Case Study: Building a Dealer Brand with Sports and Event Marketing

“Ideahaus was able to see the big picture and really think outside of the box, and not get satisfied with doing things the way they had been done in the past. I know those are cliches, but their ideas and concepts worked to help grow the business and build the dealer brand in our market.” - Marketing Director, Pittsburgh Steelers

Situation: The dealer had been in business for 18 years and earned a reputation as “the Harley dealer in Glenshaw” in the most condensed dealer trading zone in the United States. We were responsible for growing market share and their brand as a leading dealer. Critical Business Issue: The owners wanted to solidify its position as the city designated dealer amongst other dealers attempting the same, and to position itself as the leader in the ongoing "dealer wars". Reasons:Although surrounded by seven other dealers Spirit Harley-Davidson was designated by its zip code allocation as the “Pittsburgh” dealership. Other dealers were making claims of being “Pittsburgh Harley Dealer” because they had some local zip codes. They were also attempting to leverage their claims to creating relationships with regional businesses.


Vision: Our clients told us they need a way to become secure the perception of the market as “the” Pittsburgh dealership, and to position the dealership as a regional player. Capabilities Provided: Ideahaus created a long-term marketing relationship between the dealer and the Pittsburgh Steelers, a successful professional sports team, that shared a common demographic. Mimicking messages of the loyal fan base while presenting the dealer brand the mix of banners, print ads, radio commercials and Jumbo-tron commercials provided multiple mediums for constant impact. From the tailgates to the stands and the radios at home, Spirit Harley messaging as “your biggest single source for all your Harley stuff” was coming across strong.         View Each Screen of the Jumbo-Tron Listen to a Spirit Harley-Davidson Commercial: Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN

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Results: By the end of the first year Spirit Harley-Davidson had secured their claim as the Pittsburgh dealership and loyal supporter of the Championship team. This strategic partnership supported traditional advertising, marketing and on-site events to grow market share from 47% up to 61% (according to Harley-Davidson supplied customer survey indexes) by their third year. Studio Notes:The Jumbo-tron ads were three separate monitors and a very odd ratio (1248 x 36 for the left and right). Using television productions skills for the :30 media time and multimedia space planning for the odd shapes we used the well-known profile of the client product (Harley motorcycles) moving toward the center screen to present the Harley Eagle logo. The animation allowed us to introduce the tagline, product selection and call to action to the web site.

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