Sturgis Rides With S&E Direct

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Sports & Entertainment Direct Inc. will be the exclusive gift bag provider for the 61st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a $300,000 account that had no predecessor.


The account was assigned by Champion Sports Group, a Charlotte, NC, sports marketing firm that handles lifestyle marketing for clients such as Professional Bull Riders, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Sturgis.


"We approached Champion, they saw what we did, liked the idea of welcome bags and sampling products, and this was basically how it was determined," said Jonathan Agin, national sales manager at S&E Direct, Marietta, GA.


Scheduled for Aug. 6-12 in Sturgis, SD, the annual motorcycle rally is expected to draw 650,000 visitors from all over the United States. The city of Sturgis hosts the event.


S&E Direct will distribute nearly 250,000 free bags stuffed with product samples and coupons aimed at bike aficionados, the first time for such a giveaway.


"This is viewed as a revenue-generating program, [and] this is a way for the city and the sponsors of the event to grass-roots market their product to attendees," Agin said.


The agency will target companies in package goods, do-it-yourself items and tools to place products or coupons in the bags.


"Motorcycling is a cult-type product, so you're looking at companies in the motorcycle industry," Agin said. "It could [also] be manufacturers or those who build accessories for motorcycles."


Agin noted the rally audience's demographics: 71 percent are male; more than half are married; more than half are smokers; and 60 percent are beer drinkers. But most attendees are not necessarily the beer-guzzling, tattooed stereotype.


"Motorcycling has become something that doctors and lawyers do," Agin said, "and they send their equipment [to Sturgis] and then they fly up. Then they're dressed up in leather. There are core enthusiasts, and there are emulators. [But] they're all motorcycle riders."


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