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Marketing Management - II

Section H
Group 4

Should Harley-Davidson continue to sponsor the Posse Ride? Why or why not?
Harley Davidson is active in organising long term rides for its factory- sponsored motorcycle
enthusiast Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) club members. It introduced the Posse I ride in 1997,
which saw an enthusiastic participation that was majorly attributed to the spontaneity of the
events during the ride. This led Harley to go ahead with the second edition of the same, Posse
II with a new theme and a new trail.
On evaluating if Harley should go ahead with sponsoring Posse, the following are the key
The brand community factor of Harley strengthens customer loyalty and commitment towards
the company. Customer Relationship Management is enhanced by the participation of the
company employees in the Posse rides.
The presence of Mavericks in Posse I encouraged Harley to increase the cap on the number of
participants from 200 in Posse I to 425 in Posse II. This shows the increasing popularity of the
Posse ride amongst the public. Riders were interested in participating for various reasons.
Some of them were in it for the passion they had for adventures and bike riding. A few others
viewed it as an annual family vacation. Most of them considered it as a social platform to
develop new friendships and re-kindle old ones. In addition to these, the pride that comes
with being a part of such a unique and challenging event instils in them a strong sense of
belonging, accomplishment and bonding. Hence, closing down the ride could result in
disappointment among both riders and non-riders and impact their customer loyalty.
In addition to spontaneous events like No-Host Rendezvous, recurring ones like Story Nights
and Posse Oath sessions found favour among the riders. This also helps in enhancing the
brand value of the Harley.
The events organised by the dealers at the various check points serve as a mode of relaxation
for the riders as well as source of attraction for the local population. The dealers can earn
revenue by offering bike servicing facilities, selling customised merchandise, etc. The ride also
helps participating dealers to improve their services by observing their counterparts at check
points. There is face to face interaction between the company representatives and dealers
whereby the management can also gain deeper insight into their operations and gather from
them suggestions for improving customer service.

The networking and improved

relationships can be leveraged by Harley during negotiations.

Despite some glitches during the ride, the post-ride survey results were more positive as
compared to the pre-ride survey results with 100% participants now showing interest in
signing up for another long-distance HOG rally. The same trend was also observed in the

number of participants who would replace their existing motorcycle with a new Harley. This
shows the potential of Posse rally to contribute to increasing sales for the company.
By including employees as riders in Posse increases organisational commitment and
employee engagement. This also proves to help them to study the customer behaviour which
can be used to influence the design of the new motorcycle.
Owing to the above factors, we recommend Harley to go ahead with the
sponsorship of Posse ride.