Harley-Davidson has a longstanding brand connection with pets,
dating back to 1914 when Miss Della Crewe drove cross-country on a
Harley accompanied by her Boston bulldog, Trouble, in the sidecar
sporting a special custom sweater.
“To us, dog is family, and Harley-Davidson is a family-oriented
brand,” says Jodi Politowski, motor clothes manager at the House of
Harley Davidson in Milwaukee. The company also has a strong relationship
with the Humane Society and sponsors many pet-oriented events and
fundraisers to support that partnership.
Pets are welcome at all of the company’s showroom locations, with pet
bowls and treats available for furry friends, as well as an array of
themed merchandise. Initially Harley-Davidson offered collars and
leashes, but eventually its exclusive supplier, Coastal Pet Products,
recognized it should expand its pet product offerings, according to
“Harley riders are passionate about our product,” she says. “Many
will come in when they get a new dog to have it fitted for a
Harley-Davidson collar, and some even pick Harley-related names for
Harley-themed pet merchandise is available for sale on the company website www.houseofharley.com
as well as in showrooms and at Harley-sponsored events. Its best
sellers are its leather-spiked collars, pet apparel for smaller dogs and
a pet fleece hoodie, according to Politowski.
The NFL was a little more colorful this past weekend, as hundreds of
players wore logoed customized cleats to raise awareness and money for
Players this season have been expressing their personality and
fashion tastes with colorful custom cleats – shoes that would also
violate the NFL dress code and draw a fine. For Week 13 of the football
season, the NFL called a détente on the shoe wars and concocted “My
Cause My Cleats,” a campaign designed to raise awareness for different
social causes. More than a third of the league – over 500 players –
donned cleats with custom designs representing a charity or cause of
“While there has always been interest and adoption at the youth level
in sports, customized footwear has now taken the main stage in many
verticals such as sports with the NFL’s Week 13 efforts or fashion with
UGG stores offering the opportunity on their famous boots,” Josh
Ellsworth, general manager of Stahls’(asi/88984) CAD-CUT Direct
division, tells Counselor. Ellsworth noted the increasing demand for
personalization and advances in a number of decoration techniques,
including heat printing, direct-to-garment, UV printing and embroidery.
“They are helping to drive quality products and, therefore, profitable
new sales opportunities for businesses.”
Traditionally, NFL players must wear shoes without brand names and
logos (beyond that of the shoe manufacturer) – it’s a fine of $6,076 for
first-time infractions and $12,154 for subsequent ones. But the cleats
sported by players last week featured all sorts of colorful logos,
graphics and designs to raise awareness about issues such as domestic
abuse, animal cruelty and rare diseases. NFL Auction has also allowed
bidding on the shoes with 100% of the proceeds benefiting respective
Ellsworth says customized footwear meshes well with the promotional
product industry because it centers on memorability. “Custom branded
shoes can be the next great thing that aligns with a campaign’s goals,”
Ellsworth says. “Consider the following opportunities: customized
footwear that supports a special cause for a charity run/walk,
promotional footwear with a ‘Kick Cancer’ mantra that allows on-demand
customization, promotional sneakers for a company’s event staff that
will be on their feet all day or even custom shoes with a player’s name,
number, or hashtag.”
However, Ellsworth warns that there are challenges to consider.
“Footwear does bring in an element of sizing, so inventory risk for
print on demand or in advance promotional opportunities can be costly,”
he says. “The shoe fits when you have a good understanding of exactly
who your customer is and what size they want.”
Here’s a look at several of the cleat designs that were worn by the players.
On Wednesday, streaming giant Netflix transformed over 200 coffee
shops across the country into the iconic Luke’s Diner, the fictional
eatery made famous in the 2000s-era hit Gilmore Girls. Baristas
donned aprons featuring the Luke’s Diner logo. Custom signage –
including cardboard cutouts of Luke himself, played by actor Scott
Patterson – completed the illusion.
Fans of the show lined up bright and early to nab a free cup of joe,
decorated with special Luke’s Diner sleeves. Hiding under the sleeve
were coffee-related quotes from the show’s fast-talking, java-loving
The effort was part of an elaborate marketing strategy to drum up interest for next month’s Netflix revival of the show, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
Reuniting Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and other cast members, the
four-part series debuts November 25. Netflix’s nationwide promotion also
had a social media element, with #LukesDiner trending on Twitter, and codes printed on the free custom coffee cups unlocking a special Snapchat filter for 24 hours.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has turned to promotional products
to promote its original content. Earlier this year, the company gave out T-shirts, buttons and other swag bearing the slogan “FU ‘16” to promote the fourth season of House of Cards, in which corrupt politician Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, schemes his way into the Oval Office
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