Colle & McVoy Will Relaunch Norton Motorcycles

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A major relaunch of the 100-year-old Norton Motorcycles brand will seek to remind motorcycle enthusiasts that Norton Motorcycles is the leader of the pack.

The campaign, created by Colle & McVoy Marketing Communications, Minneapolis, will begin with Web advertising and event marketing designed to spotlight the first new line of motorcycles produced by the reorganized company.

The first bike, Nemesis, has eight cylinders, a 24-valve engine, 250 horsepower and can reach speeds of 225 miles an hour, which will make it the fastest production bike in the world. It will be available for sale at the beginning of next year.

To capitalize on the new bike's speed and on the company's history of racing bikes, Colle & McVoy has created the tag line "Unapproachably Norton" for its new campaign.

"It has traditionally been a high performance racing bike, and it's that history that we plan to latch onto," said Charley Howe, manager of business development. "It's 'Unapproachably Norton' because we are reclaiming the lead position of a premier performance-based motorcycle -- in fact, the premier performance-based motorcycle."

The company is beginning the campaign by revamping the company's Web site and with a schedule of motorcycle show appearances.

The agency hopes to help the company capture names of current Norton owners' clubs and past Norton owners online through links between its own Web site and the Web sites of local Norton owners clubs and other Norton enthusiasts.

The agency is hoping to refine the database of names captured through the Web site so it eventually will be able to create profiles of Norton enthusiasts. Furthermore, the agency hopes to be able to segment the database according to which types of Norton Motorcycles people own so it can profile prospective Norton owners by bike type. The agency expects to have a more workable database in six months.

Meanwhile, the company will make appearances at motorcycle shows in Sturgis, SD, in August; in Munich in September; in Birmingham, England, in November; and in Daytona, FL, in March.

While the Nemesis will be the first bike produced, five other bikes are in the planning stages, including Commando, a cruiser that will compete with Harley-Davidson.

Norton motorcycles which originated in England, were popularized in the United States after World War II, when servicemen who were familiar with the bikes from the time they spent stationed in Europe began buying them in the United States.

The formation of Norton Motorcycles International Inc. officially was announced in April. It was formed through the combination of Norton Motorcycles Ltd., Shenstone, England, and March Motors International Inc., Minneapolis. The original company producing Norton motorcycles had been formed in 1898 with the first Norton Motorcycles produced in 1902. The company slowed production in the 1980s as it changed hands and was sold to several different owners. Production stopped in the 1990s as the current owners sought a partner to relaunch the name.

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