American Marketer

Apparel and accessories

Belstaff honors motorcycling heritage by sponsoring world record attempt

August 10, 2016

Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah


British apparel and accessories label Belstaff is supporting Triumph Motorcycles at it tries to be the fastest on two wheels.

As a sponsor of the motorcycle brand’s attempt to break the motorcycle world land speed record at the Bonneville Speedway in Utah, Belstaff is documenting rider Guy Martin’s practice runs in a purpose-built vehicle. While the feat itself is noteworthy, Belstaff’s choice to share the process with consumers enables it to demonstrate a drive for perfection and a passion for the daring.

"Partnerships are effective when both brands serve the same client," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. "Supporting each other’s efforts reinforce shared values to their shared customers. You don’t sell to the affluent; you match values.

"Customers don’t buy what you make," he said. "They buy what you sell. In this case, two brands are selling their mutual British heritage and passion for adventure."

Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with Belstaff, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Belstaff did not respond before press deadline.

Full speed ahead

The current world record stands at 376.363 miles per hour.

Looking to surpass that speed, the motorcycle brand along with Hot Rod Conspiracy and Hot Rod Racing developed a custom Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner for the task.

The 25.5-foot-long and two-foot wide two-wheeled vehicle has a Kevlar monocoque body. Powering the streamlined motorcycle are two Triumph Rocket III engines running on methanol fuel, which together achieve 1,000 brake horsepower.

Isle of Man TT driver and multiple speed world record holder Guy Martin will be in the driver’s seat of the streamliner when it makes its world record attempt later in August.

Global cloud applications provider Infor is the title sponsor for Triumph’s 2016 attempt at a record breaking run, with Belstaff as another key supporter. Belstaff’s brand name appears on the door to the motorcycle, giving it a presence as Mr. Martin races.

Belstaff Triumph Motorcycles

Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner

Belstaff is highlighting its role in the preparations for this feat via social media. Broadcasting from the Bonneville Salt Flats, traditionally the place to go to contest a speed record, the brand has shared photos of the crew and the motorcycle’s driver as they test the vehicle’s capabilities. Capturing the technical sides of racing, some photos also show mechanics performing tune ups or checking the equipment.

Belstaff also points consumers toward Triumph’s microsite, where they can learn more about the project and follow its progress.

Triumph has a heritage of breaking the land speed record, holding the title of fastest motorcycle from 1955-1970. Today’s record was set in 2010 with Top Oil-Ack Attack designed by Ack Technologies’ Mike Akatiff.

Biking through history
An affinity for motorcycles is in Belstaff's DNA. The label sponsored the production of the biker documentary "The Greasy Hands Preachers," released in 2015, which centered on the makers of specialty motorcycles.

This passion also appears in the brand's marketing efforts.

Belstaff took consumers to Mexico with the release of its short Western film “Outlaws,” starring footballer David Beckham.

The 17-minute film, directed by Geremy Jasper and produced by Legs Media, centers on Mr. Beckham's encounters with a freak show circus and its temperamental director. This effort takes Belstaff's typical motorcycle gang theme to new territory, showing a different and edgy image (see story).

Belstaff's perspective is also seen through efforts that bring to mind other pioneers.

British apparel and accessories label Belstaff is lifting awareness for its adventurous DNA by following in the footsteps of fearless and famous client Amelia Earhart.

Actress Liv Tyler produced and stars in the short “Falling Up,” which pays homage to the aviatrix’s insatiable need to fly (see story).

"The race itself is short; the anticipation and memories are long," Mr. Ramey said.

"Records are made to be broken," he said. "Regardless of the sport, you build loyalty through emotions: anticipation, exhilaration, disappointment and optimism.

"Neither the race or loyalty ever ends for engaged fans."