Inside Harley-Davidson

Raising our game at events to grow product and brand awareness

Welcoming Riders in a Big Way at 75th Daytona Bike Week




Harley-Davidson has had a long-standing and vital connection to Daytona Bike Week and has greatly increased its presence at this year’s event, which marks its 75th anniversary.


“Daytona Bike Week is the kick off to the riding season, and around this time, riders are starting to get antsy to get out on their bikes,” said Christian Walters, United States Managing Director for Harley-Davidson.


Events like Daytona Bike Week have become ever more important to Harley-Davidson as it looks to raise brand and product awareness in order to boost U.S. retail sales.


Harley-Davidson is raising its overall marketing investment by 65 percent this year over 2015 levels. Allocating additional funds to do more and bigger events is a key part of the investment.


As such, those flocking to the Daytona Beach area for the wide range of Bike Week activities will notice Harley-Davidson has boosted its visibility on the grounds of the recently remodeled Daytona International Speedway, the epicenter of activity for the event. 


Harley-Davidson kicked into high gear with an expanded slate of parties, free demonstrations and a powerful lineup of Cruiser motorcycles.

“Our aim this year is to really wow consumers,” Walters said. “We want them to see, feel and hear us wherever they are in the Daytona area. We really want them to know something big is happening at Harley-Davidson.”


The vast majority of riders who have brought their bikes to Daytona have arrived on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as is the case with most motorcycle rallies held across the country, Walters says.


“But we want to excite all motorcycle enthusiasts, whether or not they are on a Harley, and those who are new to the sport, as well,” Walters said.


Harley-Davidson’s expanded footprint at the Daytona International Speedway offers motorcycle demo rides and a selection of new Harley-Davidson MotorClothes for purchase, including Willie G. and H.O.G. Commemorative Merchandise.


Harley-Davidson motorcycles from the popular Sons of Anarchy television series and The Avengers movies are also on display.


“We have a number of experiential displays where people can interact with our products, whether it’s by taking one of a 100 new 2016 bikes out on the road or taking part in a JumpStart simulated riding experience,” Walters said.


Bike Week activities in and around Daytona Beach have included a Main Street Party, a new Muscular Dystrophy Association Women’s Ride, a pair of H.O.G. Rally Rendezvous events and a new Editor’s Choice Harley-Davidson Bike Show.


Several local Harley-Davidson dealers are also hosting activities at their dealerships where riders can visit vendor booths from all over the industry and customize their bikes with the latest Harley-Davidson parts and accessories.


Fully aware competitors are taking pages out of Harley-Davidson’s marketing playbook when it comes to events like Daytona Bike Week, the company is committed to finding more and better ways to connect with consumers. 


“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but we always set the tone, and we are the market leaders,” Walters said. “We feel confident in the strength of our brand. We know all of this will blow the socks off of consumers.”




“We want them to see, feel and hear us wherever they are in the Daytona area. We really want them to know that something big is happening at Harley-Davidson.”

Christian Walters, Harley-Davidson U.S. Managing Director




For the duration of Bike Week, Harley-Davidson has partnered with a trio of iconic Daytona Beach Main Street establishments as the official motorcycle sponsor at The Bank and Blues Club, Dirty Harry’s and the Full Moon Saloon.


Harley-Davidson also is active with its social media channels during Daytona Bike Week as another means of connecting with consumers.


“If you can’t get on a bike and get to Daytona, you can engage and experience it virtually on Harley-Davidson’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms,” Walters said.