Devesh Gupta

Harley Davidson announces the fourth season of Harley Rock Riders

The Indian arm of the international bike brand has initiated the fourth season of its annual property, Harley Rock Riders.

American bike brand Harley Davidson recently flagged off the fourth season of its annual rock music festival, Harley Rock Riders, in India. The event invites participation of new and old rock bands from all over the country to create their own freedom anthem and upload it on the Harley Davidson Facebook app.

Harley Davidson announces the fourth season of Harley Rock Riders
Harley Davidson announces the fourth season of Harley Rock Riders
In the fourth season, the entries will be scrutinised by musicians Luke Kenny and Sid Coutto, and Lalitha Suhasini, editor of Rolling Stone magazine. The three best entries chosen on the basis of jury votes will compete in the Grand Finale to be held in Mumbai on October, 12.

The winning band will win the title of Harley Davidson Band of the Year and will be given a chance to perform at the European Bike Week 2014. It will also go on a three-city tour.

The brand is also organising rock concerts at Pune, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, where different bands such as The Lightyears Explode, Digital Suicide, The Incredible Mindfunk and The Circus will perform. Each venue will feature all the unique elements of a motorcycle.

The promotional campaign for the initiative encompasses radio, print, online, social media and in-house branding at the venues for the concerts. It targets young adults in the age group of 18-30 years, invites participation and aims to celebrate rock music in India.

"This activity is not aimed at selling bikes but is aimed at introducing people to the Harley Davidson lifestyle and culture, which refers to freedom of thought, expression, life and biking. We want people to come and experience the lifestyle and ride and rock with us," says Anoop Prakash, MD, Harley-Davidson India.

Nokia is the title sponsor for the contest.

Harley Davidson announces the fourth season of Harley Rock Riders
While the brand celebrates its 110th year of operations, Prakash says that it has always been associated with rock music, hence the theme for the contest. Rock n Roll maestros such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan have associated with the brand in the past.

In this edition, Harley Davidson for the first time has ventured into two new cities: Kochi and Pune. Prakash reveals that the brand has opened showrooms in these cities. Thus, it is necessary to keep the engagement going in these areas "as they are new but prospectively strong markets for business," he adds.

The first edition of Harley Rock Riders was done across five cities in India. The second edition covered four cities, while the third edition was a mega event in Bengaluru. The brand has again resorted to the tour model as it believes that using the tour model gets more eyeballs.

Although Prakash refused to divulge the actual spends for the event, he concedes that they are 15-20 per cent more compared to the last season.

Since Harley Davidson ventured into India in 2009, South India has emerged as its strongest market, followed by the West, North and East.

Harley Davidson was launched in 1903 in the US. Some of its popular models are Iron 883, Super Low, Forty Eight and Street Bob. In India, it has nine dealerships and offers 12 models.

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