Schilke joins BMW Motorrad USA in marketing

BMW Motorrad USA announced Wednesday morning that Sarah Schilke, former head of marketing and public relations at Schuberth North America, is now the OEM’s national sales manager in the U.S. However, as she took the BMW position, Schilke, a 2014 Powersports Business Industry Leader, also lost her Motorcycle Industry Council Board position. Because BMW can only have one MIC board position, which is currently occupied by BMW Motorrad USA vice president Kris Odwarka, Schilke will no longer be able to be an MIC director.

The following are releases from BMW Motorrad USA and the MIC.


BMW Motorrad USA appoints Schilke as national marketing manager

Kris Odwarka, Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA, is pleased to announce that Sarah Schilke will assume the role of National Marketing Manager, Motorrad, effective February 4, 2015.

“Sarah is a marketing professional, experienced motorcyclist and powersports industry veteran,” commented Odwarka. “Much of her work has focused on international marketing initiatives for German companies, such as Schuberth and Hein Gericke, in areas including media planning, strategic partnerships, public relations, event planning, product development, and new-segment outreach. Her connections to Germany and German brands run deep, reflecting a personal passion that’s long been entwined with her professional work.”

In addition to a marketing MBA and BA in German and Sociology, Ms. Schilke brings a unique combination of skills to the position — motorcycling (including street, track, off- road and adventure riding) and fluency in German language and culture. Her powersports affiliations include the Motorcycle Industry Council (the first female member of the Board of Directors), the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the American Motorcyclist Association (a lifetime member), and the International Motorcycling Federation (an ‘Expert’ to the FIM Commission on Women in Motorcycling).

In her role as National Marketing Manager, Ms. Schilke will be responsible for all marketing initiatives and strategies for BMW Motorrad USA. This will include traditional media placement, social media initiatives, dealer Point-of-Sale elements and experiential marketing, as well as internal marketing initiatives, such as the annual National Dealer Meeting. She will also be responsible for the tenor and direction of BMW Motorrad USA’s future marketing efforts, and for the integration of those efforts within the global “Make Life a Ride” marketing framework.

Sarah Schilke

MIC Board of Directors seat opens

Industry veteran Sarah Schilke has announced she has accepted the position of National Marketing Manager with BMW Motorrad USA, a move that opens up her previously held seat on the MIC Board of Directors.

Schilke was serving her third term on the MIC BOD. “We will miss Sarah’s leadership and dedication at our meetings,” said MIC Board Chairman Dennis McNeal. “But we know that her input and influence will continue through BMW’s ongoing MIC Board participation.” BMW Motorrad USA is represented on the Board by BMW Vice President Kris Odwarka.


Schilke’s résumé consists of a wide range of industry marketing experience, including such roles as Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Schuberth North America, Western Advertising Manager for American Motorcyclist Magazine and Marketing Director and Show Feature Manager for Advanstar Communications.

“I congratulate Sarah on her new opportunity, and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her previous service to the industry,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “The remaining eleven MIC board members are well-poised to continue their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect and promote the motorcycle industry, and we look forward to filling this open seat during MIC’s annual election cycle later this year.”

The 2015 MIC Board of Directors includes Arnold W. Ackerman (Motorsport Aftermarket Group), Steve Bortolamedi (Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.), Russ Brenan (Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.), Jon-Erik Burleson (KTM North America, Inc.), Don Emde (Don Emde Inc.), Robert Gurga (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.), Andrew Leisner (Bonnier Motorcycle Group), Larry Little (Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group), Dennis McNeal (Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.), Steve Menneto (Polaris Industries) and Kris Odwarka (BMW Motorrad USA).

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  1. BMW’s lights will be shining just a bit more brightly with Sarah involved. Congratulations my Super Friend. Best to you. BMW is indeed fortunate.

  2. CONGRATS SARAH. Nice to have met u at Max open house. Now retired but more and more involved with bikes than ever. After living with bikes and ridding for more than 40 years let me tell u what works and not . E mail me if I can help u. Since I could not get Mercedes to built a bike I want BMW to get better.

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