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  • Get used to seeing OnlyFans sponsor more aspects of our sport
  • Mark
    Full Member

    Downhill and enduro racer Lewis Buchanan raised a few eyebrows with his announcement that he was adding OnlyFans – better known for its porn channels …

    By mark

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    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Is this another story that’s leaked over from the ST bike business channel? I honestly don’t know what OnlyFans is or have the faintest idea of who Lewis Buchanan is – who is he? – or what significance this has for me as a mountain biker.

    Do you guys have a sub-editor atm. It feels like no-one is subbing articles with a thought for what the reader can and can’t be expected to know and the effect is slightly alienating.

    Obviously it’s your site and you can publish what you want, but stuff like this and the article about Wahoo’s liquidity rating being downgraded, which at no point explained what this actually meant either for Wahoo or me as a reader/Wahoo user feels a bit jarring.

    I’m trying not to come over as hostile or angry, I’m honestly not, just a bit bemused.

    Why should I care?

    weeksy
    Full Member

    honestly don’t know what OnlyFans is or have the faintest idea of who Lewis Buchanan is – who is he? – or what significance this has for me as a mountain biker.

    1. it’s mostly a porn site
    2. He’s a DH/racer/MTBer.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    He’s a DH/racer/MTBer.

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike, given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike, given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    That part i don’t know… Obviously he’s done it from a perspective of what OnlyFans will give him as much as what ‘fans’ will pay… But i must admit, i’ve not gone to the site because, well…. you know… work laptop and that’s going to be VERY frowned upon 😀

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    1. it’s mostly a porn site
    2. He’s a DH/racer/MTBer.

    So mountain biking porn? It sounds strangely alluring…

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike, given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    I imagine there’s a LOT more free grot on the internet, but folk still pay for it.

    that’s going to be VERY frowned upon 😀

    more than that, and I’m not sure how true this is, but financial institutions supposedly take a dim view of any transactions going to OF, in the same way as they might for gambling websites, when doing affordability checks for loans, mortgages etc.

    daviek
    Full Member

    I’m sure I read somewhere that he was going to use it for coaching and the likes. But I might have made that up.

    NewRetroTom
    Full Member

    @BadlyWiredDog

    a bit bemused.

    Sounds like you need to get yourself wired into the media a bit better.

    I honestly don’t know what OnlyFans is

    If you read the article it gives you not only an explanation of what it is, but also a history of OnlyFans.

    Yak
    Full Member

    I’m sure I read somewhere that he was going to use it for coaching and the likes.

    Hmmm. Paid skills coaching but not in person? Does anyone else do this?

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike, given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    As Mark says in the article, Lew’s channel will be free to view. Read the article to see why this is cunning though!

    thepurist
    Full Member

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike

    Does anyone read the articles before commenting? You need to register for an OF account to watch his stuff, but his content is free to view once you’ve done that. The catch is that to register you need to give them payment card details, even though you’re not intending to watch anything that needs paying for.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    BWD I thought the linked article did a good job of explaining OnlyFans, less so Lewis Buchanan. However, as with the Marketing article and survey, I think there’s an assumption that lots of us follow the Sport/Competitive/Celebrity side of cycling, which I certainly don’t so hadn’t heard of the chap either.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    If you read the article it gives you not only an explanation of what it is, but also a history of OnlyFans.

    It didn’t tell me why I should care. Or did I miss that bit?

    Yak
    Full Member

    Surely the free-to-start-with thing is just the initial marketing doodah. It is a paywall/payment model site after all.

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    I’m amazed anyone is prepared to pay to watch him ride a bike, given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    As Mark says in the article, Lew’s channel will be free to view. Read the article to see why this is cunning though!

    footflaps
    Full Member

    As Mark says in the article, Lew’s channel will be free to view. Read the article to see why this is cunning though!

    YouTube etc doesn’t require CC details to watch their free stuff, so I still don’t think it’s very cunning at all.

    Unless he’s the most amazing MTBer on the planet and given I’ve never heard of him, I somehow doubt he is.

    A bit of a non-event IMO.

    Yak
    Full Member

    Well only cunning if you can’t resist the urge to go straight from biking stuff to paid grot. Otherwise it’s just alienating an audience.
    I don’t know Lewis’s content at all, but if it’s anything like some of the other riders with you-tube accounts, then there’s lots of kids who will happily watch them. But now the kid audience is mostly removed.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    That raises an important question for Lew’s longer-term career prospects.

    Is his content now going to be exclusively on OF?

    Because if so, and if users need to give CC deets to see it for free, he will have a much smaller audience than he’s used to.

    So they better be paying him very well.

    And as I said in the thread on here last week, it is a form of sportswashing – in terms of getting OF in the headlines for something other than pron – as well as possibly testing the water for business diversification.

    poly
    Free Member

    Is this another story that’s leaked over from the ST bike business channel? I honestly don’t know what OnlyFans is or have the faintest idea of who Lewis Buchanan is – who is he? – or what significance this has for me as a mountain biker.

    Do you guys have a sub-editor atm. It feels like no-one is subbing articles with a thought for what the reader can and can’t be expected to know and the effect is slightly alienating.

    The answers to your questions are in the 1.5 line “teaser” right below the headline.   The Wahoo credit rating was a bit more cryptic, but this is quite obviously (and if it wasn’t there’s a whole thread in the forum!) about the fact that a company which is synonymous with porn is sponsoring a MTB’er.  I’m a bit surprised that you’ve not heard of OnlyFans – not because I expect you’ve been there, I haven’t, but because there was quite a media storm a year or so ago when Visa decided they would no longer allow payments there.  This is undoubtedly part of their push to clean up their image.

    Should mountain bikers care?  Probably.  If your business is so shady that Visa stop wanting a small % of everything you do because it’s morally dodgy then it’s not great for the reputation of the sport.  Given we should be keen to see more women in the sport and some women would find it a poor choice of sponsor, and given MTB is popular with teenage boys who need to understand that internet porn is not real life, there’s some actual controversy here rather than just a business story.

    Is the headline true? Possibly not – just the PR of it being discussed is good for OnlyFans but they’ll only keep chucking cash whilst (a) it generates a story in itself; (b) it generates new customers for OnlyFans (either of traditional or alternative content!) OR (c) it improves their reputation/standing.

    If you are the sort of MTBer who has no interest in the competition side of things then it might be less relevant.  But I’m in that camp and it still raised my eyebrows.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    while OnlyFans continues to be a home for the streaming porn industry

    Is that what it is though?
    I get the impression that the streaming porn industry does ok by using the free sites (eg. redtube? funny but I only found out about this from someone on a STW post!) – OnlyFans gives people what they think is “exclusive” content. Like the fellas who think they are getting something a bit more exclusive by paying for it – and paying for it personally to the woman/chap showing them their bits.
    Maybe there’s a market for watching sports people that appeals in a similar way. Hard to comprehend really, but then so is taking photos of your food and posting it online etc etc etc.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’m a bit surprised that you’ve not heard of OnlyFans – not because I expect you’ve been there, I haven’t, but because there was quite a media storm a year or so ago when Visa decided they would no longer allow payments there.

    I had heard of OnlyFans but was completely unaware of the Visa story.

    sirromj
    Full Member

    given how much stuff is available for free on YT etc….

    Surely then you’ve come across riders on Youtube asking for support on Patreon? A similar platform. Usually supporting them gets you a extra content, for example Ali Clarkson goes more in-depth with his reviews, tutorials, or behind the scenes.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’m a bit surprised that you’ve not heard of OnlyFans – not because I expect you’ve been there, I haven’t, but because there was quite a media storm a year or so ago when Visa decided they would no longer allow payments there. This is undoubtedly part of their push to clean up their image.

    I’ve heard of it. I filed it under ‘stuff I stay away from’ and forgot about it. I suspect most folk on here are similar.

    If you are the sort of MTBer who has no interest in the competition side of things then it might be less relevant. But I’m in that camp and it still raised my eyebrows.

    It sounds like a PR stunt. Doesn’t it? It needs filing under ‘ignore’.

    Tbf, what do I know. When twitter first appeared I was astonished that anyone would give a stuff about people’s stream of consciousness out-bleatings. I still am tbh.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    And definitely don’t assume that it’s “cunning”.

    Along with my above point about Lew potentially being screwed by this (geddit?), it’s not uncommon for cash-rich, one-trick-pony companies like OF to make poor, under-researched business decisions as they try to expand into new markets.

    I know this ‘cos I used to work for one (also internet based, but family friendly).

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Surely then you’ve come across riders on Youtube asking for support on Patreon? A similar platform. Usually supporting them gets you a extra content, for example Ali Clarkson goes more in-depth with his reviews, tutorials, or behind the scenes.

    Yes, but they have a shop window which is a) free, b) doesn’t require a CC and c) doesn’t say ‘GET YOUR PORN HERE’ in large letters all over it.

    He’s on using OF as they’re paying him a load of money. I can’t see all the MTBers on YT suddenly jumping ship to OF…

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    I can’t see all the MTBers on YT suddenly jumping shop to OF…

    The most successful ‘creators’ on OF are the ones that had a huge following prior to joining the platform.

    BillOddie
    Full Member

    Only Fans have been trying (probably unsuccessfully) to show that they are “not just for grot” since the whole visa/mc thing kicked off.

    This has been further amplified by the fact new platforms are starting to muscle in on their market.  Fantime being the one that has had lots of publicity in Sports and “Sports Entertainment” circles after a WWE wrestler got fired from WWE due to he adult content on Fantime.

    Keeping in mind that MTB is a tiny fish in the sports pond, if a Race Team wanted to slap Brazzers (don’t google that on the work laptop) on their chest then I don’t have an issue with it, better that than an online gambling site.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Every time there is info about how poorly the second tier guys get paid (i.e. people who could be top 20 DH/XC or top 10 Enduro in the world but aren’t fully making a living from their sport and definitely won’t be retiring when they retire from competing.)

    Generally the consensus is that the only way to get more money into the sport is to have non-industry sponsors.

    And yet every single one gets absolutely blasted (on a variety of websites, not just here).

    HSBC, Mercedes, various energy drinks, alcoholic drinks. Many more.

    And now a website that includes but isn’t limited to, consenting naked ladies.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    And yet every single one gets absolutely blasted (on a variety of websites, not just here)…

    …And now a website that includes but isn’t limited to, consenting [bare] naked ladies.

    Give it one week

    BillOddie
    Full Member

    Give it one week

    Well played

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    He’s a DH/racer/MTBer.

    He’s not really a DH racer any more.
    Often see him out on the trails round here.
    Good luck to him he’s just trying to earn a living the best way he can.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Well played

    Ah thank you

    poly
    Free Member

    It sounds like a PR stunt. Doesn’t it? It needs filing under ‘ignore’.

    Isn’t all sponsorship either a PR stunt or a tax dodge?

    ChrisL
    Full Member

    OnlyFans sounds like it’s the same sort of deal as Patreon, except for being less squeamish about porn. Presumably this is part of a strategy to become a competitor to Patreon rather than “Patreon but for porn”. For those not offering adult content or being offered sponsorship money I wonder what OnlyFans can offer over Patreon? Maybe they take a smaller cut of the income or something, I presume they need something to overcome the guilt-by-association issues that pretty clearly exist.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Isn’t all sponsorship either a PR stunt or a tax dodge?

    Sponsorship is simply a form of marketing, no need to be so dismissive about it FFS.

    But in this case it’s veering into PR stunt territory.

    hungrymonkey
    Free Member

    Just as an aside, it’s pretty derogatory to refer to porn as ‘grot’. I know it’s only lighthearted, but it’s not very inclusive, and pretty derisory of sex workers.
    You may choose to be dismissive of those who chose to work in the sex industry (though I suspect the vast majority of you consume their content, even if you give out a holier than thou veneer), but while not the ‘cleanest’ industry (in more ways than one), there are a great many people who choose to be there, choose to make their money that way, and are doing so very much within the law.
    Perhaps be a little less judgemental, going forward eh?

    As for Lew Buchanon – who gives – he’s getting paid a decent whack for riding his bike – not something many others get the opportunity to do.

    Fair play, I say.

    eddiebaby
    Full Member

    So mountain biking porn? It sounds strangely alluring…

    Isn’t that the selling point of Fresh Good Friday and reviews of the top of the range versions of bikes out there?

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    I’m hoping they’ll be in touch to sponsor my YouTube channel. I’ll admit 50+ overweight, bearded cyclist with no riding skill is a bit niche but 🤷‍♂️

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Presumably this is part of a strategy to become a competitor to Patreon rather than “Patreon but for porn”.

    I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t see one as any more or less about porn than the other, if anything I’d see patreon as the “less desirable” of the two as being as its less open about it though I doubt the content on either is entirely within the bounds of taste decency or legality.

    Only fans simply has the distinction of being first and as a result somewhat synonymous with that side of the sex industry in a way patreon could only aspire to. OF is to online porn streaming what Coke is to fizzy brown vegetable juice and in the same way as sprite works but making it obviously “Coca-Cola Clear” wouldn’t be a good thing for either sprite, or the coke/Coca-Cola brand.

    If they want to escape that very lucrative market what they need (IMO) is a rebrand or, more likely, a distinct separation of the two sides of the business “only [adult] fans” and “any fans” or what ever but as two distinct entities.

    Sticking with the fizzy drink analogy I expect Lewis’ success with OF to follow a similar trajectory to Tab Clear.

    That being said, the idea is to drive traffic (I’d guess his demographic is largely teen & male) towards the only fans brand where hopefully they’ll start to consume other chargeable content like cooking or woodwork shows etc. although they could reasonably be hosted on an “adult free” service with a similar level of monetisation to that which the same content could garner on an adult one.

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