“We basically saved Harley,” says Sons of Anarchy co-star Mark Boone Jr. (Bobby) to Susan Carpenter of The Hollywood Reporter. In a time before the economic meltdown, motorcycle sales, especially for Harley-Davidson, were booming. After the collapse, sales have only started to pick up again within the past two years (at nowhere near pre-2008 levels, however). Boone Jr. seems to think he and his fellow cast members are the reason. Granted, SOA is a popular TV show, and it’s great to see actors actually riding the motorcycles, but let’s get real here. Basically saving Harley-Davidson? That’s a bit of a stretch.
Sure, SOA’s Harley-Davidson exposure certainly helped promote the brand to a wide audience, youngsters (ages 18-34) especially, but other factors have certainly played a part. To better understand H-D’s growth, I turned to Jennifer Hoyer, The Motor Company’s Media Relations Manager. Here’s what she has to say about Harley’s recovery, and whether SOA had any effect on sales:
“There have been a tremendous amount of factors to H-Ds success over the last few years – various people, processes, promotions, etc. Starting the same year SOA aired in 2008 continuing through 2012, our market share in our outreach sales has seen double digit growth to women, young adults, Hispanics and African Americans. However, we have also seen steady and continued growth from our international regions as well as to our core US customers. So while there have been many factors that have contributed to our success, we’d certainly say our relationship with SOA has been one of many things helping us grow our customer base. Our relationship with SOA has been mostly beneficial from our side, as we have enjoyed getting many of the cast members all to be real riders — showing them the freedom that Harley-Davidson motorcycles bring to their lives. That’s what it is all about.”
So there you go, Bobby. You didn’t save Harley, but you definitely look cool trying. We’re just glad you’re on two wheels.