Harley-Davidson ends Summerfest sponsorship: report

After two decades Harley-Davidson has officially pulled the plug on sponsorship of a major music festival, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Milwaukee World Festival announced Thursday that Harley will no longer sponsor its Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage at Milwaukee’s Summerfest.

The move comes in part as a result of its “Rewire” shift in corporate strategy as the company seeks to be more competitive in the powersports industry.

“As we overhaul our business and execute The Rewire, every function, and process is being rebuilt from the ground up to prioritize our efforts and drive sharper focus, including The Harley-Davidson Foundation,” a spokesperson told the Business Journal.

Amid a series of dealership closings, the company also announced a new e-bike offering – the Serial 1 – at the end of October.

“We have driven significant progress across each key element of The Rewire playbook, and we believe the positive changes we have executed are setting our course for a winning future,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson, who was appointed in May.

The end of The Rewire will be the foundation for The Hardwire – the company’s forthcoming five-year strategic plan from 2021-2025 to deliver profitable growth and shareholder value based on expanding the desirability of Harley-Davidson, according to a recent earnings statement.

Whether you’re dealer of the brand or not, Harley will be worth keeping an eye on as the company reworks itself from top-to-bottom.

— Nick Longworth, staff reporter, nlongworth at epgmediallc.com