teaching there. And it was just fascinating. So I kind of found my niche at that point, did really well and all of that and kind of was trying to our special bonus projects and senior projects and all that. I kind of focused on a motorcycle motor motocross motocross industry at that point and developed a campaign to sell myself when you get out of school.

[00:07:50.170] – Jim Ryan

That was kind of the project. So it was I went straight after the the offroad motorsports motocross, particularly at that end, I was doing a little bit of motocross and a lot of enduros at that point at the local Ohio fun level. And that was that was what my dream was. And that’s that was kind of my I figured that out about the beginning of my junior year. So I was lucky enough to make it happen when I got out of college.  READ MORE


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