It’s clear that the Buffalo, N.Y., area has caught Weaver Fever.
Weaver Fever isn’t an ailment that’s going to leave powersports enthusiasts sick in bed all day. Instead, it’s the rush of excitement that comes with buying and using vehicles purchased at Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
And how is it evident the fever is spreading? Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine, a 2013 Powersports Business Power 50 honoree, has reported sales across the board are up this year, even as rain has plagued the area.
“Parts is up; service is up; new is up; used is up, so everything is up,” president Bob Weaver told Powersports Business.
And the dealership is growing. In early 2014, Weaver added Ducati motorcycles and Honda ATVs, side-by-sides, scooters and motorcycles to his already impressive lineup, leading to a 10,000-square-foot facility addition and the hiring of new staff.
“We continue growing. We’ve always strived to get bigger and better and that’s kind of what we do,” Weaver said.
The fever begins
If you’re at all familiar with Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine, it’s likely you’ve heard the dealership push its “Catch Weaver Fever” theme.
“There’s nothing that goes out of here that doesn’t say it,” Weaver said of the dealership’s marketing message, adding that a reference to Weaver Fever is made on staff shirts, within the on-hold recording through the dealership’s phone system and on all advertising. The dealership’s website can even be found at
Though Weaver is glad the marketing message caught on, he has to admit he had some help in developing it. The phrase has been used since shortly after Weaver opened the dealership in November 2002. A young man had asked Weaver if he could race for the dealership, and Weaver gave him the OK, asking the rider to send a photo of himself when the season was over. The rider stuck to his word, delivering a photo on which he had written, “I caught the Weaver Fever.”
After reading the message, Weaver thought of using “Weaver Fever” in the dealership’s marketing messages.
Shortly after he began doing that, a local radio station salesperson approached him, seeking ads from the dealership. The salesperson told Weaver that the dealership should develop a catchy jingle to stick out from its competitors, who were also advertising on the radio. Weaver was hesitant, but the salesperson asked for permission to write the jingle himself, in exchange for a promise that Weaver would advertise using it, if the jingle was suitable. Luckily for both parties, what the salesperson wrote was perfect for the dealership.
“We bought the rights to the jingle,” Weaver said. “And since that time most other dealers in our market have tried to come up with a jingle, and their jingles aren’t as good.”
The jingle has become a key advertising piece for the dealership, not only being played on the radio, but also automatically playing when a new visitor clicks on the dealership’s site.
“You’d be surprised how many people come into the dealership, and they’re humming the jingle,” Weaver said.
When wearing dealership-branded gear around the area, he’s often stopped by people who mention the jingle. An employee at a candy store he shopped at recently even took the time to sing it to him.
In addition to the Weaver Fever messaging, the dealership is also known for its tagline, “Your wife called and said it’s OK!” While Weaver admits he was somewhat nervous about offending some customers — especially women — using that phrase, all feedback has been positive.
“Nobody’s offended because in real life most wives have to say it’s OK before a guy buys a motorcycle anyways,” Weaver said.
Party at Bob Weaver’s
Though Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine markets itself through radio, billboards, direct mail, its website and social media, some of the most important marketing efforts for the dealership include its events, which are held monthly.
Recent activities included a watercraft poker run in July, a motorcycle poker run and vintage motorcycle show in August and a fall open house in September. The events often include food and giveaways, such as T-shirts. A Victory demo truck offered test rides in July, while the Yamaha truck stopped by in August. The dealership also recently hosted a Breakfast with Bob to attract sport bike owners, who aren’t as into events and group rides as Weaver’s other customers.
The events are integral when it comes to customers getting to know the dealership and its staff. Weaver says he hosts events, “to keep our name out in front of the customers. When you come to the store, you know the store is either run or owned by motorcycle enthusiasts, and I think that’s what people want to see.”
The dealership’s décor includes Weaver’s vintage motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile collection, which he says shows customers his 43-year history in powersports.
“They know you’re not just a business; they know you’re someone who likes the sport,” he added. “I think the more you can do with the customer that shows you like the sport, the better it is.”
The dealership has been able to save money on marketing those events as of late, as it has built its email database large enough that email blasts and social media are the only way events are marketed. Even though the dealership has dropped direct mail advertisement of events, Weaver has still seen strong attendance.
“Every dealer needs to collect email addresses,” he said. “Everyone says email is going away, which it probably will, but the postal service is going away faster, and email is free.”
The dealership is careful to only email customers when it has something important to share, leading more customers to open those messages.
“When our emails arrive in their box, it usually means something, and they read it,” Weaver said.
Focus on customer service
Though advertising may be what draws customers to Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine, high-quality customer service is usually what causes them to stay, buy and return to the store.
“What makes it unique is the people who work here,” Weaver said. “Everyone here, we all work to take care of the customer, and I think that we have some of the best customer service anywhere. Our CSI ratings are always 98-plus percent.”
Since Weaver started his first powersports dealership in 1971, his focus has always been on customer service. And customers have responded in kind by turning to Bob Weaver’s Motorsports & Marine time and again, leading the store to achieve many high-ranking marks with its OEMs.
Weaver’s dealership is No. 5 in the country for Polaris ATV sales. The store is also tops in many categories for both Polaris and Yamaha and has been a Pro-Yamaha dealership since the program’s inception.