Harley dealer’s Bad Santa anchors holiday promotion

Harley-Davidson of Sacramento launches creative holiday program

While Christmas traditionally summons images of hot toddies, candy canes and neighborhood carolers, Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, Calif., took a darker, adult-themed approach to luring in holiday shoppers with a “Bad Santa” promotion.

As part of a wider roster of holiday-themed events and customer services dreamed up in a daily manager’s meeting, the family-owned dealership with 48 employees decided to bring in a beer-toting Bad Santa with Hooters girls as his elves. The jolly-yet-risqué combo was in the store on Saturday, Dec. 15 and customers could have their picture taken with the crew for free.

For younger, more wholesome customers, Harley-Davidson of Sacramento also held two kid-friendly Santa events on the flanking weekends. Both Santa events were held in conjunction with store’s first-ever extended holidays hours, free gift-wrapping with a purchase, on-site food trucks, games and prizes. The dealership’s first such holiday event was a success at attracting additional holiday-season traffic, according to vice president of public relations Savannah Westbrook.

“At a Harley dealership, people are here, they’re waiting to get their bikes serviced or they’re shopping, they’re hungry so they grab something to eat, so it’s a one-stop shop,” Westbrook said. “And the gift wrapping, I know myself that wrapping gifts takes a lot of time and giftwrap is expensive nowadays — you can just come here and they wrap it up looking beautifully.”

Customers at Harley-Davidson of Sacramento got a Bad Santa experience for a day during the holiday season.

Westbrook added that the Bad Santa event attracted an additional 40-50 customers on Dec. 15th, even with inclement weather. While die-hard customers came out, both the kid- and adult-friendly promotions also attracted customers shopping for the biker on their holiday lists. She said advanced planning and the help of a volunteer Santa Claus kept the promotional events affordable, and they didn’t require any additional staffing.

“You can go to the mall and you have to pay to get your pictures taken with Santa; here it’s free,” she said. “And how often do you get to take a picture with Santa holding a 40 [-ounce beer] with his lovely assistants? This is something different.”


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