STURGIS | The city of Sturgis is about to take a step into the big leagues of marketing with its intention to enter into an agreement with a company that is owned by the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys and a major investment fund.
“They’re the major leagues for sure,” Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said Thursday of Legends Sales & Marketing. “Their ability to work with corporate America and to have those contacts is invaluable.”
John Alper, vice president of strategic partnerships for Legends Sales & Marketing, said the company sees enormous potential in working with a community that hosts the largest motorcycle rally in the nation.
“It’s one of a kind. It is a very unique, non-traditional property. Its name is certainly very powerful,” he said.
City officials announced Thursday that they were finalizing details of a contract to name Legends the new sponsorship and marketing agent for the Sturgis motorcycle rally. The approval is expected at Monday's city council meeting, city manager Daniel Ainslie said.
The company is a full-service marketing firm that has its headquarters in Plano, Texas. In addition to working with the Yankees and Cowboys, its clients include the San Francisco 49ers and the Rose Bowl. Its owners include Checketts Partners Investor Fund.
Alper said Legends jumped at the chance to represent Sturgis when it learned the city was looking for a new rally sponsor agent.
“When people think sponsorships, they normally think of teams, leagues or stadiums,” he said. “The Sturgis motorcycle rally is one of the most iconic lifestyle brands in the world. There’s nothing like it. This one really caught our attention.”
Ainslie said the marketing firm initially will be tasked with bringing on new sponsors and growing revenue for in anticipation of the rally's 75th anniversary in 2015.
“The city of Sturgis is looking forward to building a larger number of strategic relationships with the help of Legends as our sponsorship and marketing partner,” Ainslie said.
Alper said Legends will work to develop new ideas and concepts and broaden the sponsorship stable for the rally.
“We have relationships with lots of different companies and we will do some thorough analysis to match our contacts with Sturgis' long list of sponsorship categories,” he said.
In addition, Legends will oversee event signage, landmarks, advertising, VIP hospitality, media and promotional opportunities, Ainslie said.
Alper said he has never been to the Sturgis motorcycle rally but has watched documentaries about it on television.
“I don’t own a motorcycle and I’ve never been to the rally, but we are successful at developing effect sponsor partnerships,” he said.
The city's previous sponsoring agent was Motoring USA, whose contract was not renewed after the 2012 rally.