Get them while they’re young. It worked for the tobacco industry, it worked for Michael Jackson, and it is the new mantra for Aprilia Motorcycles, as the Italian marque is getting aggressive with its offerings for young and future motorcyclists.
Regular Asphalt & Rubber readers will know that we have talked at length about the motorcycle industry’s aging demographic, and that the younger generations are not filling in sales that are being left behind by Baby Boomer motorcyclists.
Getting Gen-X and Millennials on motorcycles has been a key part to every motorcycle brand’s marketing strategy, and now Aprilia is taking that move to its next logical level, and focusing on getting kids on bikes at as early of an age as possible.
As such, Aprilia’s new marketing strategy focuses on pre-teen riders, with the hope that if kids start out their two-wheeled life on an Aprilia motorcycle, of which the Italian brand has a robust sub-500cc lineup of motorcycles and scooters, they will then be Aprilia owners throughout their adult life.
“We want to make a clear pathway of progression for motorcyclists, where they start on the Aprilia brand with a 50cc bike, and then move through the model lineup as they grow older, eventually owning something like the Dorsoduro 900, Tuono V4, or even the RSV4 superbike,” explained Shawn Pistachio of Aprilia USA.
“To achieve this, Aprilia is actively looking for partnership opportunities in Western markets, in order to showcase our products, and to engage with potential young riders,” he added. “And today, we are happy to announce our first such partnership in the United States, with public television’s very own Sesame Street.”
According to Aprilia’s press release, the Italian company will sponsor several episodes of the children’s show, which will feature not only Aprilia models, but will also teach pre-teens about the advantages of riding a motorcycle and how to be a responsible motorcyclist.
Sesame Street might seem like an odd marriage for Aprilia, but the iconic program has been struggling financially as of late, and there great concern with the expected budget cuts that will come from the defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We are happy to support PBS and the work they do teaching children via the Sesame Street television show,” said Pistachio. “I learned my ABC’s from Sesame Street, as did many motorcyclists my age, so in one way we are giving back to this important institution, and we are also ensuring the future of the motorcycle industry.”
“Sesame Street might not seem like the most obvious choice, I will admit that,” Pistachio said while talking to A&R, “But, when you think about which motorcycle manufacturers as the best with letters, it has to be Aprilia.”
“With the debut of the Aprilia RSVR RR APRC ABS, and the subsequent model revisions to the RSV4 line, we have undoubtedly cornered not only the vowels market in the motorcycle industry, but also the consonants market as well.”
“When it comes to the motorcycle industry, we basically own the alphabet, so what brand would be a better fit with a television show like Sesame Street?” asked Pistachio, before adding, “We have the best letters. No one has better letters than us. No one. It’s going to be so good.”
We remain optimistic about where the partnership could lead.
Source: Aprilia USA