Interstate Batteries takes charge at Sturgis rally
They were just two motorcyclists in a sea of more than 700,000 people, but Interstate Batteries National Account representatives Terry Mullennix and Mike Ragan made sure Interstate made a big splash at the 70th Sturgis Rally.
Interstate sponsored three noteworthy events during the internationally famous motorcycle rally, held Aug. 9-15 in South Dakota, and was a sponsor for the third year of the Legends Ride where riders rolled with celebrities, world-class bike builders and hundreds of their fellow motorcyclists to raise $53,000 for Sturgis area organizations. Other events carrying the Interstate banner were the Pink and Proud Ride, to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer, and the “Eternal Combustion – 30 In The Wind” motorcycles as an art exhibition.
It was a busy week for the pair. Ragan and Mullennix wore specially designed Interstate Batteries motorcycle “shop shirts” and Ragan also did check presentations and introduced some of the musical acts at the legendary Buffalo Chip entertainment facility. Mullennix represented Interstate Batteries at the Victory Motorcycles press ride from Gateway Canyon, Colo., to Sturgis and hosted Interstate Batteries distributors and their families on several occasions.
Interstate Batteries banners were also prominent at events as were the Interstate Batteries No. 18 NASCAR Show Car and the Interstate Batteries Big Dog chopper. Between them, Mullennix and Ragan did dozens of media interviews, both print and broadcast.
But the real payoff might be even more. Ragan said motorcyclists are known for their loyalty to products that perform and organizations that are involved on a face-to-face basis in their two-wheeled world. “There is lots of crossover between riders and other products, as well,” Ragan said. “When we were handing out Interstate freebies, we constantly ran into people who told us they have Interstate batteries in their vehicles. One guy told me he owned a cement company and all twelve of his trucks have Interstates in them.”
So did Ragan do his best imitation of a 70s-era rock show emcee introducing the bands, head thrown back, microphone held up high and drawing out the name like, “Won’t you welcome, ZZZZZZ ZZZZZZ Toooooooooop …”? Not exactly. “When I realized how many thousands of people were out there, I just looked back down and started yelling!”